ASCE has honored Jessica Kaminsky, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE, with the 2021 Daniel W. Halpin Award for Scholarship in Construction for her outstanding scholarship in construction engineering and management, through groundbreaking research in the pursuit of equity for vulnerable populations around the globe via the construction of socially sustainable civil infrastructure.
Kaminsky researches humanitarian infrastructure projects by blending the social and technical in pursuit of improved and locally appropriate engineering design and project performance. Specifically, she is significantly influencing how the construction of civil infrastructure projects provides infrastructure services to vulnerable populations. For example, her recent work links the provision of water and sanitation in schools worldwide to school attendance, showcasing the social importance of infrastructure construction. She has also researched how the construction industry was able to provide shelter, water, and sanitation infrastructure to displaced populations after the European refugee crisis in 2015. Even more recently, her NSF-funded research has explored the ways that the pandemic and social distancing impacted water infrastructure system performance, operation, and construction.
Kaminsky's peer-reviewed scholarly activity is outstanding, including 33 peer-reviewed journal articles, one book chapter, 23 conference proceedings, and an educational app. Some of her papers have been particularly recognized: the Editor's Choice Article in ASCE’s Journal of Construction Engineering and Management in 2020; the Editor's Choice Article in Construction Management and Economics, "The Fourth Pillar of Infrastructure Sustainability: Tailoring Civil Infrastructure to Social Context"; and best paper and poster awards at conferences. In 2019, she also received the Levitt Young Scholar Award based upon her work. She has also disseminated her research globally in other prestigious peer-reviewed journals, including Environmental Science and Technology. In sum, Kaminsky is a truly outstanding researcher and educator with novel contributions to theory and the field. She stands out as a leader who will continuously improve the field through her research contributions and create long-lasting positive impacts through her teaching and mentoring, and these will amplify her contributions to society.
The Daniel W. Halpin Award for Scholarship in Construction recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship that advances construction engineering as a science.