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Clarkson trustee, alum named Top 25 Newsmakers by Engineering News-Record

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POTSDAM - Clarkson University Trustee Carl B. Mack Hon. ’10 and alumnus William A. Wallace ‘64 have been named Top-25 Newsmakers by Engineering News-Record (ENR).

The winners were chosen by ENR “for their outstanding accomplishments, for exceeding expectations, for injecting an original idea or new approach that would take the place of traditional practices, or for performing some special service that benefits the industry and the public.”

ENR lauded Carl Mack for his work as the executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers, tripling NSBE membership and launching free summer engineering camps, which have drawn more than 9,500 minority middle and elementary-school students, as young as third-graders, since 2005. Last year, the camps were conducted in 10 cities, some with as many as 700 participants.

Mack said that he sees STEM training as the path to the middle class for low-income minority students. Participants in the three-week Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) use design concepts to solve problems and create products while gaining knowledge of the underlying technical principles. Tasks at the camps have ranged from building a car that runs on distilled water to developing a perfume from basic chemicals.

Mack has been a member of the Clarkson University board of trustees since 2011, currently serving on the external affairs and finance & budget committees. . He is a graduate and distinguished engineering fellow of Mississippi State University, where he received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. In 2010, he was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from Clarkson.

ENR praised William Wallace, a chemical engineer, for his work as the primary designer of the Envision™ Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System. It said that his technical skill and zeal in helping industry firms and clients determine if they’re “doing the right project” laid the foundation for Envision, a unique rating tool that practitioners are embracing to rate sustainability across many types of infrastructure for the first time.

Envision takes a more holistic view of infrastructure projects, using a multi-tiered, credit-award approach based on resource use, operational resilience, eco-system restoration, life-cycle costs and return on investment, among other measures.

ENR says that Wallace was key to integrating the systems to produce a more functional and less complex tool. Released in 2012, the system is still in its infancy but growing steadily in use among public works departments and engineering professionals.

The Envision™ system is operated by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, founded by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Public Works Association and the American Council of Engineering Companies. The Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design is also a partner. Today, there are over 1,700 Envision-accredited professionals and over 200 infrastructure projects using the system. Currently, three projects have earned awards, and more than 20 have entered the verification stage.

Wallace graduated from Clarkson in 1964 with a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering. He has been a member of Clarkson’s Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering Advisory Council.

“Carl Mack and Bill Wallace have each made key contributions to Clarkson’s education, outreach and research enterprise,” said Clarkson University President Tony Collins. “Our deliberate collaboration with leaders in professional societies and industry is one of the reasons why we graduate remarkably effective engineers, scientists, health professionals, business people and creative leaders who easily engage what’s next. To have ENR recognize two such individuals this year who are making a global difference in industry, as well as at Clarkson, bodes well for our future. We appreciate their time and commitment to the University and congratulate them on this honor.”

“The construction industry is filled with amazing leadership - people with the passion, drive and courage to tackle the most difficult challenges and make our world a better place,” said ENR in describing the awards. “At the end of every year since 1964, Engineering News-Record editors look through the stories that have appeared in ENR and select individuals for special recognition. There are no applications to review or interviews to schedule — editors select candidates because they made a difference for the industry and the public.”

The winners were honored at ENR’s annual gala of more than 1,000 construction leaders in New York City on April 3.

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