University of Pittsburgh
March 26, 2006

Pitt Professor to be Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award at National Society of Black Engineers Pittsburgh Convention

Karl Lewis will receive award March 30; Pitt Chancellor Nordenberg, Engineering Dean Holder to speak March 31
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Karl H. Lewis, associate professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, will be presented with the 2006 Golden Torch Award for Lifetime Achievement in Academia by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) at the 32nd Annual NSBE National Convention, to be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center from March 29 to April 2. Lewis will receive the award at the NSBE Golden Torch Awards ceremony from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at the Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh.

Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg will speak at the convention during the General Session and Pitt School of Engineering Dean Gerald Holder will participate in the Deans' Forum. Both events take place Friday, March 31.

Lewis was selected for the award for his outstanding professional achievements in the fields of engineering and science. He is a member of the Pitt School of Engineering Hall of Fame and the founder and former director of the Pitt Engineering Impact Program, which has educated hundreds of successful Black engineers.

Lewis has served on the National Research Council's Maritime Transportation Research Board of Directors and as president of the associate member forum and director of the Pittsburgh section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. In addition, Lewis is a member of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering and the national honor societies Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, Pi Mu Epsilon, and Chi Epsilon.

Lewis earned the Ph.D. degree in civil engineering at Purdue University in 1967. He specializes in the areas of soil mechanics, seepage and groundwater, foundation engineering, design and construction of earth dams, and pavement analysis and design.

At least 11,000 students and professionals are expected to attend the convention, which also will feature a career fair, workshops, and a "Pre-College Initiative Community Day," in which local students in grades 6-12 and their parents may participate in activities related to health and wellness, math, science, and engineering. For a full schedule, visit

The NSBE is the premier organization serving African Americans in engineering and technology. With 17,000 members and more than 300 chapters, NSBE supports and promotes the aspirations of university and precollege students and technical professionals. Its mission is to increase the number of Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.

Pitt's NSBE chapter is active in tutoring and mentoring local high school students. Last October, the chapter participated NSBE's international "A Walk for Education" project, which aimed to increase awareness of science and technology educational opportunities available to minority groups.