California Department of Transportation

2010 Outstanding Management and Engineering in Transportation Awards


Bijan Sartipi, Director
District 4

Bijan Sartipi  excels as an innovative leader and customer-service oriented partner at Caltrans.

The civil engineer with a vision has delivered 100 percent of District 4’s projects scheduled for delivery during the last five years, including 44 major projects valued at $691 million during the 208-2009 fiscal year.

He has shepherded the construction of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Bay Area seismic retrofit efforts, and the Devil’s Slide project. New projects include the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore and Doyle Drive Replacement.

Bijan has maximized the use of disadvantaged, veteran, and small business enterprises in state contracts through his development of the Calmentor Conference in 2008, which spurred the Mentor-Protégé program in 2009.

He’s partnered with the University of California-Berkeley and private industry to develop intelligent transportation systems technology, such as real-time signs; and also led a variety of publicly applauded emergency repairs, such as the Interstate 580/MacAuthur Maze.

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.


Joel Aguilar Sr., Chief of Traffic Investigations Branch
District 6, Traffic Operations

Joel Aguilar Sr. has been working to improve worker and public safety since he started at Caltrans in 1985.

Joel has improved traffic safety in California in a variety of work from developing a new provision to install thrie beam barriers in medians, to modifying a standard for a Type 2 rail that reduces the possibility of injuries to motorists who crash into it.

He has published work on the safety of daytime headlight use, and has taught and contributed to the statewide traffic safety investigation curriculum.

He has been involved with six safety corridors, assisted in drafting Assembly Bill 72 regarding safety projects on State Route 46, and aided the defense of the Department in more than a dozen litigation cases. He is currently involved with the Strategic Highway Safety Plan.

Joel is also an active volunteer for several engineering organizations and on the board of the Greater Valley Credit Union.

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 the national standard.


Gary L. Ruggerone, Branch Chief
District 5, Environmental

Throughout Gary L. Ruggerone's 31 years at Caltrans, he has developed and shared his broad knowledge, and fine-tuned processes to protect the environment and transportation system.

Gary has been an integral player on many high profile state, federal, and local projects. He’s conducted multi-year biological studies of the rare Hickman’s Onion, helped create the Carmel River Mitigation Bank, and partnered with federal agencies to protect the California red-legged frog and Smith’s blue butterfly.

Through the Elkhorn Slough Early Mitigation Pilot Project, Gary helped initiate a watershed approach to develop an early mitigation process, which streamlines project delivery.

Gary leads the District 5 Emergency Response Team for Environmental Planning and is a member of the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) Delegation Team for Local Assistance. He was also a key player on the NEPA/404 Task Force.

He’s received numerous awards for his contributions and has also served on several community organizations, including the California Native Plant Society.

The Emerson Rhyner Award annually recognizes contributions to the field of transportation by non-engineering 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 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.


Gudmund Setberg, Senior Bridge Engineer
Division of Engineering Services

Caltrans Senior Bridge Engineer Gudmund Setberg has made sustained and outstanding contributions to the field of bridge engineering, and consequently saved lives through his innovative strategies and devotion to safety.

The 21-year Caltrans employee has worked on many award-winning seismic retrofits including the Noyo River Bridge and the West Approach project to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The West Approach project showcased numerous bridge design innovations including the reconfiguration of post-tensioned bend caps under load and complex temporary support design.

In the fall of 2009, Gudmund showed his dedication on the long-term repair of the fractured eyebar on the Bay Bridge east span cantilever. He worked tirelessly often during nights and weekends through November and December to manage and inspect the design. Gudmund, also known for his work on the innovative Antlers Segmental Bridge and the Hardscrabble Creek, is known as, “an engineer’s engineer.”

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.