The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) has established the Irwin J. Speyer Young Professional Engineer Award in memory of Irwin Speyer, who passed away in 2018. The objective of the Irwin J. Speyer Young Professional Engineer Award is to recognize engineers who are early in their careers and exhibit the personal and professional traits that Irwin Speyer exemplified.
2020 Award Winner: Suzanne Aultman
Recipients of this award shall have the following attributes that Irwin possessed:
He was an avid supporter of PCI and American Concrete Institute (ACI) committee work to advance the growth of the precast concrete industry.
- He always challenged modifications to committee procedures and significant committee work product to ensure that those changes were correct and vetted by all stakeholders before accepting them.
- He welcomed the opportunity to explore difficult technical issues and encouraged young engineers who would step up to resolve them.
- He respected and listened to other engineers’ opinions because, as a structural and professional engineer, he always aimed for the best result.
- He was esteemed for his extensive volunteer work and the business he developed to support and advance PCI since 1961. The scope of these endeavors was particularly notable because Irwin ran a single-person firm until he passed away.
- He was a great teacher and communicator and provided inspiration to young engineers. He made them feel they could always share their opinions with him, one on one, without being intimidated by his knowledge or extensive experience.
- While contributing to seven of the eight editions of the PCI Design Handbook and serving on many committees, he became famous for thoughtfully asking colleagues, “Have you thought of this?”
Irwin was honored as a PCI Fellow in the inaugural class of 1994, was named a Titan of PCI at the 50th anniversary of the institute in 2004, and received the PCI Medal of Honor in 2008.
He was also an ACI Fellow. Between 1963 and 1995, he served as a voting member of the main ACI 318 Committee for three cycles, participated for three cycles on ACI 318 subcommittees dealing with precast concrete, and continued as a consulting ACI 318 member for two cycles.
Irwin was active in his community and committed to his family. He was married to Florence for over 58 years. They had three children and seven grandchildren, all of whom were very important to Irwin.
Irwin J. Speyer was a mentor’s mentor and was certainly one of a kind.
Purpose: To honor the legacy of Irwin J. Speyer by way of recognizing engineers who have made
significant contributions to PCI during their early careers, and who demonstrate their intent to continue
serving the precast concrete industry as Irwin did for his entire career.
Award Cycle: Annual consideration, with the award presented only when deserved.
Eligibility: The candidate must have been a registered professional engineer or structural engineer for
fewer than 15 years at the time of the nomination. He or she must also be a member of PCI and serve on
at least one PCI committee.
Any nominee not selected will require renomination in a subsequent year to be considered again.
Criteria: The recipient of the Irwin J. Speyer Young Professional Engineer Award shall be an individual who
exhibits the personal and professional traits that Irwin Speyer exemplified. The recipient will
demonstrate an interest in serving PCI and the precast concrete industry.
The recipient shall be nominated by any of the following:
An individual member of PCI in good standing
- An employee of an organizational member of PCI in good standing
- An employee of PCI
Candidate Selection: Individuals nominating candidates for this award must use the appropriate form to submit the
nomination to PCI and include a letter identifying the specific characteristics and qualifications of the
candidate, including examples, that meet the award criteria.
Letters of support and recommendations from peers within the industry are also accepted and encouraged.
Recipient Determination: Nominations shall be evaluated by a special jury established by the Professional Members Committee
and consisting of the following:
- Chair of the Professional Members Committee who shall serve as chair of the jury
- PCI president
- Chair of the PCI Technical Activities Council
- Chair of the PCI Research and Development Council
- The two most recent recipients of the award who are able and willing to serve
- The senior professional member director on the PCI Board of Directors
- Two professional members of PCI who are selected by the Professional Members Committee; each of these jurors shall serve a three-year term with the possibility of serving a
maximum of two terms
There shall be no more than one recipient of the award during any annual award cycle.
Recognition and Benefits: PCI shall honor the recipient of the Irwin J. Speyer Young Professional Engineer Award by presenting
appropriate recognition during the PCI Annual Convention or Committee Days.
The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute presents this Irwin J. Speyer Young Professional
Engineer to (name) in recognition of (his/her) contributions to PCI, the precast concrete industry, and the engineering profession at large.
Irwin J. Speyer Young Engineer Award recipients shall be listed in the PCI Membership Directory and
on the PCI website.
The PCI staff liaison to the Professional Members Committee shall serve as liaison to the special jury.
Nominations are due to PCI headquarters no later than 90 days prior to the event at which the award will be
Final recipient determination from the committee is due to PCI 60 days prior to the event at which the award
will be presented.