Meet the 2021 Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award for Professional Achievement honorees

ASCE has honored the 2021 winners of the Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award for Professional Achievement – who are Nestor J. Godinez, P.E., M.ASCE; Jesse T. Gormley, P.E., ENV SP, M.ASCE; Amit S. Joshi, P.E., M.ASCE; Carly A. Kaneko, P.E., ENV SP, M.ASCE; and Kevin F. McMullen, Ph.D., A.M.ASCEfor professional achievement in service to the advancement of the profession, evidence of technical competence, high character, and integrity, and contributions to public service outside their career.

Godinez has been a dedicated member of the ASCE Orange County Younger Member Forum for over seven years, having served in the prominent roles of past-president, president, president-elect, and both internal and external activities chair. He currently serves as the WRYMC 2021 Conference co-chair, having the huge responsibility of leading the planning and execution efforts of the virtual WRYMC 2021 and in-person WRYMC 2023. Some of Godinez’s greatest career highlights in ASCE OC YMF and the greater ASCE community include overseeing a 41-member board that hosted over 100 events during his presidency; reviving the PE Review as ASCE OC YMF’s largest revenue stream; planning 27 networking events and socials during his three-year term as internal activities chair; serving on the planning committees for all of the OC YMF’s hallmark programs including the Speakers Series, Pathways Academy, and mentorship programs; and hosting various events with other LA Section YMFs and external professional organizations. He has also enjoyed working with CYM as a corresponding member to help plan the preconference activities and a technical communications workshop for the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Younger Member Leadership Symposiums (YMLS). His track record of working with all ASCE OC YMF committees shows his commitment to ASCE’s purpose for “helping us matter more and enabling us to make a bigger difference.”

Gormley has demonstrated the ability to successfully assume project management assignments at increased levels of responsibility to a point where he is currently overseeing the substructure design for a major PennDOT project in the City of Philadelphia, that being the design and construction of a new waterfront park structure as part of the I-95 CAP project, at an estimated $225 million construction cost. This is one of PennDOT’s largest current projects. Gormley’s commitment to and enthusiasm for our civil engineering profession sets him apart from most of his contemporaries. In addition to his service to the profession, his service to community groups is also exceptional. He successfully led the Pennoni Annual United Way Corporate Campaign for two years. He also co-founded the ASCE Civil Engineering Club at the public Chester A. Arthur School in Philadelphia, which is currently in its ninth year. This club was among the first dozen clubs to be created in the United States, the only one in Pennsylvania, and was the first in the nation for middle school students.

Joshi, during his time within the ASCE Los Angeles Section, has been an active member and officer in both the Younger Member Forum and Branch. As a YMF officer he was responsible for a variety of K-12 outreach projects, with roles such as the Los Angeles Section Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition chair, Engineers Week lead for Girl Day at Caltrans, and Dream Big co-organizer. These activities provided youth with opportunities to learn about civil engineering outside a traditional classroom. Joshi has organized workshops (resume, mock interview) for universities within the Los Angeles area. He was also a founding chair for the Structural Engineering Institute Los Angeles Chapter.

Kaneko currently has the privilege of serving as the current president of the ASCE Hawaii Section Younger Member Forum. She has also served in a variety of other roles within the organization, including other officer positions, K-6 Outreach Committee co-chair, and as a committee chair on the WRYMC 2019 planning committee. In addition to serving the engineering community through ASCE, she also co-chairs a committee for the American Council of Engineering Companies of Hawaii and has filled various conference committee roles for the annual joint American Water Works Association and Hawaii Water Environment Association conference held locally. Kaneko was recognized in 2020 by the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies as the Young Engineer of the Year.

McMullen, during his young career, has already made a significant impact on the structural engineering field. His graduate research focused on the development of an efficient repair solution for deteriorated steel bridge beams using ultra-high-performance concrete. This innovative repair design has the potential to significantly reduce rehabilitation costs and traffic impacts. The method has been implemented in both Connecticut and Rhode Island with growing interest to standardize the repair method from the Federal Highway Administration and other state Departments of Transportation. McMullen is devoted to developing efficient and effective alternatives for conventional practices. He invented a method to embed force sensors into bridge bearings to measure bridge reaction forces, and he holds a patent for his invention, which could be used for bridge weigh-in-motion, structural health monitoring, or design validation. 

He works tirelessly to train and inspire his students. He is currently serving as the course director for a Mechanics of Materials class this semester. He is also leading a team of instructors to develop brand new content for a flipped version of the course to effectively deliver it to over 120 cadets during the COVID-19 pandemic. McMullen has been a truly influential member of ASCE, pursuing his goal to develop the next generation of civil engineering leaders.

The Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award for Professional Achievement is made to younger members of ASCE (35 years or under) who are judged to have attained significant professional achievements by the degree to which they have served to advance the profession; exhibited technical competence, high character, and integrity; developed improved member attitudes toward the profession; and contributed to public service outside their professional careers.

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