ENR's technology editor Tom Sawyer got a bit of a surprise at the Fiatech Conference in Miami when he was announced as the winner of the prestigious James B. Porter award.

Fiatech, the consortium devoted to driving innovation in construction, says the award is a tribute to Jim Porter, retired chief engineer and vice president of engineering for DuPont, who was instrumental in establishing Fiatech.

"The award honors and celebrates Porter's vision, technical acumen, commitment to people, and leadership in advancing the capital projects industry and Fiatech’s goals to increase business value through implementing IT," Fiatech said in announcing the award.

Fiatech thanked Sawyer for his coverage of IT issues in the industry and his frequent references to Fiatech, "which have increased industry’s awareness of the consortium and its goals as well as the role that technological innovation plays in advancing the capital projects industry."

Jerry Gipson, Jr., senior director for manufacturing and engineering IT at Dow Chemical and chair of the Fiatech Board of Advisors, presented the Porter Award to Sawyer during an awards dinner at the Fiatech Showcase conference in Miami. “Tom Sawyer is a recognized champion of strong industry interactions and shared progress in delivering innovative solutions,” he said.

According to Jan Tuchman, ENR editor-in-chief, Sawyer maintains a fine balance between technology and the lessons learned from world news events. "He is as eager to unravel technological mysteries as to set out on an expedition to find lessons from disaster that could help prevent loss of life in the future. He is an amazing asset,” she said.

Readers and his colleagues know him as an award-winning construction technology journalist who has covered the earthquake in Haiti, the aftermath of Japan's tsunami and the Iraq war with embedded combat engineers, to name a few achievements. His colleagues here at ENR also know him as a colleague who is kind, generous in spirit and always quick to help them with their technology needs to get their work done.

This award is an opportunity to let readers know how much he does behind the scenes here at ENR and McGraw-Hill Construction.
I was thrilled to be in Miami Tuesday evening for the Fiatech awards gala and wish him congratulations on this achievement.