ASCE Renames Award in Fallen Engineer’s Honor

The Outstanding Practitioner Advisor Award presented annually by ASCE’s Committee on Student Members has been renamed to honor the late Richard H. Nettleton.

Nettleton, P.E., M.ASCE, a design and construction engineer for the Virginia Beach Public Utilities Department and a longtime ASCE member, was tragically and senselessly killed during a mass shooting incident at Virginia Beach Public Works Building Two, May 31, 2019.

“We felt that renaming this award was a great way to recognize a gentleman who did a lot of great things,” said Matt Swenty, chair of the Committee on Student Members.

headshot of Nettleton

Nettleton served as the practitioner advisor for the ASCE Student Chapter at Old Dominion University for 15 years, providing guidance and mentorship for generations of young engineers entering the field.

“The practitioner advisor really provides that connection for students to the industry and the real world,” Swenty said. “Those practioner advisors, like Richard, serve such a critical role for our students and are very important to the health of our student chapters. And Richard did so for many years too. He did a great job.”

Know an outstanding practitioner advisor? Nominate them for the Richard H. Nettleton Oustanding Practitioner Award. Deadline is July 15.


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  1. This is a wonderful, ever so fitting, tribute to Rich. Early in his career Rich was an instructor at the US Army Engineer School where he lead the way for junior Corps of Engineers officers. I was quite happy to receive a recommendation from him for my PE license application. He was the epitome of professionalism. He led by example. He shared his expertise willingly and liberally. He wasn’t done when he was taken from us. I love that this will let his record of exemplary service inspire ASCE members for generations to come!


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