The event was sponsored by the Bernard and Sophia Gordon Engineering Leadership Center at the Jacobs School of Engineering, UCSD. The awards program rewards and recognizes successful leaders and promotes positive role models for Jacobs School of Engineering students.
Dr. Frieder Seible, Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering, announced Ms. Keeney as the first winner of the annual leadership award for engineering leadership in government. He then recognized her as a Gordon Fellow by placing the Gordon Fellows Medal around her neck.
The medal winners are selected annually through a competitive election process based on recommendations from mentors or peers. Candidates are judged on four criteria: demonstration of leadership, engineering knowledge, communication skills and teamwork ability.
Winners are also granted membership in the Gordon Center Alumni Network and are invited to selected VIP gatherings at the Jacobs School. Cash prizes are given to high school, undergraduate and graduate students.
Technical Director Carmela Keeney receives Gordon Engineering Leadership Award
Ms. Keeney thanked Dean Seible and said a few words to the approximately 150 people attending the event. "I think an engineering curriculum, like the curriculum in graduate school, provides a tremendous set of knowledge skills and ability that can be applied to the local, national and global problems that we face as a society. That skill set has to start with engineering excellence, but must move beyond that to engineering leadership."
"Leadership in dealing with these types of problems really requires interdisciplinary teams," she continued. "You can have the strongest technical skills and if you don't have the right attitude, you will not succeed. To all of the students that are here today, excel in your engineering studies, but remember that attitude is vital to success."
The Gordon Fellows Medal.
Bernard and Sophia Gordon are dedicated to supporting innovative engineering leadership training and reform in engineering education. The couple has supported leadership centers at MIT, Northeastern University, Tufts University and the Technion, as well as at UCSD. They have established the National Academy of Engineering's Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education (NAE Gordon Prize).
Gordon holds more than 200 patents worldwide. A lifelong inventor, his creations include the fetal monitor, the high-speed analog-to-digital converter, the instant imaging computer-aided tomography scanner, Doppler radar and an advanced bomb-detection device.
A dinner and a forum preceded the awards ceremony. The forum was led by Keynote Speaker Manfred Broy, Professor, Institut fur Infomatik. The forum was titled "Navigating the Storm - Engineering Leadership When Academia and Industry Meet."
"This prestigious award recognizes Ms. Keeney for what we at SSC Pacific have known for years, that Ms. Keeney's leadership includes great influence as a role model for students interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering or math," SSC Pacific Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Kohlheim said.
"I congratulate Ms. Keeney on her recognition as a Gordon Fellow and I know from personal experience that her unique leadership skills will continue to encourage and inspire engineers not only in government, but in the engineering community outside the government as well."