Dufalla Receives ASHE Robert E. Pearson
Person of the Year Award
Michael H. Dufalla, P.E., P.S. was recently
chosen as the recipient of the 2003 Robert E. Pearson Person
of the Year Award. The ASHE Robert E. Pearson Person of the
Year Award is presented annually to a person who has impacted
the highway industry, is active in highway related societies,
has given personal time for the good of the industry and is
well respected by his/her peers. The award was presented at
the Past Presidents Luncheon held at the 2003 ASHE National
Conference in Akron, Ohio.
Michael has held the position of Pennsylvania Department of
Transportation District 12 Engineer since 1993. As District
Engineer, he has been instrumental in developing and successfully
implementing numerous project management and teamwork strategies.
Under his leadership, the District continues to explore new
ways to improve the operational processes for PENNDOT and their
PENNDOT District 12 is responsible for the design, construction,
administration and maintenance of 3,682 miles of roadways and
2,350 bridges over a four county area in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Michael administers the District with a comprehensive staff
of 794 employees in addition to a number of consultants and
Over the past eight years, District 12 has let 364 construction
contracts totaling approximately $658 million. During that same
time frame, Michael administered over $200 million in major
highway construction projects involving State Route 22, Interstate
79 and Interstate 70. The State Route 22 contracts included
the first urban single point interchange in the state.
Michael established a number of research partnerships between
PENNDOT and regional universities and private industry. The
partnerships have provided funding for research to develop and
improve new technologies related to highway design, construction
Michaels planning experience involved him in the 2000
Transit Plan for the Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional
Planning Commission. He also assisted in designing the Skybus
Rapid Transit System into Pittsburghs Golden Triangle
for the Allegheny County Port Authority.
His other experiences are mining site design, land development
and site aesthetics, recreational facilities, municipal engineer
positions, construction management and waterline and sanitary
Michael holds a registered professional engineers license
in Pennsylvania, Florida and West Virginia. He is registered
as a professional land surveyor in Pennsylvania. Michaels
education includes four degrees from the University of Pittsburgh;
BSCE (1966), BSMinE (1968), MSCE (1970) and MPW (1972). He has
also earned an Associate Degree from the Pennsylvania State
University (1962). He is currently completing work on a doctorate
degree in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Michael is an active member of the ASHE Southwest Penn section
and serves on the section Board of Directors. He is a member
of the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society
of Professional Engineers and American Public Works Association.
Michael lives in Washington County, Pennsylvania with his wife,
Penny and his three children, Michele, Nicole and Jacqueline.
Local sections provide nominations for the award to the National
Board following the guidelines in the ASHE Section Operating
Manual. The National Board selects the award recipient from
the nominations received. The ASHE Person of the Year award
was first presented to Jacob Kassab, Pennsylvania Secretary
of Transportation, at the 1974 conference in Pittsburgh. Past
winners include former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, retired
Georgia DOT Commissioner Wayne Shackelford and former U.S. Representatives
Doug Walgren and Bud Shuster. The award has also been bestowed
to several members of ASHE who have been instrumental in promoting
the organization in addition to their contributions to the highway
The award was renamed in 1999 in honor of Robert E. Pearson.
Bobs career spanned more than forty years in the transportation
field and included roadway design and project development for
a number of projects for the Highway Trust Fund of North Carolina.
Bob was a charter member of the Carolina Triangle Section and
served as Section President. He was instrumental in forming
new sections in Charlotte, Tampa and Atlanta. Bob served as
National Director, National Second Vice President and National
First Vice President. Mr. Pearson succumbed to an illness in
1998, and the National Board voted to rename the award in his
honor for his devotion to ASHE.
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