Acclaimed fire protection engineer headlines AAES' Awards Ceremony

Harold E. "Bud" Nelson, one of the fathers of modern fire protection engineering, is being presented the American Association of Engineering Societies' (AAES) highest honor, the "National Engineering Award." He joins two other engineers and two journalists who are being recognized during AAES' 27th annual awards ceremony in the Great Hall of Washington's National Academy of Engineering on Monday, 8 May.

A Fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), Nelson is receiving the award for inspired leadership and devotion to the improvement of fire protection engineering and the reduction of building fire threats to lives and property. His career has spanned more than 50 years, and in 2000, Fire Chief Magazine recognized him as "arguably the most influential fire protection engineer of the 20th century."

The "National Engineering Award' is presented for inspirational leadership and tireless devotion to the improvement of engineering education and to the advancement of the engineering profession, as well as to the development of sound public policies as an engineer-statesman. Previous recipients include astronaut Neil Armstrong (1979) and former Lockheed Martin CEO Norm Augustine (1991).

Patrick Natale, executive director and chief staff officer and secretary of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), will receive the "Kenneth Andrew Roe Award" for commitment and leadership facilitating the U.S. engineering community's unity across disciplines and for his dedication to expanding and diversifying the profession, as well as for his service to ASCE. His support of the Extraordinary Women Engineers Project led to the 2006 release of the book, Changing our World: True Stories of Women Engineers. He is a former president of the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers.

The "Kenneth Andrew Roe Award" is presented on behalf of the engineering community to recognize an engineer who has been effective in promoting unity among engineering societies.

Celeste Baine, a biomedical engineer and director of the Engineering Education Service Center, is receiving the "Norm Augustine Award" for her work leading the center, and her award-winning authorship of numerous engineering career books such as High Tech Hot Shots: Careers in Sports Engineering. She authored the engineering section of the World Book Encyclopedia's Science Year, and is listed on the Engineers Week Web site as one of 50 engineers you should meet.

The "Norm Augustine Award" is presented to an engineer who has demonstrated the ability to communicate the excitement and wonder of engineering so that the public may better understand the profession and better appreciate how engineers improve our quality of life.

Daniel Polin, president of the Great Projects Film Co., and Kenneth Mandel, Great Projects' executive producer, will share the "Engineering Journalism Award" for the film projects, America Rebuilds: A Year at Ground Zero; Incident at Morales: An Engineering Ethics Story; and the four-part series, Great Projects: The Building of America. The Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated Great Projects team is currently working on the September release of The Foundation of Freedom, Part II, a trilogy about rebuilding at Ground Zero.

The "Engineering Journalism Award" recognizes outstanding reporting of an event or issue that furthers public understanding of engineering.

William Salmon, AAES interim executive director, is being honored with the “AAES Chair’s Award” for his career-long demonstration of leadership in advancing the knowledge, understanding and practice of engineering in the United States, and for his willingness to step in as the organization’s interim executive director. He previously served as executive officer of the National Academy of Engineering in the late 1980s, and is a former senior adviser for science and technology to the Under Secretary of Security Assistance, Science and Technology.

The AAES Chair’s Award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the welfare of our nation.


The American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) is a federation of engineering societies dedicated to advancing the knowledge, understanding and practice of engineering. AAES' membership represents more than a half million engineers in the United States.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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