California Department of Transportation

2008 Outstanding Management and Engineering in Transportation Awards


Frank Quon, P.E., Deputy District Director, Division of Operations
District 7

Frank Quon’s career has showcased the managerial expertise symbolizing innovation and sound engineering principles that have made Caltrans an icon in the transportation industry across the nation and worldwide. He was manager for District 7 during the implementation of two major Federal Demonstration projects: the Smart Corridor and the Southern California Priority Corridor Projects. These projects are considered cornerstones in the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) strategies across the nation.

For over a decade, Frank has been in the forefront in the development and deployment of ITS strategies. He has worked diligently to preserve mobility in an area where the population continues to grow without significant increases in transportation facilities. His efforts have benefited the travelers in California, but more importantly, have advanced mobility for travelers nationwide. Without his vision, California would not be one of the world leaders in the development and deployment of ITS strategies.

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’s 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-Oakland Bay Bridge and the State Highway System.


John D. Duffy, Senior Engineering Geologist, Office of Geotechnical Design-North
Division of Engineering Services

John D. Duffy has been recognized nationally and internationally for his expertise in Engineering Geology, particularly in the study of rockfall. Through his noted experience, state of the art studies, and publications, John has championed and contributed towards innovative rockfall mitigation measures and projects throughout the State that have significantly reduced rockfall debris flow accident incidences.

John has authored over 14 publications on rockfall and landslide topics. He also served as a technical consultant on The Learning Channel’s “Disaster Detectives,” National Geographic’s Explorers “Landslide,” and the History Channel’s “Modern Marvels: Pacific Coast Highway.”

John has been an active member in national engineering geology efforts, representing California as chairman of the Transportation Research Board’s Engineering /Geology Committee and Rockfall Sub Committee, as a national Cooperative Highway Research Program panel chairman, a steering committed member for the Highway Geology Symposium organization, and other national and state efforts.

The Karl Moskowitz Award annually recognizes contributions by Caltrans registered engineers to the field of transportation engineering. Mr. Moskowitz served as a traffic engineer for Caltrans 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.


Robert A. Macpherson, Deputy District Director, Right of Way
District 4

Robert A. Macpherson led his District to the best overall “delivery” record three times. While in Headquarters (HQ), he developed, implemented, and administered a legislatively mandated “logo signing” program. This included: the development of rules; regulations; public hearings; coordination between Right of Way, Construction, Maintenance, Traffic Operations in HQ and six districts; installation of signing on over 700 miles of state highways; and a report to the Legislature. He completed this two-year demonstration project ahead of schedule, under budget, and in a way that was favorable to Caltrans, the Legislature, and the business community.

He has made a significant contribution to his field and his legacy will serve Caltrans for many years. In 2006 he was the recipient of the prestigious Federal Highway Association’s Excellence in Leadership Award.

The Emerson Rhyner Award annually recognizes contributions to the field of transportation by nonengineering Caltrans managers. Emerson Rhyner was Deputy Chief of the Division of Right of Way and the Legal Division for California’s highway program in the early 1960s. He represented Caltrans 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.


Michael D. Keever, P.E., Chief, Office of Earthquake Engineering
Division of Engineering Services

Michael D. Keever currently oversees the Office of Earthquake Engineering. Through his leadership and technical expertise he has moved Caltrans forward in seismic research and innovation.

Michael is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on seismic design. He has presented numerous papers at the US-Japan and US-Taiwan Bridge Engineering workshops, the Federal Highway Association (FHWA) National Seismic conferences, and to the Transportation Research Board (TRB), as well as many others. He is Co-Chair of the FHWA National Seismic Conference Technical Committee. He is also a member of TRB AFF50 Seismic Design of Bridges Committee and the Structures Industry Advisory Council of Sacramento.

Michael was appointed by the California Seismic Safety Commission to the Strong Motion Instrumentation Advisory Committee overseeing the strong motion activities and manages Caltrans’ Seismic Advisory Board.

The James E. Roberts Award annually 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 15 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.

Roberts Award Nomination Form [Word]
Roberts Award Guidelines [Word]

Moskowitz Award Nomination Form [Word]
Moskowitz Award Guidelines [Word]

Purcell Award Nomination Form [Word]
Purcell Award Guidelines [Word]

Rhyner Award Nomination Form [Word]
Rhyner Award Guidelines [Word]