Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Since 1974, the Department has recognized 26 alumni to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. The recipients are:

Edmund W. Allen
Ross Anderson
Grant K. Borg
Carlos M. Braceras
Arthur Parry Brown
John Call
Hal Clyde
David Eckhoff
Ethyl Ann Hansen
Paul Hirst
Earl Holding
Ted Jacobsen
Mack Kesler
Alan Layton, Sr.
Blaine D. Leonard
Francis Mayo
James McMinimee
Floyd Meldrum
Larry Milner
John Njord
James (Jim) Nordquist
Robert Okey
Lawrence (Larry) Reaveley
Ronald (Ron) Reaveley
Kimberley Robinson
Harry M. Willamson

To find a short biography on the recipients please click their name above.

Edmund W. Allen

Edmund Allen

Graduation: BS 1952
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2013
Edmund W. Allen, P.E., S.E. graduated with a BS degree in civil engineering from the University of Utah in 1952. He practiced as a consulting structural engineer in the State of Utah for many years. His firm designed many prominent buildings throughout Utah including the Matheson Court House and the “base isolation” of the Salt Lake City and County Building. This was the first of its kind in the United Sates. Mr. Allen has always conducted his business and his life at the highest ethical level. He is fair, honest and a great structural engineer. He served as President of the Structural Engineers Association of Utah during his career.

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Ross Anderson

Graduation: BS 1961
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2012
Employment: AAA Engineering & Drafting
Affiliations:
American Society of Civil Engineers

Volunteering:
Harvard Business School Club of Utah, Past President
Phi Kappa Alpha, Past Fraternity President & Endowment Fund Trustee
Provo River Water Users Association, Board of Directors
Rotary Club of Salt Lake, Past President
U of U Alumni Board of Directors
Civil Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, Past Chair
College of Engineering National Advisory Council
U of U Hospital and Clinics Board
Utah Museum of Natural History Board of Directors, Chair

Awards:
University of Utah Alumni Association Merit of Honor, 2001
Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Fraternity Alumni Award, 2008

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Grant K. Borg, P.E.

Graduation: BS 1937; MS 1949
Received Distinguished Alumni: 1975
Employment:
1937-41: East Jordan Irrigation Company
1941-46: Army, Rank of Lt. Colonel; Based in Italy
1946-48: Private Engineering Firm
1948-76: University of Utah, Civil Engineering:
48-50 Instructor
50-53 Assistant Professor
53-57 Associate Professor
54-58 Director of the Water & Sewage Works School
56-65 Professor/Chair
66-76 Professor
52-53 & 69-70 Acting Chair
73 Sabbatical
76- Death Emeritus

Professional Affiliations:
Tau Beta Pi, Chi Epsilon, Utah Society of Professional Engineering, ASCE- 1955 President of Intermountain Chapter & Student Chapter Adviser while at the University of Utah, Phi Kappa Phi, American Society of Engineering Education, American Public Health, Sanitary Engineering, Utah Public Health- President for a year, Utah Water Pollution Control Board, Utah Engineering Council, Utah Vocational Guidance Chair for Engineering Council, American Society of Military Engineers, National Council of state Examiners

Volunteering:
Survey of Higher Education in Ethiopia: November 1959- February 1960; Chair of the Utah State Water Pollution Committee; Governors Advisory Committee; Assisted Boy Scouts of America with various projects.

Honors and Awards:
1962, Outstanding Teacher, University of Utah
1971, Outstanding Engineer for Community Service, Utah Engineers Council
1976, Outstanding Service for the State of Utah, Utah Engineers Council
1968-70, Director of National Council of Engineering Examiners
Decorated with the Legion of Merit for service with the US Army in Italy
Cross of Valor by the Italian Government for service in Italy.

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Carlos M. Braceras

carlos

Carlos M. Braceras received a bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Vermont and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Utah. Braceras was appointed executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation in 2013. In this capacity, he is responsible for more than 1,600 employees and the design, construction, and maintenance of Utah’s 6,000-mile system of roads and highways. He has recently launched a redefining of the Department’s goals and mission and has overseen the completion of several massive highway projects like the Utah County I-15 Corridor Expansion (I-15 CORE) and the Mountain View Corridor in west Salt Lake County. Both projects used innovative contracting methods that allowed each to be completed in record time.

