The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Board of Direction recently elected nine professionals as the Class of 2016 Distinguished Members. The society’s highest accolade, to date only 679 of ASCE’s 150,000 members worldwide have been elected to receive this honor since ASCE’s founding in 1852.

Distinguished membership is reserved for civil engineers who have attained distinction in some branch of engineering or in the related arts and sciences, including the fields of engineering education and construction.

“The Distinguished Members are exceptional leaders whose contributions to the profession and society are invaluable,” said Mark W. Woodson, president of ASCE. “They each demonstrate the importance of embracing excellence in civil engineering and set the standard for others in the profession.”

The Class of 2016 Distinguished Members include the following:

M. Hanif Chaudhry, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, is an internationally recognized pioneer in the application of modeling of hydraulic transients, both in closed conduit and open channel systems. Recognized for excellence in research, teaching, and academic leadership, his research is recognized as authoritative and widely quoted. He is currently associate dean at the College of Engineering and Computing at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.

Gary Y.K. Chock, S.E., D.CE, F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE, is an international leader in multi-hazard analysis and planning, honored for leadership in structural engineering practice, and tsunami, hurricane, and earthquake preparedness. He is the current chair of the ASCE 7 Subcommittee on Tsunami Loads and Effects where he has contributed heavily to ASCE 7-16 Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures chapter. He currently resides in Hawaii, where he is president at Martin & Chock, Inc.

Raymond “Paul” Giroux, Dist.M.ASCE, is a civil engineering historian and communicator to the public. He is recognized for significant leadership roles in anniversary celebrations of four major civil engineering accomplishments that enjoy icon status, including the Brooklyn Bridge’s 125th anniversary. He has contributed to the Big Dig in Boston, the Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore, and most recently the new Bay Bridge East Span between San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. He is currently senior estimating manager at Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. in Portland, Ore.

Kenneth C. Hover, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, is a renowned research expert on concrete materials. He has been honored for research on concrete properties and performance, particularly the freeze-thaw resistance of high-strength concrete and for educating and mentoring future structural engineers. He is currently a civil engineering professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where he was awarded the Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellowship, the highest teaching award.

Jay R. Lund, Ph.D., F.EWRI, Dist.M.ASCE, is chair of the Delta Independent Science Board, a standing board of prominent experts who evaluate the broad range of scientific programs that support adaptive management of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. He is recognized for contributions in the areas of reservoir management and operation, water demand management, and for incorporation of water markets into water resources systems. He currently resides in the Sacramento, Calif., area, where he is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Davis.

Patrick J. Natale, P.E., CAE, Dist.M.ASCE, is an internationally respected leader in the engineering profession. He is recognized for eminence in engineering management leading to public awareness of civil engineering, its contribution to society, and the need to safeguard our infrastructure. He served as ASCE’s executive director for 12 years, where his leadership efforts helped establish many successful projects such as The Vision for Civil Engineering 2025, several national Infrastructure Report Cards, and the Envision sustainability rating and certification system. He currently resides in Flemington, N.J., where he is a vice president with Mott MacDonald.

James A. Rispoli, P.E., NAC, Dist.M.ASCE, is a prominent leader in construction and infrastructure management. He has been honored for contributions to environmental and nuclear facilities operations and for leading the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management to adopt changes in construction project management. He served 27 years in the Navy, retiring as a captain in the Civil Engineer Corps. He currently resides in Raleigh, N.C., and serves as part-time senior executive advisor with PT&C.

Heinz G. Stefan, Dr.Ing., Dist.M.ASCE, is a world leader water resources and environmental engineering. He has been honored for introducing environmental considerations and solutions into hydraulic engineering in teaching and practice. His research helped launch the field of ecohydraulics. He is currently a professor emeritus with the University of Minnesota’s Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-engineering in Minneapolis, where he has worked for 44 years and mentored more than 100 graduate students.

Kenneth H. Stokoe II, Ph.D., P.E., NAE, Dist.M.ASCE, is an internationally known figure in the field of geotechnical engineering. He has been honored for extensive and innovative contributions to in situ and laboratory measurements of dynamic properties of soil and rock for geotechnical and earthquake engineering applications. He is the Jennie C. and Milton T. Graves chair in engineering at the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, where he currently serves as a professor.

Information provided by the American Society of Civil Engineers (