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Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers – Pittsburgh Chapter to honor Pitt’s Gerald Holder with Distinguished Service Award

PITTSBURGH (January 16, 2018) … Recognizing his contributions to the engineering profession and his legacy in engineering education, the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers (PSPE) – Pittsburgh Chapter will present the University of Pittsburgh’s Gerald D. Holder with its Distinguished Service Award. Holder is the U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering and Distinguished Service Professor of Engineering at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, and will be presented with the award at the PSPE National Engineers’ Week Banquet, February 24, 2018 at the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania, downtown.

The annual award banquet honors outstanding people involved in engineering and exceptional projects in the Pittsburgh region. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual or individuals for outstanding contributions toward the improvement of the social, economic, and professional status of the Professional Engineer.

“The University of Pittsburgh’s engineering program is one of the oldest in the U.S., and Dean Holder has helped to establish its national and international reputation for excellence,” noted Scott Sukits, P.E., Pittsburgh Chapter President. “The Swanson School attracts exemplary students, outstanding researchers, and tens of millions of dollars in research funding to Pittsburgh. This growth could not have been possible without Jerry’s vision and the support of the University. PSPE is honored to recognize Dean Holder for his passion for engineering education and his dedication to the profession.”

About Gerald Holder

For the past two decades as U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, Gerald D. Holder overseen its growth as one of the top 25 public engineering programs.

Dean Holder earned his bachelor’s in chemistry from Kalamazoo College, and his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. His research focus area is the phase behavior of natural gases & petroleum with emphasis on natural gas hydrates. He joined the chemical engineering faculty at Columbia University in New York City in 1976 and served in that capacity until 1979, when he came to the University of Pittsburgh. He served as Chair of Chemical Engineering from 1987-95 and became Dean of Engineering in 1996. In these leadership roles, Dean Holder fostered the development of programs in bioengineering, polymers, environment and energy, manufacturing, and materials.

At Pitt, he has received awards for his research and teaching, including the School of Engineering Award for Outstanding Research and the Board of Visitors Faculty Award. His regional and national accomplishments include the William Metcalf Award for Lifetime Achievement in Engineering from the Engineering Society of Western Pennsylvania; Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities; and a General Motors Scholar.

To mark his 20th anniversary as Dean of the Swanson School, Provost Patricia Beeson presented him with a Distinguished Service Professor Medal that recognizes distinctive contributions and outstanding service (e.g., professional, regional, national, international) to the University community in support of its multifaceted teaching/research/service mission, as well as performance excellence and national stature in his discipline.  It is the highest recognition that the University awards.

About PSPE

PSPE is a non-profit organization devoted exclusively to the professional, educational and social interests of all engineers regardless of employment or technical discipline. Engineers exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity and their work has a vital impact on the quality of life for all people.  As a member of the larger NSPE, National Society of Professional Engineers, PSPE has the opportunity to further advance the practices and principles of the Professional Engineering profession.

About National Engineers’ Week
Engineers’ Week was founded in 1951 by NSPE and is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well‐educated future engineering workforce by increasing the understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. Engineers’ Week promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and technology literacy. It motivates youth to pursue engineering careers. Each year, Engineers’ Week reaches thousands of schools, businesses, and community groups across the United States.

Additional Award Winners

  • Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award – Beechwood Boulevard Bridge (Greenfield Bridge) Replacement Project
  • Dedicated Service Award – Reyman Branting, PE (Retired)
  • Silvio Lorenzi President’s Gold Star Award – David Teorsky
  • PSPE State Engineer-of-the-Year Award – Brian Schull, PE
  • Young Engineer of the Year Award – Angela Mayer, EIT, AM.ASCE

About the Banquet
Pitt Alumni Engineers, as well as faculty and students, are invited to attend the PSPE National Engineers' Week Banquet at 6:00 pm on Saturday, February 24, at the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania, 337 Fourth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.    Cost of the dinner is $60 per person if reservations are made by February 14, and $65 after February 14.  For information and for Online Registration & Payment visit here


Contact: Paul Kovach