PSEC Awards

Last Modified: October 24, 2023
by Dave

Engineer of the Year Awards

Nominations Open 2024 Engineer of the Year

Nominations are open for the 2024 PSEC Engineer of the Year awards. It is time to recognize members of your societies.  Awards will be presented at the May 4, 2024, PSEC Engineering Awards Banquet at the Museum of Flight.  Please identify deserving members of your societies and submit nominations to the Awards Committee by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 1, 2024. Download the nomination package below. If you have any questions, please contact John Schaufelburger at jesbcon@uw.edu.

Nomination Package

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 2024

    Professor Dawn E. Lehman, Ph. D.

    University of Washington

    Professor Dawn E. Lehman, Ph. D., University of Washington, has been selected as the recipient of the 2024 Academic Engineer-of-the-Year Award in recognition of her exceptional career as a structural engineering educator, her significant contributions to seismic engineering of structural systems, and her dedicated efforts as a teacher and mentor of engineering students.

    She is nationally recognized for her research program using large-scale experimental results in conjunction with high-resolution finite element analysis to develop methods for evaluating and retrofitting existing systems and for investigating performance-based seismic engineering approaches for design. She has conducted research on a range of systems, including reinforced-concrete walls and frames, steel-braced frames, as well as concrete-filled tube, precast, and reinforced-concrete bridge systems. Her research results have been incorporated into codes, design manuals, and provisional structural engineering recommendations.

    June 24, 2021, the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, Florida collapsed without warning. Professor Lehman worked with an investigative journalist team to investigate the collapse using tools and technologies developed through her research. The primary objective of the investigation was to understand how initial damage in a pool deck could lead to partial collapse of the cast-in-place reinforced-concrete structure. This work led to the team receiving a Pulitzer Prize and to making numerous presentations to international audiences.

    Teaching is a critical part of her success as an educator. Her teaching goals are (1) teach fundamental knowledge yet challenge students, (2) set a high bar and level of expectation, (3) encourage collaboration and active learning, and (4) integrate prior and current class materials to create a more holistic learning experience.

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  • Government Engineer of the Year 2024

    Fred Chou, P. E.

    Port of Seattle

    Fred Chou, P. E., Port of Seattle, has been selected as the recipient of the 2024 Government Engineer-of-the-Year Award in recognition of his exceptional career as a project engineer and program engineer for multiple public agencies, and his leadership in the delivery of numerous complex projects.

    His distinguished career began with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) where he served as a staff engineer on the construction of the Portland VA Medical Center. As a liaison between hospital staff and construction teams, his interactions with veterans deeply influenced his commitment to a lifetime of public service.

    In 1987, he moved to Municipality Metropolitan Seattle (Metro) which later merged with King County. He became a subject matter expert in transit centers, park-and-ride facilities, and industrial wastewater treatment systems. He led the design and construction of the Waterworks Garden Project in Renton. This eight-acre park received the 1996 Seattle Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award.

    He next moved to Sound Transit where he managed multiple high-impact projects. These included the Federal Way Transit Center and the South Hill Park-and-Ride. Each project stands as a testament to his commitment to excellence and his adept management of multifaced collaboration. In 2001, he joined the Port of Seattle as the co-manager of the Consolidated Rental Car Facility development at SEATAC. Transitioning to the Marine Division, he led project management teams for the construction of upgrades to Fishermen’s Terminal, the Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal Expansion, and the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal. In each project, he set a high standard for project delivery and fostered a culture of excellence within his teams.

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  • Industry Engineer of the Year 2024

    Ronald S. Carson, Ph. D., ESEP®

    Certification Training International

    Ronald S. Carson, Ph. D., ESEP®,Certification Training International, has been selected as the recipient of the 2024 Industry Engineer-of-the-Year Award in recognition of his many contributions to systems engineering and technical leadership in the aerospace industry.

    He is a distinguished professional with a remarkable background in systems engineering. He is the author of numerous Boeing engineering design standards regarding requirements analysis. These enterprise-wide business process guides/instructions are widely used across the company’s business units and in training courses on requirements analysis and architecture processes. As a Technical Fellow, he was responsible for model-based systems engineering process development, deployment, improvement, training, and assessment for Puget Sound and enterprise-wide activities.

    He joined the Boeing Company in 1987 to work on the Peacekeeper Rail Garrison program and led the development of design requirements, preliminary design, design analysis, test requirements, test conduct, test data analyses, and test reporting for all electromagnetic pulse developmental and system-level tests. He later worked on multiple Boeing programs for which he was responsible for functional analysis and development of system architecture requirements.