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John Call

Graduation: BS 1950
Received Distinguished Alumni: 1974
Employment: John Call Engineering, Water and Wastewater Engineering

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Hal Clyde

Hal Clyde

Graduation: BS 1950
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2011
Employment: W. W. Clyde
Favorite Project:
Among the most memorable were the two structural steel arch bridges on Highway 95 over the Colorado River and the Dirty Devil River between Hanksville and Blanding at Hite, Utah. The settings were unique and preceded Lake Powell. These bridges and the subsequent highway opened the otherwise unaccessible terrain to travelers.

Professional Affiliations:
Hal served as chairman of the civil engineering Advisory Board when the department was challenged with internal conflict and even outside attempts to do away with civil engineering in the College of Engineering. But with the work of David Pershing, Larry Reaveley, Earl Holding, Allan Layton
and others, the advisory group prevailed and today the department is thriving.

Volunteering:
Community service has been significant and various in Hal’s life. In his home town, he was president of the Springville Art Museum board and chair of the Library board. He was president of the Associated General Contractors of Utah, He served on a committee to plan, finance and construct the Matheson Court House in Salt Lake City and received an Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) award from the Utah Judicial Council. He served on the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) Commission for 12 years. He has served the LDS church in Springville and as bishop of two BYU wards in Provo.

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Dave Eckhoff, P.E.

Received Distinguished Alumni: 2012
Employment:
PSOMAS, 2003-2009
Eckhoff Watson & Preator Engineering, 1977-1997
University of Utah- Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, 1977-1979
Engineering-Science, Inc, 1966-1971
Caltrans, 1958-1962

Favorite Project:
Great Salt Lake West Desert Pumping Project, Utah Division of Water Resources
Utah Olympic Park Design

Affiliations:
American Water Works Association
American Society of Civil Engineers, President-Elect
American Water Resources Association, Past President

Volunteering:
Civil Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, Past Chair
Civil Engineering Alumni Society, Founder
Utah Drinking Water Board, 1980-1995
Board of Governors, Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, 1989-1994
Environmental Quality Advisory Commission, Salt Lake City-County Health Department, 1990-1993
Environmental Advisory Committee, Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee, 1994-1991
Envision Utah, 1998-2001
Board of Directors, Crimson Club, University of Utah, 1998-2001

Awards:
Engineer of the Year, Utah Engineers Council, 1991

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Ethyl Ann Hansen, P.E.

Ann Hansen

Graduation: BS 1951
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2011
Employment:
Ann had a long and distinguished career with Caltrans in California. She served as Deputy District Director, District 4 where she was responsible for state highway design activities for Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties, for administration of the District’s annual $30 million engineering consulting pro-gram and for Planning and Public Transportation for one year. She served for 8 years as Deputy District Director for Operations, and also served as District Design Coordinator.

Favorite Profession Change:
Ann has thought that it has been interesting to see how the profession has changed and moved toward including environmental planning.

Professional Affiliations:
Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)

Honors and Awards:
First Woman Graduate from the CE Department
First Woman Graduate from the University of California, Berkley (Masters Degree)
1990 Transportation Achievement Award from ITE
First Woman Engineer in California to receive her Professional Engineers License
Honorary Member of ITE

Words of Wisdom:
Find some mentor(s) and work with them closely.

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Paul Hirst, P.E.

