University of Pittsburgh
February 17, 2008

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Steelers Owner Dan Rooney to Address 124th Annual Banquet of the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania Feb. 20

ESWP and Pitt to Announce the inaugural winner of the George Washington Prize for Engineering Students; Pitt engineering dean Gerald D. Holder to receive award for Lifetime Achievement in Engineering
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) will recognize the region's foremost engineers and engineering projects during its 124th Annual Banquet Feb. 20 in the East Club Lounge of Heinz Field on the North Shore. The by-invitation-only event begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m., and features Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell as the keynote speaker, with special guest speaker Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney.

During the after-dinner awards ceremony, the ESWP will present the 2008 Metcalf Award for Lifetime Achievement in Engineering to Gerald D. Holder, the U.S. Steel Dean of the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering. Now in his 27th year at Pitt, Holder is a nationally renowned authority on gas hydrates, a potential energy source comprising gas molecules trapped in hydrogen-bonded water molecules. Since becoming engineering dean in 1996, Holder has overseen a period of unprecedented growth in the school's reputation, resources, and student enrollment. The Metcalf Award, established in 1963 in honor of the ESWP's founding member, William Metcalf, recognizes an outstanding engineer in a field closely associated with Western Pennsylvania, such as steel, coal, glass, or electrical equipment.

Also, ESWP and Pitt will announce the inaugural winner of the George Washington Prize for Engineering Students, a $5,000 award to be presented annually to a Pitt engineering senior. Each year's recipient also will be offered a $5,000 Dean's Fellowship from the Swanson School should the honoree pursue postgraduate education at Pitt. These awards would supplement any others the student may receive. The award is named after the U.S.'s first engineer and president, George Washington, and is intended to advance the engineering field by enabling promising students an opportunity to further their education. The three nominees for 2008 are: Benjamin Gordon, the 2007 Barry S. Goldwater Scholar and a student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science; Julie Kleinman in the Department of Electrical Engineering; and Craig Lehocky in the Department of Bioengineering.

The ESWP also will announce the winners of its 2008 Engineer of the Year and Project of the Year awards.

Founded in 1880, the ESWP promotes interaction throughout the technical community in Western Pennsylvania to advance the professions of engineering, architecture, and applied sciences through technical activities, public service participation, and social organizations. It also supports the needs of industries, communities, and government in Western Pennsylvania.

More information on the 2008 banquet is available on ESWP's Web site at