CII Awards 2023

While most people volunteer selflessly without any desire for recognition, CII enjoys calling a bit of attention to those who really go above-and-beyond. We are honored to recognize some very important CII volunteers this year.

CII 2023 Distinguished Service Award Presented to Dr. John Ekerdt

The Distinguished Service Award is the only CII Leadership Award selected by the CII staff. The recipient must have been a chair or co-chair of a CII standing committee or team, and have demonstrated a strong and lasting commitment to the mission and objectives of CII and to moving the industry forward.

We are so pleased to present the 2023 CII Distinguished Service Award to Dr. John Ekerdt, Associate Dean of Research for the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Ekerdt boasts a long list of achievements, research studies and acclaimed awards, but we are grateful for his oversight of CII over the last 15 years. Because CII is a part of UT, Dr. Ekerdt held ultimate responsibility for all initiatives and research efforts taking place in CII. His door has always been open to the members of CII.

We are grateful for his leadership and our team at CII truly appreciates his dedication to keeping our members happy.

Leadership Awards

CII Recognizes Mansour Saad Al-Shehri with the Carroll H. Dunn Award of Excellence

CII established the Carroll H. Dunn Award of Excellence in 1985 to honor an individual for significant achievements in improving the engineering and construction industry. The award is CII's highest honor and is recognized as one of the most presitious awards of its kind in the construction industry.

It is CII's honor to present the Carroll H. Dunn Award to Mr. Mansour Saad Al-Shehri, with Saudi Aramco.

Mr. Al-Shehri joined Aramco after graduating with a Mechanical Engineering degree in 1992 and earned respect from his colleagues as he’s worked his way through the ranks.

Mr. Al-Shehri has served in several leadership roles in Aramco, including his current position as the Vice President of Downstream Project Management, responsible for the execution of a very impressive portfolio.

The sheer size and complexity of the projects under Mansour’s leadership require him to manage teams all over the globe. His international teams have said he leads through empowerment, respect and inspiration.

He fosters a culture of innovation at Saudi Aramco that has lead to improved project execution and ideas that target construction productivity, leveraging digitalization, and improved safety. 

He and his team received the CII Implementation Award in 2017 for being leading advocates for the improvement and implementation of safety standards. His presence on construction sites has had a notable effect on project safety stats, showing significant improvement year over year.

CII is proud to call Saudi Aramco a loyal partner and member company.

Thank you, Mansour, for your countless contributions that have truly improved our industry, and for all you continue to do.

CII Recognizes Aivars Krumins with the Richard L. Tucker Leadership & Service Award

The Richard L. Tucker Leadership & Service Award recognizes an individual who has contributed significantly to the advancement of the CII mission and to the success of CII as an organization. It is named in honor of Dr. Richard L. Tucker, who personally led the effort to create the Construction Industry Institute in 1983 and who served as the first CII Director from its inception until his retirement as Director in 1998.

We are beyond-pleased to present the Tucker Award to Mr. Aivars Krumins with McDermott for his 46 years of industry service and leadership. If you have ever attended a CII Board Meeting or participated in CII research, you’ve likely had the opportunity to meet Aivars.

For 20 years, Aivars has proven to be a true CII champion and advocate, making sure his colleagues at McDermott are aware of CII’s resources and how to implement them.

Aivars has served as the CII Board Advisor, in the CII Benchmarking Group, Downstream & Chemicals Committee, Data Analytics and Information Management CBAs and on several CII Research Teams including: Pursuing Capital Efficiency, Effective Use of Global Engineering Work Force, Construction Readiness for Productivity Improvement, and Modular Chemical Process Intensification (MCPI).

We are honored to recognize Aivars Krumins for his many accomplishments to CII and our industry.

CII Recognizes Keith Churchill with the James B. Porter, Jr. Award for Technology Leadership

This award was established in 2007 as a tribute to Jim Porter, who was instrumental in establishing FIATECH and whose vision, leadership, technical acumen, commitment to people, and tireless efforts have advanced the capital projects industry.

CII is pleased to present Keith Churchill, Chief Innovation Officer with Bechtel, with the prestigious James C. Porter Award for Technology Leadership – in recognition for his many contributions, innovations, and dedication to the construction and engineering industry.

