Illinois Engineer Honored for Commitment to Mentoring

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Contact Name: 
Stacey A. Ober
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Donald Merritt, P.E., of Bloomington, Ill., was recently awarded the 2014 NSPE Mentor of the Year Award by the National Society of Professional Engineers at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Merritt received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Bradley University. He practiced engineering for 38 years, working for Farnsworth & Wylie Inc. and the Illinois Department of Transportation before retiring in 1999. He is a licensed PE in Illinois and Michigan and has been an NSPE member since he became licensed in 1964.

While working at Farnsworth & Wylie for 32 years, Merritt served as a mentor to his staff by always having an open door policy. While Farnsworth & Wylie did not have an official, company-sponsored mentoring program, he always took an active role in the personal and professional development of his staff. He provided oversight and quality control reviews for projects that were managed by his staff and always made himself available to answer questions and brainstorm ideas.

Merritt has also mentored numerous engineers, coworkers, and students during his involvement with many professional and civic activities including serving on the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers Board of Directors, ISPE Bloomington area chapter president, and member of the Construction Specifications Institute. He has been involved with MATHCOUNTS for many years and is a dedicated volunteer with the MARC Center, which helps people with development disabilities attain jobs and life skills. Merritt served as president of the MARC Foundation Board and helped to raise thousands of dollars to help the center and its mission.

In addition to being awarded life membership in NSPE and ISPE, Merritt also received the ISPE Mentor of the Year Award in 2013, Volunteer Award MARC Center, and United Way of McLean County Volunteer Recognition in 2002.

Additional Notes: 

The National Society of Professional Engineers is a member-centric, nimble, future-focused, and responsive organization, serving as the recognized voice and advocate of licensed Professional Engineers. Through education, licensure advocacy, leadership training, multidisciplinary networking, and outreach, NSPE enhances the image of its members and their ability to ethically and professionally practice engineering. Founded in 1934, NSPE serves more than 35,000 members and the public through 53 state and territorial societies and just over 400 chapters. For more information, please visit

EDITOR’S NOTE: High-resolution photos of Merritt and the awards ceremony are available in digital format.