PSEC Awards

Last Modified: September 18, 2022
by Dave

Engineer of the Year Awards

During Engineer’s Week each year, the Puget Sound Engineering Council (PSEC) conducts an Awards Banquet, to celebrate our engineering profession – a rewarding profession that makes the world a better place; and to recognize our colleagues who have excelled in their achievements.  The Awards Banquet is held every February during Engineer’s Week at the Museum of Flight.

It is essential that our Awards be made to truly outstanding engineers possessing strong histories of achievement, in order to make the celebration of our profession noteworthy and meaningful.

Each of our member Societies is aware of engineers whose achievements are worthy of recognition.  Please consider outstanding engineers known to your Society and nominate worthy candidates for the following awards:

Each Society may Nominate one candidate for each Award.

Current Award Recipients

The following award recipients were honored at the most recent Awards Banquet.

  • Academic Engineer of the Year, 2022

    Professor Katherine G. Kuder, Ph. D., P. E.

    Seattle University

    Professor Katherine G. Kuder, Ph. D., P. E., Seattle University has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Academic Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of her exceptional career as a structural engineering educator; her significant contributions to the characterization and optimization of cement-based composites, and her dedicated efforts as a teacher and mentor of engineering students.

    She is deeply committed to improving student learning and educational experiences and has led efforts to improve the level and scope of engineering education. She teaches a wide range of courses, spanning first year to graduate, mechanics-based to design, and lecture and laboratory courses. She is passionate about engaging students, both inside and outside of the classroom, to help them develop both technical and professional skills. She advises senior capstone projects and led the creation of Seattle University’s Master of Science in Structural Engineering program. She serves on the College of Science and Engineering diversity committee studying issues of equity and inclusion in engineering and implementing initiatives to increase diversity.

    Her research is experimentally based, using mechanics and materials science principles to understand and model composite performance with an aim to improve sustainability. She focuses on the development of newly engineered cement-based composites that can be tailored for specific applications, with an emphasis on sustainability. She has been involved in efforts to develop cementitious composites to be used in reinforced concrete shear panels, concrete-filled tubes, and residential construction.

    She also serves as an academic leader. She was Chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department for six years and currently is an Associate Dean of the College of Science and Engineering.

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  • Government Engineer of the Year, 2022

    Susan Chang, Ph. D., P. E.

    Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections

    Susan Chang, Ph. D., P. E., Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Government Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of her exceptional career as a geotechnical earthquake engineer, her innovative work in developing design guidelines for considering earthquake ground motions in high-rise buildings, and her leadership in revising the state building code. She possesses a unique combination of technical expertise, team leadership abilities, and communication skills as well as experience in the public sector, private sector, and academia.

    Currently serving as the Geotechnical Engineering Group Supervisor for the Department of Construction and Inspections, she oversees geotechnical peer reviews of high-rise building designs. As part of the review process, she noticed that amplification of earthquake ground motions by the Seattle sedimentary basin was not being considered in high-rise building designs. To address the issue, she convened a workshop of engineers and seismologists to develop recommendations for the city. The result was a methodology for incorporating basin response in ground motion estimation. This methodology has been adopted by Seattle and Bellevue, the Washington State Building Code, and the International Building Code. She worked with the Seattle Office of Emergency Management to develop an updated landslide map with digital records of landslides that have occurred within the city since the late 1800s. Access to this historic landslide information benefits engineers, property owners, and the general public.

    In addition to her engineering contributions, she recently completed a four-year term as a councilmember for the City of Shoreline. In this role, she has brought her engineering mindset, policy-making expertise, and compassion to city government, enhancing the public’s perception of the role of engineers and women in government

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  • Industry Engineer of the Year, 2022

    Luis Leon

    The Boeing Company

    Luis Leon, The Boeing Company, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Industry Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of his many contributions to the aviation industry as a materials and process engineer, his technical expertise in metallurgical alloys and their processes, his numerous patents, and his leadership of multiple engineering professional organizations.

