Amekudzi-Kennedy, Kurtis Selected for Alumni Awards from Carnegie Mellon, Berkeley

By Elijah Hibberts

Two faculty members of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering have been awarded and recognized for their accomplishments and honors as alumni of their alma maters.

Karl "Fred" Meyer

Professor Adjo Amekudzi-Kennedy was selected for the 2021 CEE Distinguished Alumni Award by the Carnegie Mellon Civil and Environmental Engineering Awards Committee, and Professor Kimberly Kurtis was inducted into the University of California-Berkeley Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

Amekudzi-Kennedy's honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, recognizes CEE alumni from Carnegie Mellon University who have one or more major achievements that have improved the work of professional engineers or have improved people’s lives.

“I am very pleased, humbled and honored to receive the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University," Amekudzi-Kennedy said. "I value this award a lot because it recognizes noteworthy accomplishments that have advanced engineering and improved the lives of others—which summarizes, to a large extent, what I have aimed to do in my career—through systems and sustainability thinking, applications and education.  I am also very grateful to have had the opportunity to work at Georgia Tech all these years with outstanding colleagues and students who all have enabled this award in diverse ways.”

Amekudzi-Kennedy is the associate chair for global engineering leadership and entrepreneurship for the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Amekudzi-Kennedy’s most recent awards and honors include selection for the Georgia Power Professor of Excellence and Georgia Tech Curriculum Innovation Awards, along with membership into the National Academy of Construction.

“[Amekudzi-Kennedy’s] leadership has advanced engineering education, sustainable infrastructure research, and the field of civil and environmental engineering in significant ways. We are proud to have [her] as an alumna of our department,” said David Dzombak, Hamerschlag University professor and CEE department head at Carnegie Mellon.

Karl "Fred" Meyer

Kurtis also received a prestigious distinction from her alma mater. Kurtis has been inducted into the University of California, Berkeley Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Academy of Distinguished Alumni. UC Berkeley CEE leadership and faculty established the CEE Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 2012 to recognize alumni and their notable accomplishments and contributions to societal well-being and development, both in the U.S. and around the globe. Kurtis is the associate dean for faculty development and scholarship in Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering and a professor in the schools of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Material Sciences and Engineering.

“I am so humbled to be among this group which includes so many national leaders in engineering practice and research,” Kurtis said.

Kurtis’ innovative research has resulted in more than 100 technical publications and two U.S. patents, and her induction into the Academy is a direct result of her, “outstanding, innovative and impactful contributions to the science, characterization, design and implementation of cement-based materials,” said the Academy’s Induction Committee.

Kurtis was praised for her many contributions to civil and environmental engineering education along with her collaboration efforts with Berekely CEE to further academic research and to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the field.