    Upon retirement from Boeing in 2015, he became an Affiliate Assistant Professor at the University of Washington where he taught graduate courses. He also became an Adjunct Professor at Seattle Pacific University. In 2022, he joined Certification Training International as a course facilitator, providing international training to prepare individuals to pass the INCOSE Systems Engineering Professional Certification Examination.

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  • Kenneth W. Porter Award 2024

    Scott Kasper

    BCRA Design

    Scott Kasper, BCRA Design, has been selected as the recipient of the 2024 Kenneth W. Porter Award in recognition of his many contributions to the education of K-12 students, his service as K-12 Chair for the American Society of Civil Engineers Younger Member Forum; his leadership of Washington Alliance for Better Schools After School STEM events, his leadership of STEM Exploration Nights for elementary schools, his participation in the Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition, and his commitment to developing interest in engineering among K-12 students.  

    As the K-12 Chair for the American Scoiety of Civil Engineers Younger Member Forum, he led the organization efforts to engage with K-12 students. This included the Washington Alliance for Better Schools After School STEM Academy program for third to fifth grade students. This involved multiple sessions across five weeks to expose students to the basics of circuitry and electricity. He coordinated and participated in the Federal Way Public Schools and Arrowhead Elementary STEM Exploration Nights where students were engaged in environmental and water resources engineering activities. He served as the emcee and a volunteer for the 2023 Popsicle Stick Bridge competition designed for high school students to develop their STEM-related technical skills as well as soft skills.

    He served as a judge for the 2023 and 2024 Washington (Seattle) Region Future City Competition for sixth to eighth grade students to develop their teamwork, problem-solving, research, and technical skills. Dedicated to outreach to K-12 students, he is passionate about inspiring future engineers.

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  • Young Engineer of the Year 2024

    Tiffany Tang

    Crane Aerospace and Electronics

    Tiffany Tang, Crane Aerospace and Electronics, has been selected as the recipient of the 2024 Young Engineer-of-the-Year Award in recognition of her exceptional leadership as a Process Engineering Supervisor and her superb customer technical support, her mentorship of junior engineers and University of Washinton Capstone students, and her active engagement with the professional community.

    Upon graduation from the University of Washington, she started her professional career with Honeywell as a Systems Engineer working on Ground Proximity Warning Systems that enable commercial aviation to fly safely during poor weather and prevent crashes if pilots get disoriented. In 2021, she moved to Crane Aerospace and Electronics to become a Process Engineer focusing on the design of a new DC-DC converter for space applications. In 2022, she was promoted to Process Engineering Supervisor and leads a team working on multiple aerospace programs. She also is serving as the Capstone mentor for a Crane-sponsored University of Washington Senior Capstone project with two Chemical Engineering and two Materials Science and Engineering students.

    She is very active with two professional societies: Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Society for the Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE). She currently serves as the President of the SWE Pacific Northwest Chapter and 2nd Vice Chair of SAMPE Seattle. As the SWE Chapter President, she has worked to bring participation back to pre-pandemic engagement. She also has reached out and re-established relationships with local colleges and universities. As the SAMPE 2nd Vice President, she plans the monthly meetings and organized the Puget Sound Materials Expo that recently was held at the Museum of Flight.

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  • Professional Engineer of the Year 2024

    Chun C. Lau, P. E., S. E.

    Brown and Caldwell

    Chun C. Lau, P. E., S. E., Brown and Caldwell, has been selected as the recipient of the 2024 Professional Engineer-of-the-Year Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the engineering profession, his lifetime achievements in structural engineering on numerous major domestic and international projects, and his decade of service as a member of the Washington Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.

    He has over 37 years of engineering experience in the fields of structural renovation, seismic engineering, and structural design. He has an extensive portfolio of projects, both domestic and international. These include Lumen Field in Seattle, Harrison Memorial Hospital Expansion in Bremerton, ASB Office Tower in the Philippines, Boston Celtics Arena in Boston, and Alyeska Prince Hotel and Tram Terminals in Alaska.

    He has played an instrumental role in the advancement of structural engineering through his projects and his active engagement with professional organizations. He has served in multiple important roles with the Structural Engineering Association of Washington, the National Council of Structural Engineers Association, the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. In 2006, Governor Gregoire appointed him to the Washington Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. He served two 5-year terms including two years as Board Chair. Now retired, he serves as an adjunct faculty member at Seattle University educating future structural engineers.

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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.