    He has primarily worked in research, process and product development, and manufacturing and production fields within the Boeing Company. He participated in the design of the first close-coupled aluminum solution heat treatment facility that is used for heat treating precipitation hardening of aluminum alloys. This process was used to produce hardened aluminum components that were used to replace cracking skin components on the B-747 aircraft. He worked as a member of the engineering team that conducted initial design studies that led to the development of the B-787 aircraft. His knowledge of materials processing led to evaluation of alternatives to the current propulsion system major structure design. He oversaw the Propulsion Technology Portfolio composed of enterprise-wide projects. He was responsible for assessing the materials and processes for each project and determining which best met new and derivative aircraft needs. In this role, he provided leadership for applications designed using titanium matrix composites, ceramic matrix composites, polyimides, and high temperature material systems.

    He has been an active member of ASM International and Puget Sound Engineering Council (PSEC). He developed the template for PSEC’s student mentor nights that are conducted annually at local universities and colleges to enable engineers of many disciplines to share their career experiences with the students.

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  • K-12 STEM Engineering Teacher of the Year, 2019

    Emily Yim, Washington Alliance for Better Schools

    2019 Award Recipient

    Nominated by the Structural Engineers Association of Washington

    Emily Yim

    Emily Yim
    Washington Alliance for Better Schools

    Emily Yim, Executive Director of the Washington Alliance for Better Schools (WABS), has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 K-12 STEM Engineering Teacher of the Year in recognition of her many contributions to the STEM education of K-12 students.  WABS is a collaborative of eleven school districts that helps over a quarter million students graduate career and college ready.  To achieve its mission, WABS seeks to close achievement and opportunity gaps in historically underrepresented populations and increase academic achievement and career readiness for STEM fields.

    As the visionary leader of WABS, she led the expansion of the After School STEM Academy program, which currently serves over 4,700 students every year.  The program is an engaging, hands-on STEM expanded learning opportunity for elementary and middle school students facilitated by industry volunteers to build awareness of STEM careers and career pathways.  During each session, STEM industry professionals lead hour-long small group activities with students to reinforce engineering concepts, share their workplace experiences, and highlight career pathways.

    She was also instrumental in establishing a new program called Family STEM Night for students and families.  The program engages culturally diverse students and their multi-generational families in a five-week course of evening hands-on STEM activities to broaden understanding of career pathways and support family engagement. Conducted by industry volunteers, the program works to build opportunity for students of color and students who do not speak English as their first language.  By taking a holistic approach to exposing students and their families to STEM careers, the program empowers families to become engaged in their children’s education.

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  • Kenneth W. Porter Award, 2022

    Steven Evans, P.E.

    PACCAR

    Steven Evans, P. E., PACCAR, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Kenneth W. Porter Award in recognition of his many contributions to the education of K-12 students by showing them the exciting opportunities available in engineering. He has been mentoring Eastlake High School students in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition for the past twenty years. During this period, he has mentored over 475 high school students. In addition, for the past 18 years, he has been President of the Eastlake Robotics Boosters that raises funding to support the robotics teams.

    He enjoys working with the students and believes that there is no substitute for hands-on experience. He conducts training sessions in the fall to ensure all the students know how to use all the tools and machines in the shop safely. This sometimes includes introducing students to tools that are new to them. During the build season, beginning in January, the teams have six weeks in which to develop a concept, design, debug, and have a robot ready for competition. During this time, the teams are divided into groups. Each group is led by a student who has been with the team for one or more years. This provides the veterans an opportunity to lead a small team. His approach is not about the robot. It is about inspiring high school students to become science and technology leaders and innovators. The students are engaged in an exciting mentor-based program that builds science, engineering, technology, and teamwork skills as well as self-confidence, communication, and leadership skills. To publicize the work of his students, he brings his robotics teams to the annual Puget Sound Engineering Council Engineering Fair to display their robots and discuss their experiences with Fair visitors.

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  • Young Engineer of the Year, 2022

    Amy J. Moore

    Flatiron Construction

    Amy J. Moore, Flatiron Construction, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Young Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of her excellent work as a field engineer responsible for supervising construction work on several major infrastructure projects, her leadership roles in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Younger Member Forum, and her services as an instructor for the Fundamentals of Engineering Review Course.

