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2016 Outstanding Service Award: Richard S. Prentice

Richard S Prentice PhotoThe Delaware Valley Engineers Week Committee of the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia is proud to recognize Richard Prentice for his Outstanding Service to Engineering.

Richard began his engineering career with the Pennsylvania Department of Highways (now PennDOT) in 1968 as a Bridge Engineer. During his 36 years in public service at PennDOT, he advanced from Bridge Engineer to Project Engineer and eventually to his ultimate role as Assistant District Traffic Engineer. He retired from PennDOT in 2004 and moved to the private sector with a position as a Project Consultant at McMahon Associates, Inc. at the firm’s Fort Washington office. He retired from McMahon in July 2015.

In his career both at PennDOT and McMahon, Richard worked on various, significant highway and transportation projects in PennDOT’s District 6, which encompasses the five-county Philadelphia metropolitan region.

Richard joined the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) in 1972 as a member of its Delaware Valley Section. He became increasingly active in the Section’s various committees and programs and was elected to the Section’s Board of Directors in 1984. He served in several positions in the Section until 1995, including President for the 1990-1991 season.

The Section, recognizing Richard’s talent and energy, nominated him to serve the society on regional and national levels, serving on the Region 6 Board for six years and at the national level for 13 years. He served as ASHE’s national president in 2006-07. He is also involved in ASHE’s First State Section in Delaware.

He worked tirelessly to enhance the value of the ASHE organization and its benefits for members in his various capacities. In his service at Region 6, he pushed the concept of a one-day technical seminar to offer various sessions and continuing education credits. After a few years and continued diligence, the Seminar was able to obtain IACET certification, which allowed attendees and presenters to receive nationally-recognized professional development credit.

Richard put a priority on student outreach and worked to establish an ASHE Student Section at the University of Delaware. He also worked with the Delaware Valley Section as its own fledgling scholarship effort was getting off the ground, providing its first student awards in 1972. As a tribute to his efforts, the scholarship was later renamed the Donna Prentice Memorial Scholarship after his wife, who passed away in 2003. To date, the program has awarded financial assistance totaling over $120,000 to over 130 students in its 43 years of existence.

In his various positions in the ASHE organization over the past 43 years, Richard helped expand, establish and enhance membership. He helped startup efforts for new Sections in Metropolitan New York and Central New York. He developed guidelines and policies for Region 6 that became models for other regions in the organization to follow. He was also instrumental in the development and certification of continuing education guidance and manuals, even before many states began to require this for professional licensure renewal (and thereby putting ASHE ahead of the proverbial curve in this area). His efforts on the Delaware Valley Section Scholarship program were replicated through his direction to establish a Region 6 Scholarship and tax-free trust fund to hold and distribute scholarship monies.

Additionally, Richard was involved with the Delaware Valley Engineers Week Committee for more than 20 years, and has helped keep ASHE as an ardent and consistent sponsoring society.

We are proud to recognize Richard accordingly for his 40-plus years of dedication and service to the engineering profession.