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Distinguished Engineers

SDSU Distinguished Engineer “Wall of Fame” Recipients of the Distinguished Engineer Award are honored at the annual College of Engineering Banquet, where an award plaque is presented. Another attractive wall plaque, which includes an engraved picture of the recipient, is permanently displayed on the SDSU Distinguished Engineer Wall of Fame, a prominent display area of the Student Commons in Crothers Engineering Hall.

Awardees List

History of the Award

The Distinguished Engineer Award was first awarded by the SDSU College of Engineering on Feb. 26, 1976, under the direction of Dean Junis O. Storry. The purpose of the Distinguished Engineer Award is to recognize and honor those who have demonstrated eminent achievements in a field of engineering. Outstanding achievement in other fields is also given consideration, provided the nominee is an SDSU engineering graduate. Selection procedures were developed and implemented and the first awards were presented to 22 SDSU alumni of the College of Engineering in 1977. Since its inception, the coveted award has been presented to more than 142 Distinguished Engineers.


The Distinguished Engineer Award may be presented to a person who meets one or more of the following four criteria:

  1. A graduate of South Dakota State University who has made truly great accomplishments in a field of engineering.
  2. A graduate of the SDSU College of Engineering who has made truly great accomplishments in a non-engineering field such as military, law, medicine, business, management, etc.
  3. A graduate of the SDSU College of Engineering who has demonstrated truly great entrepreneurial success in economic and/or business development.
  4. Anyone who has made a truly great contribution to the practice of engineering within the State of South Dakota.

There are no hard and fast objective rules of procedure or point systems to define what is “truly great." There are great difficulties in devising such a system and the judgment of the review committees and Dean will prevail as it has in the past. Since the nature of this award is that of being conferred by the alumni and faculty, active members of the SDSU faculty or administration are not eligible. Emeriti and posthumous members of the faculty and administration are eligible.


Nominations may be submitted by anyone and should be sent to the Office of the Dean of Engineering. Nominations must be received by December 1 of the year before the award unless approved by the Dean for extenuating circumstances. The judgments of the Distinguished Engineer Review Committee and the Faculty Review Committee are based predominantly on the written nomination packet for a candidate. It is therefore important that the written nominations be carefully and completely prepared. Nomination information and forms are available from the Dean’s Office. Letters of support from a candidate’s company or institution management, and from other colleagues who can speak to the merit of the candidate’s accomplishments, are required. Nominators are encouraged to seek the assistance of the Dean of Engineering for preparing high quality nomination portfolios.

Review and Selection

Nomination packets are duplicated by the Office of the Dean and copies are sent to the Distinguished Engineer Review Committee. The committee reviews all of the nominations and returns a recommendation to the Dean of Engineering for the selection of recipients. The Dean of Engineering forwards these recommendations, along with the relevant nomination packets, to the Faculty Review Committee for review and approval. The members of the Faculty Review Committee review the recommendations of the Distinguished Engineer Review Committee and the nomination packets, and the committee forwards its recommendations for approval to the Dean of Engineering. Any name forwarded for selection should have the majority support of both committees (unanimous support preferred). The Dean of Engineering uses the recommendations of the two committees in making the final selection. If more than four recipients are selected in a given year, the Dean may hold back one more for official honoring in the following year.

A recipient of the Distinguished Engineer Award must participate in the annual spring College of Engineering Awards Banquet, unless otherwise approved by the Dean of Engineering. An award may be made posthumously with it being desirable to have someone present to accept the award for that person, but not necessary. For those nominees who are not selected, their nomination packets will remain of file and considered “active” for further consideration for no more than three additional years. After being considered but not selected for four consecutive years, a nomination packet will be retired to “inactive” status. No correspondence will be sent to the nominee or nominator.