    Serving as a field engineer for the construction of the Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station, she was responsible for planning and completing the concrete work on four buildings, managing steel erection, getting the buildings weather tight, and managing the architectural finish scopes of work. Coordinating with other trades and areas on the project, she created the pour sequence of the walls, procured formwork, and created crane pick plans for formwork installation including some near active power lines. Serving as a mentor to the summer interns, she ensured that they were developing engineering skills such as plan reading, discipline coordination, and craft management. As a member of the ASCE Younger Member Forum, she serves as President-Elect and as past chair of the Popsicle Stick Bridge competition. This is the Forum’s largest outreach event of the year. Typically, over 200 students, parents, and volunteers attend the event to watch bridges built by high school students load tested at the Museum of Flight. As chair of the event, she was responsible for writing the building code, reaching out to high schools, coordinating with the venue, organizing volunteers, and procuring prizes. She volunteered to serve as a judge for the ASCE Pacific Northwest Concrete Canoe Competition. She also volunteered her time to create practice problems and hold a review session with civil engineering students for the ASCE Fundamentals of Engineering Review Course.

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  • Professional Engineer of the Year, 2022

    M. Lee Marsh, Ph. D., P. E.

    WSP USA, Inc.

    M. Lee Marsh, Ph. D., P. E., WSP USA, Inc., has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Professional Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of his lifetime achievements in the   development and maintenance of seismic design procedures for bridges, his design support of numerous Northwest public agency bridge projects, and his contributions to publication of national bridge design guidelines.

    As a design engineer at Berger ABAM, he quickly emerged as the firm’s go-to specialist and helped many internal teams perform seismic design and seismic assessment. He became the company seismic specialist and supported all structural practice groups in the firm – bridge, marine, and buildings with seismic design concerns. His work bridges between academic research and design of actual structures. He led the development and delivery of a National Highway Institute course on seismic design of bridges. This training provides critical skill development for application of modern bridge seismic design provisions. He supported the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in the development of their performance-based seismic design procedures. In addition, he led a team to develop a fully precast bent system to be used for accelerated bridge construction in high seismic regions. This resulted in a demonstration bridge being constructed over I-5 south of Olympia.

    He has served as a key design team member providing seismic design criteria and approaches for numerous bridge projects for Washington Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Sound Transit. He was part of the team that identified and stabilized the West Seattle High Bridge cracking problem.

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Guide for Preparation of PSEC Engineer-of-the-Year Nominations

The PSEC awards program is intended to honor truly outstanding engineers possessing strong histories of achievement.  Please nominate worthy candidates for this honor. Present their qualifications completely, accurately without exaggeration, and consistent with the criteria presented on the Nomination forms.  Also attach their resume.

A panel of judges will evaluate the nominations to identify the best nominee for each award.  The judges are experienced engineers charged with identifying the best candidate for each honor; their deliberations are private; their decisions are final; if no candidate is found worthy of the honor no award will be made.

In grading Nominations for:

  • Academic Engineer of the Year
  • Government Engineer of the Year
  • Industry Engineer of the Year
  • The Kenneth W. Porter Award

The first and second requested information items encompass the award criteria items and will receive 75% of the grade.

  • Nominee’s demonstration of Award Criteria above
  • General biography and summary of qualifications

The additional requested information items are supportive and will receive 25% of the grade.


In grading nominations for Young Engineer of the Year, the following requested information items will receive the weighting listed:

  • Professional background including Society Affiliations             20%
  • Education/Engineering Credentials (PE/EIT progress)              20%
  • Professional/Educational achievements and awards                40%
  • Community, Civic and Charitable involvement                        20%

In grading nominations for Professional Engineer of the Year, the following Award Criteria items will receive the weighting listed:

  • Has made significant contributions in the application of engineering to meet community needs      40%
  • Has significantly advanced the art of engineering                                                                         30%
  • Has actively participated in community affairs & technical societies                                              30%

In grading nominations for K-12 STEM Engineering Teacher of the Year, the following Award Criteria items will receive the weighting listed:

  • Has actively worked in promoting and advancing STEM Engineering related education at the local K-12 level for 5 or more years       20%
  • Has worked closely with local engineering societies on STEM Engineering related education                                                             35%
  • Has performed exceptional activities towards improving K-12 STEM Engineering related education                                                  45%

It will help if you fill out the Nomination form electronically, and copy their resume into the same Word file.  Rename the file with the Nominee’s name & the Award name (for example:  John Smith – Young Engineer Award.docx). 

 Keep the Nomination submittals to a maximum of 8 pages.