The American Council of Engineering Cos. of Colorado presented its 2015 General Palmer Award to Fred Travers, Bureau of Reclamation, during its annual Engineering Excellence Awards luncheon on Nov. 2 at the Brown Palace Hotel.

The award recognizes an engineer in the industry who has contributed to the state of Colorado, received recognition in the community, advanced the engineering community and made an impact on future generations. 

Travers was honored for his work with the Colorado High School Bridge Building Competition, which the Bureau of Reclamation initiated in 1974.  The competition is designed to help high school students study the application of fundamental principles of physics and develop “hands-on” skills by constructing and testing model bridges. Students also experience what it is to be an engineer by designing structures according to a set of specifications and testing the performance of their structures under controlled factors.

Travers began his career as a design engineer in the Power System Technical Section with the Bureau of Reclamation at the Denver Federal Center. After transferring in 1982 to the Bureau’s Concrete and Structural Branch in the Division of Research, he had the opportunity to participate in the competition. He has organized and run the annual competition every year since and has added new features to its data tracking systems, making Colorado’s competition considered one of the most sophisticated of its kind in the country. Travers estimates that 4,000 students from across Colorado have participated in this competition, and the experience has inspired many high school students to pursue careers in engineering.

“We thank Fred for the time and effort he has devoted to this program and are honored to recognize his many contributions. Thanks to his commitment, thousands of high school students have learned firsthand about engineering,” said Marvinetta Hartwig, president of ACEC Colorado. “We are also pleased to support this competition with scholarship funding, which helps to cultivate future engineers and promote our profession.”