Nomination Deadline: Extended to September 6, 2024

These individuals crafted engineering wonders that have contributed to the creation of thriving businesses and the local economies of the communities they serve. Lifetime recipients represent a model of achievement to which future generations of engineers aspire to match or exceed.

The OPAL leadership awards honor outstanding civil engineering leaders whose significant accomplishments contributed in 1 of 5 categories.

  1. Construction - for innovation and excellence in construction of civil engineering project and/or programs.
    Candidates for the award in Construction are senior level professionals whose primary responsibility is/was to oversee significant construction projects, and/or developed innovative solutions directly related to construction.
  2. Design - for innovation and excellence in civil engineering design.
    Candidates for the award in Design are for senior level professionals whose primary responsibility is/was to oversee the design of significant projects, and/or developed/incorporated innovative design solutions.
  3. Education - for demonstrated excellence in furthering civil engineering education.
    Candidates for the award in Education are professors or deans who have directed or changed the course of engineering education.
  4. Government - for demonstrated leadership of public sector projects and/or programs.
    Candidates for the award in Government are senior level professionals who work for a government or quasi-government entity whose primary responsibility is/was to direct, design, and/or oversee significant government civil engineering projects, and/or developed/incorporated innovative solutions.
  5. Management - for exceptional management skills in his/her professional career.
    Candidates for the award in Management are senior managers of an engineering organization, whose primary responsibility is to oversee and direct company operations.

Each Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) award recipient will receive a trophy at ASCE Convention.

2024 OPAL Award Winners

  • Construction: Cary Kopczynski, PE, SE, M.ASCE
  • Design:  James R. Harris, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, NAE, Dist.M.ASCE
  • Education: Bilal M. Ayyub, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE
  • Government: Roger M. Millar, Jr., P.E., FAICP, F.ASCE
  • Management: Robert Prieto, P.E., NAC, FCMAA, M.ASCE

View all past winners & videos


  1. The awards are given to model civil engineers who have demonstrated outstanding lifetime achievement, leadership, and a long-term commitment to excellence. The awards are not restricted to members of the Society.
  2. In that the election of ASCE Presidency is the highest office accorded, Past Presidents are not eligible for OPAL awards.
  3. A candidate must be living at the time of selection.  In the event a candidate passes away during the review process, the candidate's nomination package will be removed from consideration.  If the candidate is selected to receive the award and dies prior to presentation of the award, the candidate will receive the award posthumously.
  4. As many as five awards (one for each category) are made annually. The awards will be bestowed based on the lifetime accomplishments and achievements of the recipients. A person can only receive one OPAL in their lifetime.
  5. Names of candidates considered by the Society Awards Committee but not nominated for election will be reconsidered the following year. Individuals must be re-nominated after three years.

Nomination process

  • Include cover letter with a nomination form, curriculum vitae, and a minimum of two reference letters. The entire application package should not exceed 12 pages.
  • The candidate can only be nominated for consideration in a maximum of two (2) categories most closely aligned with their expertise.
  • Submit a complete nomination package electronically to the Honors and Awards Program office no later than June 1. 

You can submit your nomination electronically to [email protected],

Download OPAL nomination form (PDF)