ASCE has honored Emmanuel C. Battad “Cris” Liban, P.E., F.ASCE, with the 2022 Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research as a world-renowned leader in sustainability who tackles emerging and timely issues on social equity, resilience, sustainability and climate, climate change impacts, greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies, life-cycle and cost framework, and sustainable transport funding and financing.

For over 17 years, Liban has developed a holistic environmental, sustainability, and resiliency program designed to cost-neutrally, climate-safely proof up to $140 billion in capital programs relative to the expansion of transit in Los Angeles County, the 16th largest economy in the world. He currently manages a team of 19 full-time Metro staff and at any given moment oversees an approximately 100-150 part-time to full-time consultant team working on 149 simultaneous projects that address all aspects of Metro environmental compliance and sustainability programs. He currently acts as the executive point of contact on issues of environment and sustainability, and interfaces with the general public and all appointed and elected officials at all levels (tribal, local, state, federal) of government. He develops the annual budget and strategic plan to achieve agency goals while ensuring equitable and inclusive participation by all parties.

Liban grew the ECSD department from a staff of four within an annual budget of approximately $4.5 million to the most comprehensive environmental program in the country (at least the transportation industry), with ~$250 million in sustainability capital backlog, approximately $100 million in generated revenues since 2017, and having been a net-zero cost L.A. Metro business unit since FY18. The forecast is for approximately $1.2 billion in potential revenues in development with a ~$450 million in cost savings projected over 30 years from environmental and sustainability monetized benefits. Liban’s focus areas include policy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, resiliency, energy, and energy efficient management (including renewable energy projects), water and water conservation, revenue generation, infrastructure funding and financing, training, environmental clearance and mitigation, environmental compliance, stakeholder engagement, and social sustainability initiatives.

The Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research was established in 1996 and is named in honor of Henry L. Michel, past chair of the Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERF) Board of Directors. The award recognizes leaders of the design and construction industry whose dedication and aggressive vision for the industry have provided the cornerstones for improving the quality of people’s lives around the world through research in the design and construction industry. It was instituted as a Society Award on December 17, 2008.