Two engineers with ties to Villanova received awards from the Philadelphia Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at the organization’s annual Spring Social on May 15, 2008.
Andrea Welker, Ph.D., P.E., an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was cited as the 2008 Geotechnical Engineer of the Year. Alumnus Rodney Plourde, Ph.D., P.E. (BSCE ’66), was named the 2008 Philadelphia Civil Engineer of the Year, the Section's highest honor.
- A member of Villanova’s faculty since 1999, Dr. Welker teaches undergraduate and graduate courses ranging from geology to soil mechanics to foundation design. She believes that establishing a rapport with students is critical. "You can’t just know them academically; you have to know them personally. This is a core value of Villanova professors."
Dr. Welker is also the Associate Director of the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership. She enjoys being involved with this diverse organization, which “gives people who may not always be in partnership the chance to work toward the same goals.”
- Dr. Plourde is the president and chief operations officer of McMahon Associates, Inc., a transportation engineering and planning firm headquartered in Exton, PA. Before joining the firm in 1991, he practiced engineering in New England for 25 years, during which time he returned regularly to Villanova for alumni reunions.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my years at Villanova," Dr. Plourde, now the father of an alumnus, said. "The program was rigorous, but the professors were always willing to go the extra mile with you and to help you after class. Villanova will always be in my heart."
Each year, the Philadelphia Section of the ASCE honors individuals who have contributed significantly to the civil engineering profession in the Delaware Valley. The winners receive a plaque and are profiled in a slide presentation at the year-end dinner.