A Few Good Men: ASCE Recognizes 5 for Outstanding Projects and Leadership (OPAL) Awards

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) announced its 2021 recipients of the Society’s Outstanding Projects and Leadership (OPAL) awards, recognizing lifetime achievement in five categories: construction, design, education, government and management. These individuals have furthered the civil engineering profession and improved local communities by contributing to thriving local economies and superb educational influence.

“These civil engineering leaders and projects represent the best of the engineering community and American excellence,” said Jean-Louis Briaud, Ph.D., P.E., President, ASCE. “Our OPAL recipients are an inspiration to the next generation of engineers. Congratulations to all for receiving these honors.”

The 2021 OPAL leadership award recipients are as follows:

  • Construction – Jesus M. de la Garza, Ph.D., Dist.M.ASCE, NAC is a professor and chair of the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University and has been selected for innovation and excellence in construction of civil engineering projects and programs. He is widely recognized as a leading educator in project control and construction management, and more recently in construction safety. His work has led to increased understanding of the fundamental issues within project controls and with jobsite safety incidents. This knowledge provides a foundation for future research and education for improved project performance.
  • Design – James L. Barnard, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, Dist.M.ASCE is a global project and technology leader for Black and Veatch Consulting Engineers and has been selected for innovation and excellence in civil engineering design. Barnard has been recognized worldwide as playing a key role in preserving the environment. His introduction of biological nutrient removal (BNR) has contributed tremendously to the protection and conservation of water resources for present and future generations. His passion for more environmentally friendly solutions and willingness to share information through papers, lectures, studies and conferences has led to the implementation of this technology worldwide, which exemplifies further his dedication to preserving the environment.
  • Education – Vijay P. Singh, Ph.D., D.Sc., P.E., Hon.D.AWRE, F.ERI, Dist.M.ACSE is a distinguished Professor, a Regents Professor and Caroline & William N. Lehrer Distinguished Chair in Water Engineering at Texas A&M University and has been selected for demonstrating excellence in furthering civil engineering education, particularly in the hydrologic and hydraulic engineering field. These contributions are seen in his several books, handbooks and over 1,340 refereed publications. He has made exceptional contributions to advance civil engineering through designing and teaching new innovative courses, mentoring numerous graduate students and is recognized as one of the top 1% of cited researchers in his field. He has also founded a school in his native village in India that offers primary, secondary and higher education.
  • Government – Sreenivas Alampalli, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE recently retired as director of the Structure Management Bureau at the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and has been selected for demonstrated leadership of public sector projects and programs. Alampalli is a leader in bridge asset management, which has proved essential for statewide structural preservation, safety and performance measures. He also facilitated the movement of NYSDOT from state-specific inspection program to the AASHTO-element national system, which allows the agency to better manage assets. Alampalli is passionate about bridging the gap between state-of-the-art and state-of-the-practice and has built successful collaborations with industry, academia, professional organizations, and government agencies in technology transfer efforts.
  • Management – Terry F. Neimeyer, P.E., ENV SP, BCEE, F.ASCE is chairman of the board for KCI and has been selected for exceptional management skills in his professional career. Neimeyer has led award-winning projects that have improved the sustainability and resilience of many environmentally sensitive areas. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI), serving as its chair.


Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation’s infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit or and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRe

Editor's Note:

More and more as our markets converge, we continually recognize that without infrastructure, everything we do in construction in the built environment couldn’t take place. KB-Resource salutes these leaders who stand above the other distinguished individuals playing a vital role in maintaining our world. From everyone here, thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>