California Department of Transportation

Now Accepting Submissions for the 2014 Caltrans Outstanding Management and Engineering in Transportation Awards

The Department of Transportation is now accepting nominations for its 2014 Outstanding Management and Engineering in Transportation Awards, also known as the Purcell, Roberts, Moskowitz and Rhyner Awards.  These awards recognize valued contributions to the field of transportation by Caltrans registered engineers, engineering managers and non-engineering managers. Deadline for nominations is Friday, March 14, 2014.

The Charles H. Purcell Award recognizes valued contributions by Caltrans engineering managers to the field of transportation engineering and transportation program management.  Mr. Purcell served as California State Highway Engineer from 1928 to 1943 and as Director of Public Works until 1951.  He established California’s extraordinary record of leadership and integrity in transportation engineering and guided the construction of the San Francisco Bay Bridge and the State’s Freeway System.

The James E. Roberts Award recognizes outstanding contributions by Caltrans registered engineers to the field of transportation structures.  Mr. Roberts served as a structural engineer and manager for over half a century, including fifteen years as California’s State Bridge Engineer.  He spearheaded Caltrans’ $4.5 billion seismic retrofit program and oversaw nearly $50 million in seismic research projects.  He was named to the National Academy of Engineering in 1996; the only state employed engineer to be so honored.  Mr. Roberts retired in 2001 as Chief Deputy Director.

The Karl Moskowitz Award recognizes contributions by Caltrans registered engineers to the field of transportation engineering. Mr. Moskowitz served as a traffic engineer for the State Department of Transportation for 27 years.  Much of his work in freeway design and traffic flow appeared at the outset of the Interstate Highway program and was used extensively by planners and engineers nationwide, thus becoming national standards.  He conceived the idea of computer-controlled lane metering systems.

The Emerson Rhyner Award recognizes contributions to the field of transportation by non-engineering Caltrans managers. This may include, but is not limited to, surveyors, architects, lawyers, planners, landscape architects, administrators, right of way agents, maintenance managers, rail, aeronautics, and mass transportation managers. Mr. Rhyner was Deputy Chief of the Division of Right of Way/Legal Division for California’s highway program in the early 1960’s.  He represented the Department in legislative affairs, acting as a liaison to the Legislature as well as representing the State’s transportation interests in Washington D.C.  His efforts helped define the relationship between state and national interests and established the roles of state and local governments in the early days of freeway system development.

Scoring will be based on the following criteria applicable for each award:

  • Contribution to the field of transportation engineering and California’s transportation program management
  • Contributions to the field of transportation management through effective and exemplary leadership
  • Innovation in design, process, or procedure
  • Publications, papers, and presentation
  • Affiliations (professional and community)
  • Public benefits derived from individual’s area of responsibility

Nominations will be reviewed and winners selected by a panel of judges representative of the varied disciplines that this award honors.  The awards will be presented at the California Transportation Foundation’s annual transportation awards banquet on May 22, 2014.

Guidelines and applications:

The Charles H. Purcell Award Guidelines Nominations
The James E Roberts Award Guidelines Nominations
The Karl Moskowitz Award Guidelines Nominations
The Emerson Rhymer Award Guidelines Nominations



Please email: or call 916.653.8879