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Margaret Petersen Outstanding Woman of the Year Award
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Dr. Peggy A. Johnson, Ph.D., M.ASCE is the 2012 recipient of the EWRI's Margaret Petersen Outstanding Woman of the Year Award. The award was presented at the EWRI Annual Congress in Albuquerque, New Mexico in May 2012.
Dr. Johnson has had a long and varied career including many affiliations with ASCE, EWRI, government agencies and universities. One of her first positions was an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland. She was also fortunate to receive a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Graduate Research Fellow to work with Roy Trent and Sterling Jones at the FHWA Hydraulics Lab in McLean, Virginia. Dr. Johnson was fortunate in her early career to have such wonderful mentors, such as Roy, Sterling, Margaret, Steve Abt, and others, who helped her find her place in ASCE, introduced her to many other engineers and scientists, helped her to develop her ideas and collaborations, and supported her in many ways.
Dr. Johnson has been active with ASCE and EWRI throughout her career, serving on many committees in leadership roles. She was a control member of the first ASCE Bridge Scour Task Committee, Secretary of the Water Resources Engineering Division Executive Committee, Chair of the Task Committee on Processes in Unstable Channels, and Chair of the Council on Hydraulics and Waterways. She is currently the President-Elect of the EWRI Governing Board. Dr. Johnson will create positive change in technical matters, outreach, products, climate, and networking for our more than 25,000 members and associated students.
As a Civil Engineering professor, Dr. Johnson advanced through the ranks from Assistant to Full Professor, moving to Penn State as an Associate Professor in 1996. During these years, she worked hard to publish more than 50 peer-reviewed technical articles with her students in areas of hydraulic engineering. In 1992, she won the National Science Foundation Young Investigator award and in 1995, won the National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellow award. More than four years ago, she became the Head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Penn State. This is one of the largest Civil and Environmental programs in the country in terms of B.S. degrees. Through this position, she has tried to create positive change, through retention of women students and faculty in Civil and Environmental Engineering and developing mentoring relationships between alumni and students.
Dr. Peggy Johnson (left) and a mentee, Dr. Sue Niezgoda
Previous Award Recipients
2011: Dr. M. Katherine Banks
The Emerging and Innovative Technologies Committee (EITC) and the Education Council of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) annually invites applications for the Margaret Petersen Woman of the Year Award. The award was established in 2010 to honor the professional accomplishments of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Fellow Margaret Petersen, a female pioneer in hydraulics and water resources engineering. Ms. Petersen has maintained a long and distinguished history of committee leadership within ASCE and EWRI. Ms. Petersen worked for 35 years on various projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including a year on loan to the Special Engineering Division of the Panama Canal. During that period she served as a role model for other female water-resources professionals. Thereafter, she joined the University of Arizona Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics where she taught, served as a graduate advisor, and authored two books on water resources planning and on river engineering. She is the author of more than 100 reports and papers and has contributed to numerous publications.
Ms. Petersen’s commitment to the water resources profession and her active engagement with ASCE and EWRI serve as the founding principles for this award. A single award is presented annually at the annual World Environmental & Water Resources Congress. The award recipient is encouraged to 1) join EWRI if she is not already a member; 2) attend the EWRI World Environmental and Water Resources Congress to receive her award; 3) serve as ambassador for the award by promoting it at her university, engineering alumni group(s), and/or via her employer; and 4) is strongly encouraged to sponsor a female student to attend the conference and/or mentor a female student at a local university.
The Margaret Petersen Outstanding Woman of the Year Award is presented annually to a female member of ASCE and/or EWRI who has demonstrated exemplary service to the water resources and environmental community. Service may include EWRI leadership through council, standing, or task committee participation; university or industry excellence in the water resources, hydraulics, or environmental-related profession. The recipient must be a member of ASCE and/or EWRI.
Application packages are due by October 1 each year, and should include the following items:
• A third party letter of nomination
• A nominee’s personal statement (1000 word limit)
• Up to five letters of recommendation
• Curriculum vitae of nominee
The letter of nomination must include the nominee’s ASCE or EWRI membership number. Furthermore, the content of the package should explicitly support the nominee’s sustained record of EWRI leadership through EWRI council participation or standing or task committee participation and/or University or industry excellence in the water resources, hydraulics, or environmental-related profession. Package contents should also address the nominee's contributions as a mentor to female students or professionals. Complete applications received by the deadline will be reviewed by the Margaret Petersen Outstanding Woman of the Year Award Task Committee.
Electronic document submittals in .pdf format are preferred, and nomination packages should be emailed to:
Curt Elmore, Ph.D., P.E, Chair
Margaret Petersen Outstanding Woman of the Year Award Task Committee
Associate Professor of Geological Engineering
Missouri University of Science and Technology
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