California Department of Transportation

2012 Outstanding Management and Engineering in Transportation Awards


Robert Copp
Robert Copp

Robert Copp, Chief
Division of Traffic Operations

Robert Copp, California's State Traffic Engineer, has distinguished himself throughout his Caltrans career as a champion of transportation system management and data-driven decision making.

Robert was the catalyst for better highway system management and he continues as the leader in Caltrans' cultural shift to true system management. The Freeway Service Patrol, for which Robert was essential in setting the foundation, is seen as one of California's strongest state-local partnerships.

Robert was responsible for the accomplishment of the District Traffic Manager Plan and the Caltrans policy on Transportation Management Plan. He was also an advocate for providing motorists with timely and accurate traveler information leading him to develop a wholesale Web portal for Caltrans travel data, which has in turn allowed him to drive the implementation of the new Caltrans QuickMaps.

On a national level, Robert has participated with several committees of the Transportation Research Board addressing issues ranging from geographical information systems to freight data and intelligent transportation systems. Robert has also presented at national and regional conferences on topics ranging from pavement management techniques, automated pavement rating systems, transportation management plans and transportation management systems.

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.


Rich Stone
Rich Stone

Rich Stone, Senior Transportation Engineer
Division of Construction

Rich Stone was instrumental in the transformation of the Office Engineer's (OE) website, one of the most useful websites available to California highway construction contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.

The OE website now hosts many easy-to-use features that allows bidders to quickly find projects of interest, advertise their services, and view bid results and other valuable information. The website now includes: Contract Bid Item Search Tool; Geographic Search Tool: Specialty License Search Tool: E-Advertising; Post Bid Files; and the Prime Advertising Tool to name a few.

Rich's innovative work on the OE website transformed Caltrans' business methods for contract advertising and bid opening and award, which saves hundreds of thousands of dollars annually and provides an outstanding customer service experience for the Department's industry partners.

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


Boris  Deunert
Boris Deunert

Boris Deunert, Senior Environmental Planner
District 4, Office of Local Assistance

Boris Deunert has provided guidance to the Department's external partners on critical project delivery issues. He developed and assisted in delivering numerous presentations to nearly all Bay Area Counties on Local Assistance environmental procedures, which have greatly benefitted local agencies.

In addition, Boris initiated in-office review procedures to handle the massive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act workload, expediting the review of the "almost" shovel ready projects. Using technology and pre-screening projects instead of onsite visits resulted in field reviewing a staggering one hundred and forty four projects in less than a month.

Boris's efforts have resulted in greatly improved working relationship with the Department's external partners as well as an increase in productivity in Local Assistance, all during a year with added workload and during a time of staff furloughs. This increase along with his innovation has streamlined collaboration between public agencies and benefited taxpayers as more infrastructure projects were built with fewer resources.

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 the Department in Legislative Affairs, acting as a liaison to the Legislature and 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 B. Johnson

Michael B. Johnson , Chief
Office of Bridge Management and Specialty Investigations

During his 20 years with Caltrans Structure Maintenance & Investigations Michael Johnson has made considerable contributions to the Department, as well as national policy, specifically in the areas of bridge management.

He was instrumental in the 2005 Five-Year Maintenance Plan, which relied heavily on the deterioration analysis he developed. Due to his efforts, the number of projects being worked on soared from six to eight each year to 90 a year due to the aggressive preservation program. The annual rehabilitation needs have been cut in half since 2005.

Mr. Johnson also led the development of the Structures Maintenance Automated Report Transmittal (SMART), which was challenging from a technical perspective, but the cultural change was tremendous. Over the past 15 years, SMART has revolutionized the way the Caltrans manages its bridge program.

Michael's efforts have resulted in major improvements to bridge management and have saved the State of California millions of dollars each year.

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 more than 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.