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Branch Members Awarded Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year

Branch Members Awarded Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year

Below are the profiles of 2020 Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year winners from ASCE branches across the state. These individuals were recognized during Engineers Week, which took place February 16-22, 2020. Don’t see an award recipient from your branch featured? Submit them to [email protected], and the Section will update this article.

El Paso Branch

Engineer of the Year Gilbert Mesa

Gilbert Mesa, Utility Manager for Fort Bliss Water Services Company, was awarded the ASCE El Paso Branch Engineer of the Year at the 2020 Engineers Week banquet. He manages the Water and Wastewater utility serving Fort Bliss including the Main Cantonment, Biggs Army Airfield among others. He oversees the overall management of engineering, operations and administrative staff responsible for the operation and maintenance of the water and wastewater systems, as well as the development and implementation of the capital improvement plan for the utility.

Young Engineer of the YearKimberly Labree PE

The 2020 ASCE El Paso Branch Young Engineer of the Year was Kimberly Labree PE, a graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Project Engineer for Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, Inc. Labry is a licensed PE with over 7 years of experience in the design of pipelines ranging from small distribution and collection lines, to large transmission mains. She actively volunteers in the El Paso community and has made presentation at various state conferences such as Texas Water and national conferences such as UESI Pipelines Conference.

Dallas Branch

Engineer of the Year – Edward M. Penton PE

Edward “Ed” M. Penton PE received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 2003 and a Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering in 2006, both from the University of Texas at Arlington.  He is a transportation engineer with over 18 years of experience in roadway related design including seventeen continuous years at Jacobs.  He has worked on several notable transportation projects in the metroplex including the Klyde Warren Deck Park, IH30 / SH360 Interchange, LBJ Express, and the IH820 / SH121 Interchange.

Ed has been active in ASCE since joining in 2002 as a student member and serving as the Newsletter Editor for the Student Chapter and participating on the Concrete Canoe build team. He has previously served in many roles in the Dallas Branch including Technical Director, Communications Director, and Webmaster.  During this time, he formed five Institute Chapters that are still thriving in the Branch today. He is currently the Vice President of the Dallas Branch. 

Ed has served as the Dallas Branch UTA Student Chapter Practitioner Advisor since 2014 and has been instrumental in providing guidance and encouragement to the students.  He also serves as the Advisor for the Tau Beta Pi – Texas Eta Chapter and was elevated to Honor Member for the UTA Chi Epsilon Chapter.  

Ed is also active in his neighborhood association and has served as President since 2013. In this role he has organized numerous community building events and meetings. Most importantly, Ed and his wife Michelle have been married for fourteen years and have two children, Edward (8) and Alexandra (3). They enjoy photographing various family gatherings and activities including visits to the Arboretum, the Zoo, and the park. Ed enjoys cooking for the family and has hosted weekly family dinners with his parents and siblings.

Young Engineer of the Year Phillip A. Alcorn

Phillip graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. He has over 12 years of schematic and PS&E experience in the civil design of roadways, retaining walls, rail, traffic, and drainage. He has worked on projects for TxDOT, Denton County, City of The Colony, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), the City of Arlington, and the City of Dallas to name a few. Phillip is a roadway project engineer in the Transportation Group at Jacobs and is currently on the design team for the Klyde Warren Park expansion project in Downtown Dallas – “Klyde Warren Park 2.0”.

Phillip has been active with the Dallas Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) since 2009.  Over the years, he’s served in various roles such as Newsletter Editor (2009-2010) and Webmaster (2010-2015). As Webmaster, the Dallas Branch won the Outstanding Large Section and Branch Website Award four times. Phillip is currently the Texas Section Director and Communications Chair of the Dallas Branch. In his free time, Phillip is an avid traveler and is always plotting his next adventure. Hiking, skiing, and cooking are a few of his favorite things when he’s not in the air.

Fort Worth Branch

Engineer of the Year – David Burkett PE

David Burkett PE was named the 2020 Engineer of the Year by the Fort Worth Chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE). Burkett obtained his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech University’s Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering in 2001. He became a licensed engineer in the State of Texas in 2007 and obtained licensure in Louisiana and Oklahoma in 2014 and 2016, respectively. He maintains licensure in all three states.

Burkett began his professional career at Carter & Burgess Transportation Group in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2002, working on a variety of TxDOT and municipal transportation projects. He accepted a position as a project engineer at Halff Associates in 2004. Burkett currently leads a transportation team in Halff’s Fort Worth office and has significant experience with roadway, drainage, water and wastewater design. He has managed large and small projects with great tenacity during his career, currently overseeing projects for the Texas Department of Transportation, County of Dallas, City of Grand Prairie and City of Richland Hills.

He served as the TSPE Fort Worth Chapter’s MATHCOUNTS coordinator for seven years and on the state MATHCOUNTS committee for six years, including acting as committee chair from 2012 to 2014.

Away from his profession, Burkett is an active Red Raider fan and a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan. He and his wife, Lauren, have two children: Nolan, 10; and Becca, 7.

Young Engineer of the YearAllison Stamper

Allison Stamper, has been named the 2020 Edmund Friedman Young Engineer of the Year by the Fort Worth Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). This award recognizes younger members of ASCE that exhibit outstanding contributions to the public welfare of the civil engineering profession.

Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Tarleton State University. She has been in the civil engineering profession for 4 years and is currently employed with Peloton Land Solutions. Peloton Land Solutions is a full service civil engineering firm that offers a range of planning, engineering, survey, hydrology and hydraulics, and environmental capabilities. Allison serves as a hydrologist in the firm’s Fort Worth office Hydraulics and Hydrology Group.