Graduation: BS 1974
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2012
Employment: Caldwell Richards Sorensen (CRS), President
Favorite Project: Liberty Park Lake

Affiliations:
American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC), Past President
American Public Works Association, Past President

Volunteering:
Rotary International
Peer Review Committee for ACEC
Civil Engineering Industrial Advisory Board
College of Engineering National Advisory Board
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers- A/E Liaison Committee

Meldrum Civil Engineering Building

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Earl Holding

Earl Holding

Graduation: BS 1951
Received Distinguished Alumni: 1978
Employment:
Started out by operating a gas station & small hotel: bought out employer
1965: Built the Little America Hotel in Wyoming
1972: Bought Little America Hotel in Salt Lake and built one in Flagstaff, AZ
1976: Bought Westgate Hotel and Sinclair Oil (owned the largest refinery in the West)
Owner of Sun Valley Ski Resort and Snowbasin Ski Resort

Volunteering:
Helped Salt Lake City in the bid for the 2002 Olympics

Honors and Awards:
Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship. The award is given to leaders in the business sector who, by their examples and business practices, have shown a concern for societal matters beyond the bottom line & have a commitment to scholarship, public discourse, and the promotion of knowledge in the US & around the world.

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Ted Jacobsen

Ted Jacobsen

Graduation: BS 1965
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2011
Employment:
Jacobsen Construction Company:
1974-1996- President
1996-2005- Chairman

Significant Jacobsen Projects Overseen:
The 24 story One Utah Center (with the pyramidal, copper-colored roof);
The restoration and seismic upgrade of the Salt Lake City and County Building, the Utah State Capitol, and the Salt Lake Tabernacle;
The National Wildlife Art Museum in Jackson, Wyoming;
The Grand America Hotel (in a joint venture with Okland Construction);
Numerous LDS temples and chapels;
The LDS Conference Center (in a joint venture with Okland and Layton Construction);
The Huntsman Special Events Center and Warnock Engineering Building at the University of Utah.

Volunteering:
Chairman of the Civil Engineering Advisory Board
President of the Springville Arts Museum
Chair of the library Board
President of the Associated General Contractors of Utah
Served on the committee to plan, finance and construct the Matheson Court House
Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) Commission
LDS Church Bishop

Awards:
Amicus Curiae (friend of the Court) Award

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Mack Kesler

Received Distinguished Alumni: 2014Mack web 150x200

Mack joined the Univer­sity of Utah faculty in 1940 work­ing as a professor and coun­selor until he retired in 1985. He contracted polio at the age of two, which made his right leg useless. He was an excellent athlete, despite his having to use crutches while growing up. He later had his weak leg amputated and replaced with an artificial limb, so he could walk with only the use of a cane. His autobiography tells his experiences and perceptions of life due to his limitations. The Mack S. Kesler papers (1911-1988) consists of a 92 page booklet with biographi­cal information about his parents, letters written by family and friends and an addendum written by one of his sons. The real impact came from the number of U of U students who were taught and influenced by him.

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Alan Layton, Sr.

Alan Layton

Attended the University of Utah: 1937-1941 (12 credits shy of a BS degree)
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2011
Employment:
Bureau of Reclamation, Design and Construction Division
Layton Construction, Founder
1953-79: President
1979-1981: CEO
1981: Retired

Professional Affiliations:
Beta Theta Pi, Associated General Contractors

Awards:
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Lifetime Achievement Award, College of Engineering
1999: Honorary Masters of Civil Engineering

Other Information:
1937-1941: Played basketball for the Runnin’ Utes

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Blaine D. Leonard

Blaine Leonard

Graduation: BS ‘81 MS
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2013
Blain Leonard has been involved in ASCE since 1981, and has served as the Zone IV Vice President, a Governor of the Geo Institute, President of the Utah Section, and more recently chaired the Task Committee to Achieve the Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025. Mr. Leonard is employed by the Utah Department of Transportation in Salt Lake City, where he is the Program Manager for Intelligent Transportation Systems. He is responsible for identifying and deploying a variety of transportation management systems on projects throughout the state and helping define the role for new technologies and systems.

Prior to joining the Department, Blaine spent 20 years in the consulting engineering business, with broad experience in site engineering, utilities, roads, geotechnical investigations, and earth dams, and was a partner in a Salt Lake City engineering firm.

