Carnegie Mellon University

2019 ALumni Award Winners

April 17, 2019

CEE Alumni Awards Showcase Graduates’ Successes

During reunion and Spring Carnival weekend, CEE presented awards to notable graduates who are making a difference in both the industry and the community. Dave Dzombak, Hamerschlag University Professor and CEE department head, handed out each award and spoke of the alums’ achievements and enduring connections to CEE.

Recent Alumni Award

2019-alumni-awards-5.jpgThis award recognizes CEE alumni who have a noteworthy achievement within ten years of receiving their highest degree from the CEE Department, was given to Sylvia Yunlin Sun (MS ’14).

Sun is an estimator and project engineer for Fay Construction, working on heavy highway and heavy civil cost estimation for projects with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Maryland Department of Transportation, and West Virginia Division of Highways. Dzombak also commended Sun for her continued efforts to support minorities, women, and the economically disadvantaged through the Minority Outreach programs in the construction industry.

Sun’s achievements include being elected the 2018 ASCE Young Member Forum treasurer and fundraising chair and being named the 2018 ASCE Pittsburgh Section Young Engineer of Year 2018. She’s married to fellow CMU grad Brandon Wolfe, and in her acceptance speech she encouraged engineering professionals to “pass on experience, thoughts, and wisdom. Share what you know with the next generation.”

Outstanding Alumni Service Award

This award was presented this year to two alums, Jim Campbell (MS ’80, PhD ’83) and Mike Slenska (BS ’89, MS ’90). The award recognizes CEE alumni who have made sustained contributions to the CEE department, the university, or the engineering profession over a period of time.

Campbell and Slenska team-taught CEE’s senior capstone design course. Both were recruited for the position by Larry Cartwright because of their expertise in environmental remediation.

2019-alumni-awards-7.jpgCampbell is president of Engineering Management, Inc. (EMI) and specializes in investigating and cleaning up former industrial facilities and disposal sites. He started EMI in 1992 to provide environmental liability services to corporations and PRP Groups, as well as expert services to law firms. He’s also worked as a corporate environmental manager, expert, and consultant. “It’s a great honor to be honored by this great organization,” Campbell stated, adding that he attended CEE alongside Dzombak.

Slenska is a senior environmental manager with Three Rivers 2019-alumni-awards-9.jpgManagement, Inc., focused on managing the design and construction of large-scale environmental remediation projects. He’s also worked in the geotechnical engineering industry. Slenska praised the tight-knit CEE community for keeping him engaged as a student, graduate, and instructor. “All the time I’ve been here, the department has been a close, family atmosphere. The instructors are supportive—they want you to do well [knowing that] it’s academically challenging.”

Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible Distinguished Public Service Award

Jeannine Hoey (BS ’83, MS ’95) earned the Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible Distinguished Public Service Award, created to honor Lt. Col. Raible (CEE ‘95) who was killed in action in Afghanistan. The award recognizes CEE alumni who have made outstanding public service contributions.

2019-alumni-awards-11.jpgHoey is chief of the Engineering and Construction Division of the Pittsburgh District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She’s a U.S. Army veteran who earned distinction at the local, regional, and national levels for her project management and structural engineering expertise. Hoey managed the $1.7 billion Lower Monongahela River Navigation Project and served as the program manager for the Inland Marine Transportation System Capital Investment Strategy Team. She’s also held numerous board positions in the Pittsburgh Post of the Society of American Military Engineers.

Hoey says that her father, a CEE grad, inspired her to become an engineer. “I’m honored and it means so much to be singled out for this award. I’m excited to be improving lives and the economy in Pittsburgh—I couldn’t do that without my background at CEE.”

Distinguished Alumni Award

2019-alumni-awards-15.jpgNeno Duplan (MS ’84) earned the final award of the evening, the Distinguished Alumni Award. It recognizes CEE alumni who have one or more major achievements that have improved the work of professional engineers or have improved people’s lives.

Duplan’s passion for environmental stewardship led him to create Locus Technologies in 1997. Today, the company empowers organizations to track and mitigate the environmental impact of their activities and manage EHS (Environment, Health, and Safety) compliance. Duplan serves as founder and CEO of the company, the preeminent environmental management software and services firm that brought the first cloud-based environmental data management software to market.

When he learned that he’d been nominated for the Distinguished Alumni Award, he was immediately humbled. “I know how many great CMU alumni are out there, especially here in Silicon Valley.” He dedicated his award to professor and provost Paul Christiano and added that he’s kept CMU “in the family.” His daughter, Siena, earned a master’s degree in business intelligence and data analytics in 2018.

Congratulations to this year’s award winners!