Bernard Amadei, engineering professor at my alma mater, the University of Colorado-Boulder, was slowing down late last year to teach and write more after seven hectic years of trying to build the group he founded, Engineers Without Borders-USA. Then ENR called to tell him he was the 2009 Award of Excellence winner. But Amadei, his family, CU colleagues and industry associates were excited and gracious in allowing us to report his story and that of EWB-USA participants.

Rubin’s interviewing started at CU with Amadei.
Photo: Michael Goodman / ENR
Rubin’s interviewing started at CU with Amadei.
ENR takes home four Neals.
ENR takes home four Neals.

Editor-at-Large Debra K. Rubin has covered education for ENR for years and wrote about EWB-USA in the past, but she had never crossed paths with Amadei. “But the breadth and impact of his accomplishment in visioning and supporting this organization can’t be missed,” she says. Photos by Michael Goodman and videography by filmmaker Great Projects further enhance the EWB-USA story.

Rubin did some 50 face-to-face, phone and e-mail interviews for the story. She was amazed by the high level of student enthusiasm for Amadei’s impassioned speeches and by the respect and gratitude of his closest associates. Larry Roth, deputy executive director of the American Society of Civil Engineers, EWB-USA’s new partner, called him “the most remarkable person you’ve ever honored.”

Marissa Jablonski, a grad student in Wisconsin, was actually grateful to answer Rubin’s questions. “It is a joy to think so deeply about a group that I work with on a daily basis,” she said.

As we congratulate Bernard Amadei and our 24 Newsmakers on their awards, I’m also proud to tell you that ENR and our sister publications at The McGraw-Hill Cos. on March 19 were honored with a number of Jesse H. Neal awards, the Pulitzer Prizes of business journalism, from American Business Media. Rubin was among the award-winning editors.

ENR received four Neal awards including Best Single Article for “Higher Learning” (ENR 11/10/08); Best Series, for “Extreme Construction,” which appeared in four issues last year; Best News Coverage, for our continuing coverage of last year’s tragic series of crane accidents, and for Best Use of Video. ENR’s Midwest bureau chief, Tudor Van Hampton, also won the McAllister Fellowship to teach at Northwestern University, a prize awarded to a distinguished Neal finalist.

McGraw-Hill Construction Editorial Director Robert Ivy won the Crain Award for lifetime achievement. And our sister publications Architectural Record and Aviation Week also won additional Neals for both print and online work.

Janice L. Tuchman