As Bechtel’s CIO, Keith is responsible for supporting the enterprise through the management of various initiatives focused on improving the delivery of projects across the globe

Keith is a seasoned field construction professional with over 16 years of extensive experience in field engineering, issue resolution, construction management, contract management, client relations and construction planning.

Keith has worked extensively along the Gulf Coast on projects ranging from a new large-scale petrochemical facility to heavy civil bridge construction. Keith is familiar with working in and around existing facilities and understands the safety expectations put forth by Bechtel and their Customers, striving to complete every task as safely as possible while ensuring that quality is not compromised.

As a graduate of the CII Executive Leadership Program (XLP), Keith is aware of the construction industry's need for innovative ways to improve execution on capital projects. He is a member and active participant on the CII Technology Committee, and actively participated in Fiatech, prior to 2018.

Keith promotes the participation of Bechtel personnel in CII research teams, as he was a member of RT-344, (Improved Integration of the Supply Chain in Materials Planning and Work Packaging) and presented at the 2018 CII Conference, and is currently a member of RT-393 (Understanding the Implications of Environmental, Social, and Governance Criteria on Capital Projects).

Please join us in congratulating Keith for his many accomplishments.

Outstanding Academic Award 

A recipient of the CII Outstanding Academic Award has made an important contribution to a recently completed CII initiative that has the potential to significantly improve the construction industry. Contributions are considered to be innovative, particularly effective, or otherwise meriting special consideration.

It is CII's honor to present the 2022 Outstanding Academic Award to Dr. Robert Leicht with Penn State University.

Rob is an associate professor and graduate of the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State and has been active in CII for a decade.

Rob is an investigator in the new delivery methods study seeking to capture the impact of integration on project success. He is also an expert in using BIM platforms.

Dr. Leicht has been involved as a primary investigator (PI) on several major CII research projects including Optimal Owner Team Organization, Future Construction Needs of Virtual Design Models, and Smart Model-centric Life Cycle Approach to Collaborative Execution of Capital Projects.

Rob has served on CII’s Funded Studies and before that, CII’s Academic Committee. Rob has been a champion to strengthen CII's relationship with academics.

Outstanding Student Award

A recipient of the CII Outstanding Student Award has made an important contribution to a recently completed CII initiative that has the potential to significantly improve the construction industry. The student has worked to ensure the quality, completeness, and timeliness of the team’s deliverables. The student’s excellence is recognized by knowledgeable team members.

CII is thrilled to recognize Vassilina Demetracopoulou, a graduate research assistant with the University of Texas at Austin.

Vassilina went above and beyond in her role as a Graduate Research Assistant supporting CII’s RT-390. Team members noted that she was instrumental in organizing and leading team activities and ensuring the success of the research. She effectively led the progress updates provided to the CII Funded Studies Committee as well as RT-390 presentation's at CII's 2023 Annual Conference.

Graduate Students are commonly one of the most critical resources for the success of a CII research Team and Vassilina undoubtedly played a central role in the RT-390 success. 

Vassilina is joining Rutgers University as an Assistant Professor this fall.

Outstanding Volunteer Award

A recipient of the CII Outstanding Volunteer Award has made an important contribution to a recently completed CII initiative that has the potential to significantly improve the construction industry. Contributions are considered to be innovative, particularly effective, or otherwise meriting special consideration. The recipient must be a current member of a CII committee, CBA, sector, or team. They have actively and regularly participated in meetings, and have worked to ensure the quality, completeness, and timeliness of team deliverables.

CII is pleased to present the 2023 Outstanding Volunteer Award to Brian Welsey with United E&C.
Brian is the Vice President of Operations Support at United E&C a Founding Member company of CII (tracing back: United was formerly AECOM, URS, Washington Group, Raytheon, etc.). He oversees Utility and Industrial Power and Energy business.

Brian has served on the CII Board of Advisors and he has participated in several CII Research Teams.

Brian has formally reviewed numerous CII publications, ensuring that they reflect the high-quallity standards CII aims to achieve.

We are lucky to have had Brian on our team for so many years and appreciate all he does for CII.

Date posted: August 22, 2023