Metropolitan Section Civil Engineer of the Year Award
The Section’s highest award recognizes a civil engineer who has rendered exceptional service to the civil engineering profession, to the Met Section and to the Society. The first award was presented to Emil H. Praeger on May 20, 1953 in the Engineering Societies Building for his design of Pier 57, the only pier in New York City built on floating concrete caissons. A former chief of the Navy Bureau of Design, Praegar also designed a floating concrete breakwater for the invasion of Normandy during World War II.
William A. Fife, P.E.
The Fife Group
Bill Fife has over 45 years of engineering experience in aviation planning, design and construction. In the ASCE Met Section, he served on the Board, has been Chair of the Air Transport Group for over 20 years, and founded and chaired the group’s annual conference for the past 17 years. Along with his committee members, he has raised over $200,000 for the Met Section Scholarship Fund. He has also been active in senior level ASCE positions at the national level and in T&D I for over 20 years. Most recently, he served as T&D I’s Aviation Council Chair from 2006 to 2010.
His energetic commitment and contributions to the engineering profession and the aviation industry have been recognized both domestically and internationally. He was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Eastern Region (FAA) at the 2003 Airport Conference. He is also a recipient of the Kavanagh Service Award from the ASCE Met Section, as well as community service awards from Professional Women in Construction, the Lighthouse for the Blind, and C. W. Post College.
Bill began his career in June 1967 as an engineering management trainee at the Port Authority of NY&NJ. He led and participated in major planning, design and construction projects while at the PANY&NJ and at AECOM. They include JFK 2000, LGA Redevelopment, Air Train JFK Planning, the N-Train to LGA Planning Study, the Philadelphia International Airport Master Planning Study, and many others. His development and implementation of the peer review process for airport and transit projects has been recognized worldwide. This process saves public agencies millions of dollars each year using “lessons learned” from other projects. He was recognized by Engineering News Record (ENR) as a 2000 Newsmaker for his efforts in developing and successfully implementing the peer review group process. He has also served as the liaison between owners and contractors, solving construction problems and enabling innovation in construction for projects such as the JetBlue Terminal at JFK.
Bill is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier High School and Manhattan College. He also holds Masters Degrees from Brooklyn Poly, now NYU, and Long Island University. He was a Captain in the US Air Force and served his country as a Bio-Environmental Engineer from 1970 to 1972. When not doing engineering, Bill volunteers with many organizations including the ASCE Met Section, Professional Women in Construction, the Sperry Board of Award, Transportation Research Forum, the CUNY Aviation Institute, and Sacred Heart Church. He also enjoys spending time playing bridge, exercising, yoga and traveling with his wife Pat, the former COO of VNA of Long Island. He loves to spend time with his children, Bill, a family practice doctor, Patrick, an attorney, and Lara, a nurse practitioner along with fine grandchildren.
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Fife, William A. (MC1967)
[JR: My second favoritest Bridge partner in College and either he, or Pattie, writes a great Christmas letter. “Bravo Zulu” — Navy for well done!]
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