December 13, 2021

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Rudy Bonaparte and Mike Kavanaugh Awarded the 2021 Berkeley Spirit of 1868 Volunteer Award

Rudy Bonaparte, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE, NAE, and Mike Kavanaugh, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, NAE, were awarded the 2021 Berkeley Spirit of 1868 Volunteer Award from the University of California, Berkeley on October 1, 2021.

David Friedman was the third recipient of the 2021 award. All three were honored for their years of volunteer service on behalf of the Berkeley Civil and Environmental Engineering Department (CEE), where, over the past 15 years, they were members and chaired the CEE Advisory Council, and conceived, developed, and chaired the CEE Academy of Distinguished Alumni. Through these activities they engaged with students, academics, and other professionals to enrich the program, the field, and the profession.

The Spirit of 1868 Volunteer Award acknowledges alumni and friends who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer leadership and accomplishments supporting Berkeley's philanthropic and outreach efforts.

For 36 years, Rudy Bonaparte has held leadership positions at Geosyntec, where he currently serves as Board chair. Previously, he served as President and CEO for 20 years. Under his guidance, Geosyntec grew from a startup to 1,200 employees in seven countries. The firm helps clients solve complex problems involving our environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure. Throughout this distinguished career, he has maintained a continued focus on service to his profession. A professor of practice at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Rudy is the author or coauthor of more than 70 peer-reviewed papers and routinely serves on the editorial board of peer-reviewed journals.

A Senior Principal Chemical and Environmental Engineer based in California, Mike Kavanaugh serves a broad swath of private and public-sector clients directly, as well as through industry associations and attorneys.

He, like Rudy, has maintained a commitment to service throughout his 48 career in water quality, water treatment, and groundwater remediation. Mike has contributed to more than 80 technical publications and more than 180 presentations to audiences, including congressional and state committees. He has contributed to over 80 technical publications and more than 180 presentations and is an instructor for the Princeton Groundwater Professional Development Courses and a consulting professor at Stanford University. Mike is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

David Friedman, immediate past president and CEO of Forell/Elsesser Engineers and current Board chair, was also honored by this award. David has a long career in engineering and has given significantly to his profession. He has served as a Principal on various new design and retrofit projects, including community and civic facilities, university complexes, research laboratories, and transportation facilities. Currently, David serves as the lead engineer on the seismic retrofit of California Memorial Stadium. He also serves as a trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation.

Rudy, Mike, and David served on the inaugural CEE Advisory Council, which both Rudy and David chaired. During this time, the council established the CEE Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program to raise funds and enlist faculty to provide CEE undergraduates with research opportunities. The three inductees also led founding of the CEE Academy of Distinguished Alumni, with Rudy serving as Board chair from its inception in 2012 through 2020 when David Friedman took over that position. The academy has brought together CEE alumni in new and active ways that highlight the department as a global leader.

More Information

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