During her professional career, Allison has been involved with ASCE serving on several committees in the Fort Worth Branch. She currently serves as Social Media Chair, Younger Member Co-Chair, and Tarleton State Practitioner Advisor where she mentors the Tarleton State ASCE Student Chapter. Allison looks forward to continuing to help her branch grow and succeed. 

Away from work, Allison is a member of the Junior League of Fort Worth, where you can catch her “yellin’ and sellin’” rodeo programs at the Fort Worth Stock Show! As a part of her Junior League Member role, Allison volunteers with the Young Women’s Leadership Academy. She also volunteers at the Fort Worth ISD Breakthrough Fort Worth program, which ensures each student will gain the confidence and academic skills necessary to succeed in academically rigorous high schools through mock interviews, college readiness preparedness, essay writing help and so much more.

For leisure, Allison enjoys spending time with her husband-to-be, Emmanuel, their two cats, and her family. She currently does not remember what she likes to do with her weekends as they have been inundated with wedding planning.

Austin Branch

Engineer of the Year – Saul A. Nuccitelli II PE, CFM

Saul A. Nuccitelli II PE, CFM is a recognized leader in stormwater and civil engineering with over 27 years of experience and over 24 years in Austin, TX.  Saul is currently serving as Director of Flood Science and Community Assistance at the Texas Water Development Board.  In this role, he is responsible for the State NFIP Coordinator’s office, community assistance, grants, modeling, and mapping teams.  He is helping lead implementation of the first statewide flood plan for Texas with funding provided by the 2019 state legislature to create a more resilient Texas.

Saul previously served as the Chief Hydraulics Engineer for TxDOT’s 12,000-person agency.  In this role, he was responsible for statewide drainage policy, standards, training and research efforts.  He led development of new coastal hydraulic design guidance including assessment of sea level rise along the Texas coast for transportation projects.  His prior experience at the City of Austin included leading development of a new citywide drainage charge system and discount program, improving drainage criteria, and developing a stormwater asset management program.  His private consulting experience included drainage lead for multiple $1B+ design/build efforts, stormwater and Low Impact Development (LID) strategies and projects for communities, complex hydraulic modeling, design, and construction management efforts.

Saul earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.  In 2004, he was honored as the Young Engineer for the State of Texas by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). 

Saul was one of the original committee members who established the successful annual EWRI Austin workshop and helped lay the groundwork for development of the EWRI Austin chapter.  He served as President of the ASCE Austin Branch 2005-2006 and held various board and committee positions over the years, including with the ASCE Texas Section.  He served on several National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) panels investigating flood forecasting and highway hydraulic engineering.  He served on the AASHTO National Technical Committee on Hydrology & Hydraulics (TCHH) and was part of a statewide peer review team for the NOAA Atlas 14 Rainfall Study for Texas.

Saul lives in Austin with his wife Suzanne, a five-time Ironman athlete, personal trainer and wellness coach, along with their four wonderful children, Alexander and Joseph (both 16), Benjamin (13), and Amelia (11).

2020 New Faces in Civil Engineering Award – Anali Martinez Gonzalez EIT

Anali Martinez Gonzalez EIT designs water, wastewater and storm infrastructure for municipal and private projects with MWM DesignGroup. She is currently managing two water design projects for the City of Austin, Texas. She also has experience in roadway and traffic design, field engineering, water/wastewater, utilities and construction inspection.

Gonzalez serves as the Visibility Chair for ASCE’s Committee on Younger Members and is a member of the ASCE Texas Section/Austin Branch.

Houston Branch

Engineer of the Year – Steve Fitzgerald PE, D. WRE

Steve Fitzgerald PE, D. WRE is a part-time consultant after retiring from the Harris County Flood Control District. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and has a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

At the Harris County Flood Control District, Steve served as the first Capital Improvements Department manager, the first Chief Engineer, and as the Watershed Coordination Department Manager.

Young Engineer of the Year – Sarah Alvarez PE, CFM

Sarah Alvarez PE, CFM is a Project Manager for Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) Houston District Hydraulics Sections.

Sarah has been active with the ASCE Houston Branch since 2014, serving on the younger member committee, the board of direction, and as a committee chair with the Texas Section. She currently serves as the ASCE Houston Branch President-Elect. Sarah obtained her bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M University and her Masters from the University of Houston.

Outside of work and ASCE, Sarah enjoys spending her time playing soccer, biking the Bayous, and running.

Southeast Texas Branch

Engineer of the Year – Emile Dupre

Emile Dupre is a Manufacturing Technology Fellow working at Sabine River Operations in Orange, Texas as a mechanical engineer. He began his career with Dupont in 1995 as a Senior Engineer. Over the years has presented several technical papers at the Plastic Industry Association conferences and co-authored / consulted for technical papers presented at ASME PVP conferences. In 2019, he transitioned to Dow Chemical as part of the Dow / DuPont merger. This same year also became a Texas PE. Emile is a native of Louisiana and graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 1983 with a BSME. After college he served in the United States Air Force as an officer in Aeronautical Systems Division for 4 years. He received a Professional Engineering license in Louisiana in 1992.

Young Engineer of the Year – Heath Thompson PE

Heath Thompson is the Water Resources Manager for the Lower Neches Valley Authority. He is a professional engineer licensed in Texas and earned a BS in Physics and Masters in Civil Engineering.