Contact: Stacey A. Ober
Florida Engineer Honored for Distinguished Service to the Profession
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (July 21, 2011) George R. Knecht, P.E., F.NSPE, of Jacksonville, Fla., was recently awarded the 2011 Distinguished Service Award by the National Society of Professional Engineers at their annual meeting in Las Vegas.
NSPE's Distinguished Service Award was established to recognize NSPE members for their exceptional contributions to the engineering profession, to their communities, and to NSPE. Persons in good standing holding the membership grade of licensed member, member, retired member, or life member are eligible for selection. Candidates must be recommended by an NSPE state society, with endorsement from two other state societies to display that the candidates and their work are known beyond their own states.
Throughout his career, George R. Knecht, P.E., F.NSPE, has been an active and contributing member to both his profession and his community. He holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of North Florida. After serving as an enlisted man in the U.S. Navy Seabees and as an officer in the U.S. Coast and Geodectic Survey (currently the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), he joined the City of Jacksonville in 1971 where he rose from Engineer Intern to Assistant City Engineer and ultimately Division Chief, an appointed position. Throughout his more than 32-year tenure with the City, Knecht was involved in a variety of activities in the civil engineering field including developing the City's Standard Specification and Details Manual and the City's Land Development Procedure Manual. After retiring, Knecht formed his own company, Knecht Engineering Inc., and has completed several projects for various clients.
Knecht has also been heavily involved with professional societies and organizations throughout his career. He joined the Florida Engineering Society (FES) in 1980, and advanced through the chairs of the Northeast Florida Chapter serving as president in 1986, Northeast Florida Regional Vice President in 1987, and ultimately as FES President in 1988. He became the NSPE National Director in 1989 and has since served on numerous NSPE committees. In 1990, his commitment to the societies was recognized by selection as an FES Fellow member in 1990 and an NSPE Fellow member in 2003.
Knecht has also been a student member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, member of the Government Refuse Collection and Disposal Association, the Florida Planning and Zone Association, and a Life Member of the American Public Works Association where he was a founding member, officer, and president of the Jacksonville Branch. He moved through the chairs of the APWA state organization and served as their president in 1992.
Knecht has received many honors and awards for his service including Florida Professional Engineers in Government Engineer of the Year; FES Engineer of the Year; Northeast Florida Engineer of the Year; the James F. Shivler Jr., P.E., Outstanding Service to the Engineering Profession Award; and the American Public Works Association Max Ulsch Award, the highest state APWA award given. In 1989, he was recognized nationally by the APWA with one of the Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year awards whose purpose is to "inspire excellence and dedicated public service by recognizing the outstanding contributions of 10 individuals every year."
In addition to his work within the profession, Knecht has continually given back to the community through leadership positions in public and community service organizations. Some of these include his appointment as Jacksonville's Chief of Solid Waste Disposal, University of Florida Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering Advisory Committee Member, member of the Northeast Florida FEEDS Regional Advisory Council, Beauclerc Elementary School Local Advisory Committee, and president of the Jacksonville Chapter of Friendship Force International.
The National Society of Professional Engineers is the national society of licensed professional engineers from all disciplines that promotes the ethical and competent practice of engineering, advocates licensure, and enhances the image and well-being of its members. Founded in 1934, NSPE serves more than 40,000 members and the public through 53 state and territorial societies and just over 400 chapters. For more information, please visit www.nspe.org.
EDITOR'S NOTE: High-resolution photos of Knecht and the award ceremony are available in digital format.