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Francis Mayo

Francis Mayo

Graduation: BS 1950
Received Distinguished Alumni: 1977
Employment:
14 years at the state State Engineering Office
23 years at the Environmental Protection Agency (and predecessor agencies—Public Health, Water Quality Administration):
~Enforcement Director for the San Francisco Office
~Agency Planning Director in Washington, D.C.
~Regional Administrator for Region 5 (Midwest)

Favorite Project:
Director of the Municipal and Environmental Research Center in Cincinnati, OH. He was able to award over 1/2 billion dollars of funding each year to local cities.

Volunteering:
Sandy Rotary Club (President for 2 years), Church Assignments

Words of Wisdom:
Be Flexible.

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James McMinimee

James McMinimee

Graduation: BS 1986
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2013
Jim McMinimee served as chief engineer and director of project development for the Utah Department of Transportation, where he worked for 25 years. Throughout his career with UDOT, he served in leadership roles in maintenance, operations, and project development. Jim led the successful implementation of many initiatives for UDOT in performance management, innovative contracting, partnering, maintenance management, traffic operations, design, software development, Olympic operations, and project management. He also helped UDOT pioneer the use of construction manager general contracting on highway projects, and oversaw the technical expertise and process for several methods of accelerating program delivery. He later worked with AASHTO, providing them and the state transportation departments with technical and program support in the implementation of products from the SHRP2 research program.

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Floyd Meldrum

Floyd Meldrum

Graduation: BS 1962
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2011
Employment:
Whiting Brothers
Southern Nevada & Paving, owner until 2003

Favorite Project:
My favorite project was one at Area 51 at the Nevada test site where the runway was enlarged and paved and related infrastructure work was performed. This work occurred during the spring and summer of 1967. At the conclusion of this project I bought out the other partners in the business.

Awards:
2003 Contractor of the Year by the Las Vegas Nevada Contractors Association

Volunteering:
School: ASCE Chapter President
Professional: Donations to the University in funding an Undergraduate Scholarship, Department Building & Engineering Management Course (Project Management and Contract Administration).

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John Njord, P.E.

Graduation: BS 1988
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2012
Employment:
Utah Department of Transportation:
Executive Director, 2001- Present
Deputy Director, 2000-2001
Director of Olympic Transportation Planning, 1998-2000
Engineer for Urban Planning, 1995-1998
Local Governments Liaison Engineer, 1992-1995
Field Engineer, 1988-1992

Affiliations:
American Association of State highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Transportation Research Board (TRB) Executive Committee

Volunteering:
American Association of State highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) President, 2003-2004;
Board of Directors, Currently Serving
Connected Vehicle Executive Leadership Team, Chair 2005- Present
Transportation Research Board (TRB) Executive Committee Chair, 2005
Oversight Committee for Strategic Highway Research Program (SHPR2)

Awards:
Public Relations Society of America’s Utah Communicator of the Year, 2002

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Jim Nordquist, P.E.

Graduation: BS 1977
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2012
Employment: Applied Geotechnical Engineering Consultants, Inc. (AGEC), Founder & President
Favorite Project:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Conference Center

Volunteering:
Civil Engineering Industrial Advisory Board

Awards:
Best of State for Civil Engineering, 2010

Words of Wisdom:
“Do it right and know for sure that it is done right”

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Robert Okey, P.E.

Received Distinguished Alumni: 2014Okey-web-image-150x200

Robert joined the University of Utah in 1982 as an adjunct instructor; he moved to a research associ­ate professor and was an Adjunct Profes­sor until he retired in 1999 when he received Emeritus Professor. While at the University of Utah he taught a wide variety of courses within the Department but he loved to teach within the water and the environ­mental area. Dr. Okey was a dedi­cated researcher having over 100 publications and presentations on his research. He also served on many student committees throughout his tenure. While in Salt Lake City Dr. Okey worked for EIMCO and had his own process consulting firm. He was very active within the engineer­ing and environmental community by serving as a diplomat for the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and was a registered pro­fessional engineer in 11 states.

