Academic Engineer of the Year

Last Modified: April 2, 2024
by Dave

Current Recipient

  • 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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Award Criteria

  • Has significantly advanced the state of the engineering art.
  • Has actively participated in interposing new technologies in society.
  • Has actively participated in improving the level and scope of engineering education.

Past Recipients

  • 2023 – Professor Pedro Arduino, Ph.D, University of Washington
  • 2022 – Professor Katherine G. Kuder, PhD, PE, Seattle University
  • 2020 – Professor Laura N Lowes, Ph.D, University of Washington
  • 2019 – Professor Jeffrey W. Berman, Ph. D., University of Washington
  • 2018 – Professor Marc O. Eberhard, , Ph.D., University of Washington
  • 2017 – Dr. H. David Stensel, P.E., University of Washington
  • 2016 – Dr. Elaine Scott, University of Washington Bothell
  • 2015 – Gregory Miller, Ph.D. – University of Washington
  • 2014 – Dorothy A. Reed, P.E., Ph.D. – University of Washington
  • 2013 – G. Scott Rutherford, Ph. D. – University of Washington
  • 2012 – Steven Kramer, Ph,D., P.E. – University of Washington
  • 2011 – Stephen Burges, P.E. – University of Washington
  • 2010 – Ronald E. Nece, ScD, P.E. – University of Washington
  • 2009 – Neil M. Hawkins, Ph.D., P.E. – University of Washington
  • 2008 – Robert D Holtz, Ph.D., P.E. – University of Washington
  • 2007 – Ann Mescher, Ph.D. – University of Washington
  • 2006 – Nirmala Ganapragasam, Ph.D, PE – Seattle University
  • 2005 – Amanie N. Abdelmessih, Ph.D – Saint Martin’s College
  • 2004 – Jean M. Jacoby, Ph.D – Seattle University
  • 2003 – Richard Storch, Ph.D, PE – University of Washington
  • 2002 – Charles W. Roeder, Ph.D, PE – University of Washington
  • 2001 – John E. Schaufelberger, Ph.D, PE – University of Washington
  • 2000 – Richard C. Collet, PE, Ph.D – University of Washington ret.
  • 1999 – R. T. Schwaegler, Ph.D – Seattle University
  • 1998 – D. Scott Eberhardt, Ph.D – University of Washington
  • 1997 – Juris Vagners, Ph.D – University of Washington
  • 1996 – Kelin J. Kuhn, Ph.D – University of Washington
  • 1995 – Barry I. Hyman, Ph.D – University of Washington
  • 1994 – Mamidala Ramulu, Ph.D – University of Washington
  • 1993 – Stephen B. Robel – Seattle University
  • 1992 – Jens E. Jorgenson, Ph.D – University of Washington
  • 1991 – Patricia Daniels, Ph.D – Seattle University
  • 1990 – Ashley F. Emery, Ph.D, PE – University of Washington
  • 1989 – Rolf Thorsten Skrinde, Ph.D, PE – Seattle University
  • 1988 – Ilhan A Aksay – University of Washington
  • 1987 – Fr. Francis P. Wood – Seattle University
  • 1986 – Piere Gehlen – Seattle University
  • 1985 – Harry Majors Jr. – Seattle University
  • 1982 – Creighton Depew, Ph.D, PE – University of Washington
  • 1981 – Edward Wenk, PE – University of Washington
  • 1980 – Albert Drui, PE – The Richardson Associates