2016 Alumni Award Winners
The Civil and Environmental Engineering Alumni Association is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of its Distinguished Alumnus Award and Young Alumnus Achievement Award. The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes professional accomplishments or unique contributions to society by alumni of the department. The Young Alumnus Achievement Award recognizes a recent graduate who has achieved distinction in his or her field and reached a level of accomplishment significantly greater than that of other recent graduates. The honorees will be recognized at the CEE at Illinois Alumni Dinner in Chicago on March 2.
The Civil and Environmental Engineering Alumni Association annually presents awards to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of CEE alumni. Nominations are accepted throughout the year. To nominate, please fill out and submit the appropriate form on the CEEAA Award page.
The 2016 Distinguished Alumni are:
For an outstanding career of progressively increasing responsibility demonstrated in more than 25,000 projects in the telecommunications industry; for technical expertise and commitment to the profession that have earned him a reputation as an industry leader; and for the commitment to quality and engineering excellence that defines his vision for Fullerton Engineering Consultants Inc.
Matt Bellagamba is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Fullerton Engineering which he founded in 1998, and a 22 year veteran of the engineering profession. He is responsible for overall corporate growth and performance strategies. Bellagamba focuses on advancing the Fullerton corporate vision and brand, as well as providing leadership in client relationships, executive recruitment, finance and overall policy.
As a practicing registered Professional Engineer in 42 jurisdictions, Bellagamba provides strategic input on organizing, supervising and evaluating the engineering functions and execution within the organization.
Fullerton has achieved various awards including being named in Engineering News Record’s Top 20 Design Firms in Telecommunications, and Crain’s Chicago Business Fast Fifty.
Bellagamba is a member of the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA), American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the University of Illinois Engineering Alumni Association. He graduated from the University of Illinois with Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in civil and structural engineering.
Bellagamba approaches life and work with energy, passion and excitement. He believes in giving back to the community and encouraging advancement of his staff both personally and professionally. He values integrity, teamwork and a strong work ethic. He is married to his wife Diana and has 3 children.
For a demonstrated high degree of competence and leadership in the civil engineering profession through a distinguished 34-year career; for his achievements in successful project management positions of increasing responsibility in multiple locations worldwide; and for proven leadership in a career with a series of outstanding accomplishments as one of the highest ranking executives in one of the largest energy companies in the world.
Joseph C. (Joe) Geagea is executive vice president of Technology, Projects and Services, a position he has held since 2014. He is responsible for energy technology, delivery of major capital projects, procurement, information technology, health, environment and safety, upstream production services, and talent selection and development.
Geagea served as a corporate vice president and president of Chevron Gas and Midstream from 2012 until 2014 and was responsible for commercializing Chevron’s natural gas resources and supporting the development of new growth opportunities worldwide. He was also responsible for overseeing Chevron’s shipping, pipeline and power operations as well as supply and trading operations. Prior positions include: 2008, managing director, Chevron Asia South Ltd.; 2006, vice president, Upstream Capability; 2005, vice president, Chevron International Exploration and Production Company; 2004, president, Fuel and Marine Marketing; 2002, president, downstream operations in East Africa, the Middle East and Pakistan.
Geagea joined Chevron in 1982 as a design engineer. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 1981 and 1982, respectively.
For an outstanding career as a recognized expert in geotechnical engineering, particularly in hydroelectric, water supply, mining, irrigation and transportation projects; and for his approach in his civil engineering practice to solve technical problems and provide workable designs to shepherd the growth of Ingetec S.A. into a leading civil and geotechnical engineering consulting firm with more than 2,000 employees and a reputation for exceptional project delivery.
Alberto Marulanda graduated from the University of Los Andes, in Bogota, Colombia, as a civil engineer and received his MS from the University of Illinois in 1972. Since 1972 he has worked at INGETEC, a consulting engineering firm, where he is currently president. Marulanda has led the design of hydropower, water supply and infrastructure projects throughout Latin America and other regions of the world. He was honored both in 2011 and 2015 with the National Engineering Award from the Colombian Society of Engineers.
As an independent consultant, Marulanda has been on the panel of experts for several major hydroelectric, dam and tunnel projects around the world including Hydro-Quebec and James Bay Co. Canada (the world’s largest hydroelectricity producer company), and the Guri, Tocoma and Caruachi projects in Venezuela, one of the largest hydroelectric complexes in the world.
Marulanda has also worked as an adviser to the Government of Turkey and as technical advisor for Sanko Energy Company. He is author of more than 50 technical papers in international conferences and journals. He has served as chairman of the technical committee of materials for the International Commission on Large Dams, president of Colombian Consulting Engineers Association, president of the Colombian Association of Seismic Engineering and vice president of the International Commission on Large Dams.
In 2009, he was highlighted by the Water Power and Dam Construction journal in London as one of the “60 most influential people in the 100 year history of hydroelectricity in the world.”
The 2016 Young Alumni are:
For an exemplary academic background and proven leadership in science and engineering focused on solving water pollution problems with technical excellence, originality and practicality; and for outstanding contributions to research in the areas of wastewater, drinking water and recreational water pollution with the goal of identifying contamination sources to solve Thailand’s water pollution problem.
Kwanrawee Joy Sirikanchana graduated first in her undergraduate class at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. She came to the U.S. for postgraduate studies, focusing both her master’s thesis and her doctoral dissertation on the efficacy of known water treatments on emerging microbiological threats to the water supply. The results of her work helped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assess new microbial candidates for drinking water regulation. Her outstanding dissertation later won the prize in the Thailand Thesis Award, given by the National Research Council of Thailand. Sirikanchana completed her postdoctoral training at the University of California, Davis, where she helped develop a better monitoring method to identify sources of fecal pollution in recreational coastal and estuarine water.
Currently, Sirikanchana is conducting research and advising graduate students at the Chulabhorn Research Institute. Her research focuses on utilizing microorganisms to track sources of fecal pollution in Thailand in order to resolve water pollution problems. She recently received the Willie Grabow Young Investigator Award from the International Water Association (IWA) in London. She was also awarded the New Face in Civil Engineering honor from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2009.
Sirikanchana resides in Bangkok with her husband, Win, and her two children, Serene and Sira.