ASCE’s Coastal Ocean Port & Navigation Engineers Honored

Thursday, August 25, 2011
ACOPNE Induction Ceremony

Specialty certifications programs are growing in most professions as the knowledge needed to practice continues to rapidly increase. Specialty certification supports the explosion of continuing professional development. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Academy of Coastal Ocean Port & Navigation Engineers (ACOPNE) held its 6th Diplomate Induction Ceremony to honor 21 of its members for their higher education achievement during its annual meeting Monday, August 22, 2011, in San Diego, Calif.

“Adding a specialty credential beyond the professional license is an important trend in all professions to protect the public and to recognize leaders in the field who have specialized education, sufficient experience and the meets the highest ethical standards. We are extremely pleased with the reception from the profession and the public with the rollout of the Academy,” said ACOPNE President Billy Edge.

Individuals exhibiting these credentials include established engineers from all over North America. William F. Baird, P.Eng, D.CE, M.ASCE from Ottawa, Canada was recognized for his work in coastal engineering and his with affiliation with the company, W.F. Baird and Associates. Dr. Joseph Colonell, Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, D.OE, F.ASCE, from Anchorage, Alaska, who has been previously announced, was recognized for his developments in oceanic engineering under the company, Environmental Resource Management. Michael Cox, Dist.D.NE, M.ASCE, a navigation engineering innovator from Geneseo Henry, Ill., was recognized for his efforts as well as his work with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District. Douglas A. Gaffney, P.E., D.OE, M.ASCE, from Voorhees, N.J., was recognized for his work with Ocean and Coastal Consultants, Inc., regarding his work in the field of oceanic engineering.

Dr. Joseph M. Gebara, Ph.D., P.E., D.OE, A.M.ASCE, a leader in oceanic engineering, was recognized for his accomplishments in offshore engineering with the company, Technip Offshore Engineering, Inc. Gebara is from Houston, Texas. The city of Starkville in Mississippi will be proud of its local engineer, Peter Grace, P.E., D.NE, M.ASCE for his contributions to navigation engineering and work with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Henry J. Hatch, P.E., NAE, D.NE, Dist.M.ASCE, also a large contributor to the field of navigation engineering, resides in Oakton, Va. Ronald E. Heffron, P.E., D.PE, M.ASCE, was recognized for his achievements with port engineering around Long Beach, Calif. Dr. Jennifer Irish, Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, M.ASCE, a professor at the Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., was recognized for her contributions to coastal engineering though her research of hurricane and coastal storm impacts and post-storm hazard measurements by the use of remote sensing.

Dr. Young C. Kim, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.D.CE, a coastal engineering pioneer from California State University, Los Angeles in South Pasadena, Calif., was recognized alongside fellow oceanic engineer, William A. Kinney, P.E., D.OE, from Technip USA, Inc., in Houston, Texas. Kevin Knuuti, P.E., D.CE, M.ASCE, Hanover, N.H., was recognized for his research on coastal engineering with the United States Army Engineer Research and Development Center, in addition to fellow oceanic and coastal engineers, Dr. Chia-Chi Lu, Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, M.ASCE, with Noble Consultants, Inc., from Irvine, Calif., and Dr. John Niedzwecki, Ph.D., P.E., D.OE, F.ASCE, professor at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

Jacksonville, Fla., was represented by Erik J. Olsen, P.E., D.CE, D.NE, M.ASCE, and was recognized for his innovative solutions to coastal and near shore environments under Olsen Associates, Inc. James F. O’Sullivan, Dist.D.OE, with Technip Offshore Inc., Houston, Texas, was also recognized for his contributions to ocean engineering. Donald Riley, P.E., D.PE, F.ASCE, from Fort Belvoir, Va., was recognized for his efforts on port engineering with the United States Army Corps of Engineers alongside fellow port engineer, Warren Stewart, P.E., S.E., D.PE, M.ASCE, from Ben C. Gerwick, Inc. in Long Beach, Calif. Additional engineers from Houston, Texas, included William P. Stewart, P.E., C.Eng, D.OE, M.ASCE, from Stewart Technology Associates and Dr. E.G. (Skip) Ward, Ph.D., Dist.D.OE, from Offshore Technology Research Center, for contributing to the field of oceanic engineering. Lastly, Dr. Donald D. Treadwell, a consulting, port engineer from Sausalito, Calif., was recognized for his outstanding achievements in the field.  

Founded in October 2009 by practicing Coastal Ocean Port & Navigation Engineers (COPNE) who are members of the ASCE Coastal Ocean Port and Rivers Institute (COPRI), ACOPNE was created to offer a voluntary, post-license credential that provides professional engineers an opportunity to gain further recognition in the field of coastal, ocean, port and navigation engineering. The goal of ACOPNE is to improve the practice, elevate the standards and advance the COPNE profession and provides recognition to those individuals who have excelled in one or more of the sub-disciplines embraced by COPRI
COPNE is the branch of civil engineering engaged in the sustainable development and protection of coastal, ocean, port and navigation environments for the benefit of society in the United States and foreign countries.
For more information about ACOPNE, go to For more information about the 2011 CEP Conference, visit

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