Carnegie Mellon University


April 20, 2022

Alumni Awards Showcase Graduates’ Successes

During Spring Carnival, we gathered remotely to applaud CEE alumni who’ve made a positive, noteworthy impact through their research and work. The event, led by Dave Dzombak, Hamerschlag University Professor and CEE department head, connected CEE faculty, graduates, and friends to celebrate the school’s impressive alumni, high rankings, world-class facility, and internationally-recognized research. “Our students and professors are thought leaders, grappling with some of the most complex challenges in infrastructure and environment facing society today,” Dzombak said.

Before announcing the award winners, Dzombak praised CEE’s impressive, passionate, and supportive alumni—as well as their ongoing support of the school and its students. He also emphasized that the school’s continued success is based on the CEE community’s commitment to hard work, creative problem solving, innovation, leadership, and collegiality.

Recent Alumni Award: Jason Marshall

marshall.pngThe Recent Alumni Award recognizes CEE alumni who have a noteworthy achievement within ten years of receiving their highest degree from the CEE Department. This year’s recipient is Jason Marshall (MS ’11 and PhD ’14).

Marshall works as a staff engineer in systems at Northrop Grumman, where he was chosen to participate in the highly competitive Future Technical Leader Program—a fast-track initiative to mentor and develop outstanding young engineers. During his postdoctoral research at CalTech, Marshall conducted the first-known passive Earth pressure experiment during parabolic flight.

Outstanding Alumni Service Award: Tzufit Boyle

boyle.pngThe Outstanding Alumni Service Award was presented to Tzufit Boyle (BS ’98). This award recognizes CEE alumni who have made sustained contributions to the CEE department, the university, or the engineering profession over a period of time.

Boyle works as an environmental project manager for Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County, Florida. She’s also served as an engineer at at several consulting firms and construction companies. Boyle is known as an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is currently ASCE Florida Section President.

She’s also a dedicated alum, attending many CEE events over the years. Boyle’s affinity for the department was evidenced in her acceptance statements. “I appreciate how the department has kept getting better and better. The leadership that I display today was reinforced during my time at school”

Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible Distinguished Public Service Award: John Borrazzo

borazzo-2.pngJohn Borrazzo (MS ’90 and PhD ’91) earned the Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible Distinguished Public Service Award, created to honor Lt. Col. Raible (BS ‘95) who was killed in action in Afghanistan. The award recognizes CEE alumni who have made outstanding public service contributions. 

Borrazzo is the lead advisor, child health at Save the Children U.S. Before starting that position, he served for 26 years at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). He’s committed to protecting and improving the lives of women and children around the world—and is proud to be engaged in a people-serving profession.

“Humility is what I bring to the work that I do,” he said, adding “I remember CEE fondly and think that my time there was very foundational.” Borrazzo explained that as he contemplated his award, he harkened back to his time as a student. He even located his graduate school ID, which he proudly displayed. Borrazzo praised his advisors and their words of wisdom as being integral to the person he’s become—but he did explain that his greatest takeaway from CMU had nothing to do with engineering. “I met wife at CMU in 1985. We’ll be married 34 years this year,” he proudly told the audience.

Distinguished Alumni Award: Henry Randall Grooms

grooms.pngHenry Randall Grooms (MS ’67 and PhD ‘69) was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award which recognizes CEE alumni who have one or more major achievements that have improved the work of professional engineers or have improved people’s lives.

The author of more than 20 technical papers, Dr. Grooms’ impressive history includes working for Rockwell International, which eventually merged its space division with Boeing. Through the years, Grooms made an impact on space exploration by providing structural engineering support to high-profile missions including the Delta launch vehicle, Skylab, the Apollo program and lunar landing, X-37 reusable space plane, and the Space Shuttle.

His accolades include earning the Black Engineer of the Year Lifetime Achievement award, the National Society of Black Engineers’ Lifetime Achievement Award in Industry, and Boeing’s Space Division Engineer of the Year Award. He’s also committed to volunteerism through Project REACH, a nonprofit that he co-founded to help minority students prepare for, and succeed in, college.

Grooms mentioned that during his time at CMU, artificial intelligence was just a thought and robotics was in its infancy. He thanked the instructors and mentors who helped him to pave a path to success as Dzombak added that in the 1960s—when Grooms was a student—CMU had just introduced classes in Space Structures and Space Dynamics. 

The presentation concluded with a special thank you to the award winners and to all alums who continually showcase the immense talent that has been cultivated at CEE.  

Congratulations to the 2022 award winners!