Engineer of the Year Nominees
Every year nominees from local engineering professional societies are recognized and considered for the Alaska Engineer of the Year Award. These nominees are judged by representatives from each of the respective societies based on five main areas of consideration:
- Significant engineering contributions and experience
- Publications and professional presentations
- Active participation in professional organizations
- Other service to the professional community
- Service to the wider community
These areas highlight the values of the engineering profession to underscore the promotion of health, safety, and welfare of the general public through good design, by sharing knowledge, and by service to the profession and the community. Alaskan engineers make a world of difference. As last year’s Alaska Engineer of the Year, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to these nominees and have you join us in the celebration of the 2015 Alaska Engineer of the Year nominees and the professional societies they represent!
Patrick J Kemp, PE
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Alaska Section
The Alaska Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers nominated Patrick “Pat” J. Kemp, PE, M.ASCE, for the 2015 Engineer of the Year. Kemp began his engineering career as a college student in the 1970s and became an engineer with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) where he served in a succession of increasingly responsible engineering positions in construction and design. In 1993, Kemp was promoted to the Southeast Region Preconstruction Engineer position and served in that role until his retirement in 2007. Following retirement from the ADOT&PF, Kemp worked as an engineer for FHWA Alaska Region and also operated his own engineering consulting business in Southeast Alaska. Kemp is the first executive in ADOT&PF history that had risen through the ranks to become Commissioner. From the time of his appointment to Deputy Commissioner, Kemp molded the three Regions, the International Airports, the Alaska Marine Highway, and the Headquarters units of ADOT&PF into one highly functional and complementary organization. Kemp’s mantra, imprinted on all ADOT&PF employees, was that we are all “one DOT.” In 2012, Kemp was appointed Commissioner and led ADOT&PF to obligate over $1.5 billion in federally funded highway, aviation, and marine construction projects to improve transportation throughout the State of Alaska, complemented by over $100 million in state funded transportation improvements.
ASCE represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 177 countries. Founded in 1852, ASCE is the nation’s oldest engineering society.
Mark Langberg, PE, LEED AP
Alaska Society of Professional Engineers (ASPE) Anchorage Chapter
Mark Langberg, PE, LEED AP, is a principal mechanical engineer with AMC Engineers and has thirty years of Alaska engineering, project management, construction management, and commissioning experience. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University in 1985. Prior to joining AMC Engineers, Langberg spent more than four years working at the US Army Corps of Engineers Richardson Resident Office, overseeing construction of a wide range of Army and Air Force projects. He also worked for an Anchorage based multi-discipline design firm for four years.
Langberg has served as a Project Manager and Mechanical Engineer of Record for AMC Engineers for many challenging projects over his twenty-one years with the firm. Some notable projects include: University of Alaska Anchorage Alaska Airlines Center Sports Arena, Dimond High School replacement, Gateway Aquatic Center in Ketchikan, Bethel Aquatic Training and Health Center, University of Alaska Anchorage Health Science Building, and multi-phase Service High School renovation.
Langberg volunteers his time to teach Judo to children and adults at Anchorage Dojo and enjoys the outdoors with his wife and two dogs. He is a member of ASPE, ASHRAE, and A4LE (formerly CEFPI).
ASPE, as part of the larger National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), stands today as the only national organization committed to addressing the professional concerns of licensed PEs across all disciplines.
Jacquelyn Schirmer, PE
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Greatland Section
Bringing values from her Colorado mountain hometown of two thousand, Jacquelyn Schirmer’s accomplishments in engineering are a visible reflection of community spirit and teamwork. From her first engineering endeavors in rocket launch facility design to helping make our world a safer place through chemical nerve agent-destruction projects, she is currently the Operations Director for AECOM in Alaska and the Program Director for an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Services Program for ConocoPhillips. Schirmer has eighteen years of professional experience in the engineering, project management, and construction industries and received her bachelors of science in Mechanical Engineering, a Masters in Management and Organizational Leadership, and her professional engineering license in multiple states.
Schirmer has two daughters, Kylee (fourteen) and Jaidee (eight). Both have interest, like mom, in mechanical engineering and being a pilot.
Schirmer has an extreme passion for engaging young women and men into the engineering industry and has led numerous activities including an annual Girls Exploring Science, Engineering, & Technology Event; the SWE Mentor in Industry Program; and Girl Scout events. She is actively involved in motivational speaking and is on the University of Denver’s Advisory Board. She is proof that the strength from a small town community can build the strength to impact our world.
Founded in 1950, the SWE is a nonprofit educational service organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the engineering profession. SWE aims to encourage women into engineering and leadership, expand the image of engineering as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity. The Greatland section is the only professional section in Alaska, so members are spread across our great state. SWE Greatland is passionate about service and is active in engineering outreach events and partnering opportunities and continues to expand scholarship offerings each year.
Craig Fredeen, PE
Alaska Chapter of the American Society of Heating and Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
Craig Fredeen, PE, is Senior Mechanical Engineer with PDC, Inc. Engineers. Fredeen’s specialized design experience includes HVAC, plumbing, power generation, and fuel system designs. With nearly twenty years of experience, Fredeen has designed everything from single family homes in remote Alaska to the $120M Anchorage Airport renovation, in locations throughout Alaska and Antarctica. He is known for providing his clients dependable, innovative design solutions with a hyper-focus on reducing long-term operational costs through energy conservation, simplified design, and system maintainability.
