April 18, 2023
2023 CEE Alumni Awards
CEE is proud to announce the recipients of the 2023 Alumni Awards, which were presented at the CEE Buggy Breakfast at Carnival.
Martin Fertal (BS ‘83, MS ‘84), the Chief Operating Officer at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), has earned the Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes CEE alumni who have significantly contributed to the improvement of professional engineering practices or have enhanced people's lives. Fertal oversees ASCE's extensive membership base, nine technical institutes, publications department, continuing education, and career services programming to advance society's goals effectively.
Fertal has been involved in all facets of the organization, ranging from communications and government relations to membership, marketing, and IT department, and he aims to achieve ASCE's objectives as efficiently as possible. He further explains that his transition to ASCE was a natural progression that leverages the problem-solving skills he acquired at CEE.
According to Fertal, "Understanding your clients' problems, finding the best solutions, and effectively communicating them are what drive us forward, whether we're working on intricate technical problems or large-scale business opportunities."
Dan Streyle (BS ‘75), a project manager specializing in professional sports facilities, has been awarded the Outstanding Alumni Service Award, which recognizes CEE alumni who have made sustained contributions to the CEE department, the university, or the engineering profession over time. He has led architects and builders in creating iconic sports venues, including the Cincinnati Bengals' stadium and State Farm Stadium in Phoenix. He has worked as Director of Construction for the Arizona Cardinals since 2017.
Streyle remains connected to CEE through his volunteer work on the Andrew Carnegie Society (ACS) Board. He also established an Undergraduate Research Fund in memory of his late first wife, Linda Anne Halas (BS, ChemE '75), to give back and guide future engineers. He says, "One of our activities [on ACS] is that we serve as mentors to students who are ACS Scholars. This past year, both of my mentees were CEE students."
Carly Jerla (BS '02), a Hydrologic Engineer with the Lower Colorado Region of the Bureau of Reclamation, has been named the recipient of Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible Distinguished Public Service Award, which was established in memory of Lt. Col. Raible (CEE '95) who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012.
This award recognizes CEE alumni who have made significant contributions to public service. Jerla focuses on the development of modeling applications and decision support for water operations and planning at the University of Colorado's Center for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems.
She played a crucial role in the Secretary of the Interior's 2007 plan to implement guidelines for the operation of Lake Powell and Lake Mead through 2026. During that time, Jerla worked with stakeholder groups to develop and analyze alternatives that were to be considered in the National Environmental Policy Act process.
Alejandro Gomez Rivera's impressive achievements since graduating from CEE with his master's degree in 2013 have been recognized with the Recent Alumni Award, an honor bestowed upon alumni who have made significant contributions to their field within a decade of completing their highest degree from the department. After serving as a tunnel construction engineer for the Anacostia River Tunnel in Washington, DC, Gomez Rivera co-founded binni, inc., a construction technology firm that enhances the efficiency and productivity of tunnel and concrete construction teams. Through innovative solutions that enable better planning, tracking, and reporting of operations, binni has been helping front-line construction teams deliver mega-projects across the United States and Europe over the past three years.
Gomez Rivera credits his success to the technical foundation he gained at CEE, particularly in the areas of Building Information Modeling (BIM), data-driven analytics, and sensing technologies. By leveraging these skills, he has been able to revolutionize the construction industry through binni's cutting-edge solutions.
Through his work at binni, he has been instrumental in supporting front-line construction teams delivering mega-projects across the United States and Europe, such as the Ship Canal Tunnel in Seattle, and the Purple Line Metro and DC Clean Rivers Project in Washington, DC. The impact of his work in the construction industry cannot be understated, and he is undoubtedly a deserving recipient of the Recent Alumni Award. His journey serves as a source of inspiration to aspiring engineers and highlights the importance of leveraging one's skills to make a meaningful impact in the world.
Congratulations to all of our exceptional alumni award winners!