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Lawrence (Larry) Reaveley, PE

Larry Reaveley

Graduation: BS 1963, MS 1964
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2011
Employment:
Industry:
1959-62: Intern, Precast/material Division, Utah Sand & Gravel
1963-64: Materials Engineers, UDOT
1964-67: Structural Design Engineer, J.F. Patrick Structural Consulting Engineers
1971-73: Chief Engineer and Manager, Construction Division, Davidson Lumber Sales
1974- Present: Consultant, Reaveley Engineers and Associates

Academic:
1967-70: Research Assistant, University of New Mexico, Eric C. Wang Civil Engineering Research Facility, Albuquerque, NM
1970-72: Visiting Assistant Professor, CvEEN, University of Utah
1975-93: Adjunct Professor (various rank and intervals), CvEEN, University of Utah
1993-06: Professor and Chair, CvEEN, University of Utah
2006- Present: Professor, CvEEN, University of Utah

Volunteering:
Chairman of numerous committees (University, State, and National); Member of the Historic Preservation Sub-Committee of the Utah State Capitol Preservation Board; Founding Member of SEAU of Utah; Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Utah Geological Survey, 1989-1991; 25 years of service on the ASCE Loads Standard Committee – And 11 years of service as a member of the Board of Directors of the Applied Technology Council ( one term as President).

Honors and Awards:
1997 Engineering Educator of the Year, Utah Engineers Council; 1989 Engineer of the Year, Utah Engineers Council (only person to have won both awards); 1996 Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology; 1988 Special Award for Implementation Action, National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, USGS & FEMA; 1998 American Concrete Institute’s National Structural Engineering Awarded (“Historic Hotel Utah Remodel and Seismic Upgrade”. Special Publication 160, Seismic Rehabilitation of Concrete Structures, 1996.); Applied Technology Council’s Premier Award- the ATC Award for Excellence for extraordinary achievements in seismic rehabilitation of buildings; Outstanding Service Award, College of Engineering.

Words of Wisdom:
Work hard and believe in yourself. You can do much more that you have ever imagined.

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Ronald Reaveley, P.E.

Graduation: BS: 1964; MS 1971
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2012
Employment: Founder and President Emeritus of Reaveley Engineers & Associates
Favorite Project:

Affiliations:
American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC), President & National Director
Structural Engineers Association of Utah, Founding Member
American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)
Coalition of American Structural Engineers (CASE), Founding Members
Structural Engineering Risk Management Council (SERMC), Founding Vice President

Volunteering:
Peer Reviewer for ACEC
Peer Reviewer for SERMC
Civil Engineering Industrial Advisory Board

Awards:
Personal Awards:
Engineer of the Year from the Utah Engineers Council, 2001

Company Awards:
Best of State- Structural Engineering Medal, 2003-2010
Best of State- Science and Technology Statue, 2008
Best Firm to work for in the Structural Engineer Magazine, 2008- Honorable Mention, 2009 Ranked 14th, 2009 Ranked 7th in the Small Firm Category, 2010 Honorable Mention

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Kimberley Robinson

Robinson-71-revised-web

Graduation: BS 1995
Received Distinguished Alumni: 2014

Kimberley is the Chief Engineer at Star Seismic, supervis­ing their engineering department. During her time with Star Seismic she has been involved with hundreds of structural proj­ects; including hospitals, high rise structures and complicated indus­trial projects. Prior to Star Seismic, she was the Northwest Regional Engineer for the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), where she served as a resource to the engineering community. Kimberley graduated first in her Civil Engineer­ing class from the University of Utah in 1995, where she received the prestigious “Graduating Senior Stu­dent Leadership Award.” Kimberly is considered one of the foremost experts in seismic design in the United States. During her 18 year career, she has published numerous articles in several national engineer­ing publications.

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Harry M. Willamson

Graduation: BS 1936
Received Distinguished Alumni: 1976
Employment:
40+ Years: Southern Pacific Transportation Company (Retired 1975), Positions held:
Roadmaster
Division Engineer
Chief Engineer-System (15 years)
Self Employed Railroad Engineering Consultant

Professional Affiliations:
ASCE (Fellow), Roadmasters’ Association, Bridge and Building Association, American Railway Engineering Association ( 1970- President)

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