FW, Mid-Cities engineering groups honor local professionals

Kelly Dillard

Engineers Week

Recipients of the local awards will be honored at the Texas Society of Professionals Engineers Week Banquet on Friday, Feb. 24 at Ridglea Country Club. For more information: www.tspefortworth.org/

Engineers Week, or EWeek was created by the National Society of Professional Engineers as the signature program of the National Engineers Week Foundation, a coalition of more than 70 engineering, professional and technical societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. EWeek is designed to raise public awareness and appreciation of the engineering profession and engineers’ contributions to society.

• Engineer of the Year

- FWBP Digital Partners -

Kelly Dillard, P.E., Freese and Nichols

Fort Worth Chapter

While it is common for children to follow in the career footsteps of their parents, Kelly Dillard found herself in an unusual spot by following her father’s path and becoming a civil engineer.

Dillard landed in a world dominated by men and were women colleagues were few and far between.

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“I have close women friends who are engineers and we always stick together and stick up for another,” she said.

Dillard has never doubted her decision and has found her calling as a consulting engineer in stormwater management. She recently celebrated her 10th anniversary with Freese and Nichols, where she has advanced from managing projects to leading the firm’s overall strategy for stormwater management.

For her work as a firm vice president/principal, manager of the 20-person Stormwater Management Group and head of Freese and Nichols’ Sustainability Committee, Dillard was chosen Engineer of the Year by the Fort Worth Chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers.

Kelly said she may be the first woman, or least one of very few, to receive this award.

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The primary focus of her work is stormwater and water resources planning and design projects for clients such as the city of Fort Worth, Tarrant County College, the Trinity River Vision Authority, the city of Arlington and the North Texas Council of Government. The majority of projects have been for the city of Fort Worth.

Since this is not the type of work that women are typically drawn to, Dillard said the longer she has been involved in consulting engineering, the more she says that women are well-suited to it.

“The work I do is really about helping people and keeping them safe from flooding,” she said.

Frequently called upon to speak to groups of women and provide mentorship to women in her firm, Dillard always points to the tendency of women to be caring, organized and strategic in their thinking makes them a good fit for her type of work.

“I tell women you don’t have to be that good at math, you just have to be good enough to get through it and do the applications,” she said.

Dillard, 49, has 28 years of experience as an engineer. Prior to joining Freese and Nichols, she worked for Turner, Collie & Braden in Houston and then Teague, Nall and Perkins in Fort Worth.

A native of Fort Worth, she attended Haltom High School and then Texas A&M University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and met her future husband, Preston Dillard, who is a senior project manager and Water Planning Team Leader at Alan Plummer Associates in Fort Worth.

The couple have two children, Katie, a student at Texas A&M, and Mason, a high school senior who plans to attend Texas A&M.

“We’re an all-Aggie family but neither of the kids want to be engineers,” she said.

• Julie Hunt, P.E., Trinity River Authority

Mid-Cities Chapter

Julia (Julie) Hunt, is assistant northern region manager/operations for Trinity River Authority. She manages and leads the Trinity River Authority’s Northern Region Operations, which includes five wastewater treatment facilities, one water treatment facility, and all collection and distribution pipelines for the operating systems. Prior to July 2012, Hunt served as Director of Water Utilities for the city of Arlington where she worked for 27 years. Hunt is active with the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, as well as the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, Water Research Foundation, Water Environment & Reuse Foundation, where she is treasurer, a board member with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and the North Central Texas American Water Works Association. She holds Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection licenses from TCEQ and she is a member of the Water Environment Association of Texas, the American Water Works Association, the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, and the American Society of Civil Engineers. She earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, graduating cum laude, from Texas A&M University.

TSPE Young Engineers of the Year

• Scott Scherer, P.E., Harris Kocher Smith

Fort Worth Chapter

Scott Scherer is an associate principal at Harris Kocher Smith, a consulting firm offering civil engineering and land surveying services. He came to the firm in 2014 to open the Fort Worth office, the first office outside of the company’s Denver headquarters. Outside of the office, Scherer is actively involved in the Real Estate Council of Greater Fort Worth and holds leadership positions in the North Texas Council of ULI and the Fort Worth Chapter of TSPE. He enjoys giving back and contributing to the advancement of the engineering and real estate communities.

• Brendon Wheeler, P.E., Wier & Associates Inc.

Mid-Cities Chapter

Brendon Wheeler has over eight years in civil engineering design work experience at Wier & Associates Inc. Three of those years were spent as a part-time intern while attending the University of Texas at Arlington before graduating in May of 2015. After working a couple years on gas pipeline projects, he is currently a team leader with the firm designing commercial, retail, and residential development projects.

Wheeler is very active in both the state and local chapter levels of TSPE. He currently serves as the chapter secretary for the DFW Mid-Cities Chapter and has been a state director for the chapter for the last two years.

American Society of Civil Engineers Young Engineer of the Year

• Kameron A. Boggan, TranSystems

Kameron Boggan has been a civil engineer for TranSystems for three and a half years. She has served the Fort Worth Branch as special meeting arrangements chair for the past three years and was instrumental in organizing the 2015 Joint Dallas/Fort Worth Branch Meeting. Boggan says she is proud to have worked on the Fort Worth Transportation Authority’s TEXRail project that will bring commuter rail from Downtown Fort Worth to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

TSPE Richard Van Trump Award

• Steven E. Eubanks, P.E., CFM, City of Fort Worth

Steven Eubanks, a registered professional engineer and certified floodplain manager, has been named the Richard Van Trump Award winner by the Fort Worth Chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. The Fort Worth Chapter instituted the Richard Van Trump Award in 1971 as a means to recognize an exemplary member or members for service to the chapter during the previous year and to give honor to the late Richard Van Trump. The recipient is selected by the chapter’s past president to recognize those whom he finds most helpful and deserving in service to the chapter during the past president’s year in office.

Eubanks earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design at Texas A&M University in 1979 and then served in campus ministry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Akron, Ohio. He also began his engineering career in Akron as a board draftsman. Eubanks moved to Fort Worth in 1983, where he earned a Master of Divinity followed by doctoral studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, while working as a surveyor technician and then as an engineering technician. When the door to ministry closed, Eubanks earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington in 1995.

After being licensed as a professional engineer in 1997, Eubanks joined the City of Fort Worth in 1999 where he has served in several positions in the Stormwater Management Division. Eubanks founded the Young Engineers Leadership Forum in 2015 to provide professional training for young engineers. He serves as co-chair for the Stormwater Committee of the Texas Floodplain Management Association and Chairman of the Young Engineers Committee of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. Eubanks was also named Engineer of the Year in 2016 by the Fort Worth Chapter.