The NSPE Award is the highest award given to an individual by the Society. It is presented to an engineer who has made outstanding contributions to the engineering profession, the public welfare, and humankind.
Past Recipients: See a complete list of recipients.
2017 NSPE Award Winners:
Neil A. Norman, P.E., F.NSPE; and,
Dan J. Wittliff, P.E., F.NSPE
Neil A. Norman, P.E., F.NSPE
NSPE Past President Neil Norman’s 60+-year career includes design, development, testing, project management, and management for state-of-the-art technology and in consulting practice. He received his B.S. in aeronautical and mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley in 1953 and an MBA from the University of Connecticut in 1959.
He has received national awards from AAES, NSPE, ANS, and USACE. Local and state association awards include Professional Engineer of the Year awards for Puget Sound (2009) and Tri Cities, Washington (2011), and the WSPE Columbia Award (2008). While at Bechtel Corp., he was made a Bechtel Fellow (1987). He retired in June from the Washington State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors after 10 years of service. He has held PE licenses in ME, NUC, and MFG engineering in several states and currently is licensed in California and Washington.NSPE positions have included chair of PEC, L&GA, PAC, and the 1984 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. He currently serves on the BER.
State-of-the-art projects Norman worked on included the Mare Island Submarine deck-launched missile design (1952), Pratt & Whitney – First Generation US jet engine test, flight test, and development (1953–1959), Aerojet - General – Polaris design 1959–1962; Glass Filament Winding Machine Design for Polaris (1963); Manufacturing Management (1963–1966); NERVA Rocket design and development (1966–1969), NERVA Project Management (1969–1972), Babcock and Wilcox – PM for nuclear plant design and construction (1972–1974), Bechtel – Project Management for Solar Power Plant (1974), Breeder Reactor Plant (FFTF) (1976); High Level Waste Repository for Salt Domes (1977–1984) and High Level Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain (1984–1991), Yugoslavia Nuclear Waste Repository (1987), Roy F. Weston – Cleanup for Low Activity Nuclear Waste storage in 10 states (UMTRA) (1991–1992), Parsons Corporation – management of full service consulting engineering office (1992–2003).
Community involvement roles have included school board president, library commission president, and policy supporter to numerous elected officials. Norman organized and chaired a 600-member group that helped set aside the Lynchburg, Virginia, stream valleys for public use as a natural area, and he has provided, and continues to provide, professionalism and ethics lectures to Washington senior engineering students, and outreach to licensing stakeholders and citizens. Norman currently heads his church congregation and delivers donated household goods to refugees.
Dan J. Wittliff, P.E., F.NSPE
Dan J. Wittliff, P.E., BCEE, F.NSPE, served as the 2012–13 president of NSPE and currently chairs the Society’s Committee on Policy and Advocacy. An NSPE member since 1972, Wittliff has held many volunteer leadership positions with the Society at the state and national levels including serving as a member of the NSPE Board of Directors and House of Delegates, chairing the Software Engineering Licensure Consortium, and representing NSPE on the Board of Trustees for the American Academy of Environmental Engineers from 2010 to 2015. Within the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, he is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the National Engineers Week Foundation. Wittliff also served as president of the Abilene Chapter and the Texas Society of Professional Engineers where he was honored as Engineer of the Year in 1998. He also was named Distinguished Engineer of the Texas Engineering Foundation in 2001. In 2010 and 2016, he was the recipient of the NSPE President’s Award.
Wittliff is managing director of environmental services for GDS Associates in Austin, keeping complex and multiphase projects on schedule and within budget. Prior to joining GDS Associates, he was principal of Dan Wittliff Consulting and vice president and chief operating officer of HydroProcessing. He has also served as the first chief engineer for the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission and as manager of environmental services with West Texas Utilities.
In 2002 Wittliff retired from the US Air Force Reserve at the rank of colonel. His military awards & distinctions include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Outstanding Graduate of Air War College, and the Air Force Communications-Electronics Professionalism Award.
Licensed in Texas and Tennessee, he is a 1972 graduate of Southern Methodist University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and attained an MBA from the University of Oklahoma. He is a member of the Society of American Military Engineers and Reserve Officers Association and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at SMU and as a mentor. In 2017, the SMU Board of Trustees elected Wittliff to the dean of engineering’s Executive Council.