Fredeen actively encourages students to embrace math and science through classroom presentations, career fairs, and helping to establish and grow the now statewide FIRST robotics programs. As a member of the Anchorage Downtown Rotary club, Fredeen is a regular math tutor at Central Middle School as part of the club’s 90% by 2020 program. On the civic side, he is currently the Vice Chair of the Anchorage Building Board and a past eight year member of the Alaska State Licensing Board for Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors. Fredeen splits his off-work time between family, home improvements, and restoring his 1946 Chevy truck.
ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration, and sustainability within the industry.
The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Alaska Chapter
Lindsey Hunter currently serves as Well Delivery Lead for ConocoPhillips in Anchorage where she leads a cross functional effort to improve efficiency in bringing wells on line after drilling operations. A lifelong Alaskan, she earned a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks prior to joining ConocoPhillips in 2006 where she started in the Western North Slope (Alpine) as a Drillsite Facility Engineer. Hunter has held engineering roles in several petroleum disciplines throughout her career including reservoir, production, facilities, and drilling. Leveraging her broad engineering experience, strong personal networks, and tenacity have been keys to her success in her Well Delivery position. Hunter is involved in university recruiting at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and enjoys spending time at her family cabin in Big Lake with her husband, soon to be two sons, and two dogs. Hunter is passionate about the importance of women in engineering, especially the energy sector; she supports this mission by recruiting new engineers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, mentoring interns, and speaking to young women in the community about careers in STEM. Hunter helps coordinate the “Trick or Treat in the Heat” fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House, Make a Wish Foundation, and Hospice of Anchorage. Her family has been involved in Salvation Army’s Adopt a Family Christmas program for the last twenty years.
SPE is the largest individual member organization serving managers, engineers, scientists, and other professionals worldwide in the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry. SPE Alaska chapter has the mission to collect, disseminate, and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas resources, and related technologies for the public benefit; and to provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competence.
Julie Mages, PE
Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), Anchorage Post
Julie Mages is Chief, Engineering Flight for the 611th Civil Engineer Squadron, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. As Chief since April 2015, she has been responsible for providing engineer support to twenty-one remote installations across the Pacific theater. Mages was a General Engineer and Project Manager at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station from 2013 to 2015, directing engineering design and investigations on facilities and property for substantial multi-phase new construction, renovation, and improvement projects. From 2010 to 2013, she was a Construction Management Engineer for NAVFAC Marianas in Santa Rita, Guam.
Mages honorably separated from the United States Air Force in 2010 after four years of service. She has earned several military awards including two Air Force Commendations Medals, an Air Force Achievement Medal, and selections as the Company Grade officer of the Year and the Air Mobility Command’s National Society of Professional Engineers “Federal Engineer of the Year Award” in 2008. Her civilian recognition includes the NAVFAC MARIANAS Engineer of the Year 2012 and the Pacific Air Forces’ Federal Engineer of the Year Award in 2015. Mages is an active member of the National Society of Professional Engineers and SAME. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University with a minor in Aerospace Studies and is a Professional Engineer (Colorado).
SAME grew from our nation’s experiences in World War I, when more than eleven thousand civilian engineers were called to duty as the United States entered “The War to End All Wars.” Upon their return, many feared the collective knowledge and the cooperation between the public and private sectors that proved vital to combat success would be lost. Industry and military leaders vowed to capitalize on the technical lessons and camaraderie shared during their battlefield experiences. The Anchorage Post of SAME was established in 1943.
Robert Eugene Kniefel
Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)
Bob Kniefel is a semi-retired forty-four year resident of Anchorage. He and his family all live in Anchorage: wife Claudia; son Scott and his wife Kathryn; and his daughter Darcy; along with eight grandchildren. Kniefel has been involved in civil engineering with a transportation focus for the entire time working in both the public government and private consulting sectors. His background includes traffic engineering work in operations, design and safety, transit efforts serving as the Public Transportation Director for ten years, and transportation planning work serving as the Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation System Manager.
When not working part-time for Kittelson and Associates, Inc. as a senior project engineer, Kniefel has enjoyed volunteering his famous cooking prowess providing the catering for the ITE Scholarship Wine and Beer Tasting and the Grandfamilies monthly respite brunch, along with lunch and dinner meals for the Anchorage Habitat for Humanity housing construction crews. At the request of the Municipality of Anchorage, Kniefel came out of semi-retirement for a six month period in 2015 to handle the Acting Anchorage Building Official duties. He worked to proceed with the implementation of the online building permit process improving communications and reducing permitting review times.
When not involved in the above activities, Kniefel plays at creating fused glass items and enjoys world travel with Claudia and spoiling his eight grandchildren.
ITE is a professional society of more than fifteen thousand transportation engineers, planners, and other professionals in some eighty countries. The Institute facilitates the application of technology and scientific principles to research, planning, functional design, implementation, operation, policy development and management for all modes of transportation.
Patrick Coullahan, PE, F.NSPE, F. SAME is the 2014 Alaska Engineer of the Year. He is retired from the US Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District.
This article first appeared in the February 2016 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly.