UW College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Awards Top Honors

The University of Wyoming’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and the Wyoming Alpha chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, have announced award recipients for 2024.

The awards will be presented at the annual College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Awards Banquet Saturday, April 27, at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center.

“We are proud to recognize and honor the exemplary accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff and to thank our generous scholarship donors for their commitment to academic excellence and service to our college,” says Cameron Wright, the Carrell Family Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. “We also get to recognize some very special alumni who have brought great credit upon our college and university throughout their careers.”

The recipients have dedicated their lives in the service of engineering and UW. Many have supported UW through their philanthropy, and others have established endowments in their names.

Here are this year’s award recipients.

Lifetime Achievement Award -- Wyoming Eminent Engineer or Scientist

Vince Garcia, a 1987 civil engineering graduate, is manager of the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s Geographic Information Systems and Intelligent Transportation Systems Program. He leads a team that drives innovation within Wyoming’s transportation sector and oversees state-of-the-art technologies that enhance the safety and efficiency of the state’s transportation network. Garcia’s focus is on the safety of the citizens of Wyoming, and his team established a statewide Transportation Management Center and deployed pre-trip, roadside and in-vehicle intelligent transportation systems. Garcia and his team have been at the forefront of connected vehicle technology, which promises to revolutionize the way we navigate our roads.

Lifetime Achievement Award -- Alumnus Eminent Engineer or Scientist

Gene Humphrey, a 1973 mechanical engineering graduate, is co-founder of 9H Research Foundation, which supports UW’s efforts in clean energy research and education. Humphrey is the retired president and co-founder of the semiconductor technology company called International Test Solutions. A Burns native, Humphrey owns the 9H Ranch in Albany County, where he is creating a solar energy research facility that will donate its energy proceeds to the university while also creating research and curriculum opportunities for students and faculty members.

Lifetime Achievement Award -- Distinguished Engineer

William Lapsley, a 1970 civil engineering graduate, began his 54-year career as a junior engineer at the Los Angeles Flood Control District. After the record-breaking earthquake in 1971, he and his team were selected by the district’s chief engineer to investigate the stability of the district’s 14 large flood-control dams. He moved to North Carolina to join the Hendersonville Water and Sewer Department as director and then established his own private consulting firm -- William G. Lapsley & Associates PA -- in Hendersonville. This firm became a prominent engineering consultant for local government, private land developers and industrial clients. After selling this business, Lapsley served as an elected official on the Henderson County Board of Commissioners.

Lifetime Achievement Award -- Hall of Fame

Andy Krieger earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in petroleum engineering, both at UW. His first job out of college -- as an interventions engineer in Anchorage, Alaska -- turned into a successful career 28 years and counting. Today, Krieger is senior vice president of the Gulf of Mexico and Canada region for BP (formerly British Petroleum), one of the largest deep-water production businesses in the world. The region is an important part of BP’s hydrocarbons business, which is a key pillar in the company’s global production and operations.

Kim Krieger is a 1996 petroleum engineering graduate serving as vice president of midstream for BPX, BP’s onshore oil and gas business. BPX safely and sustainably gathers and processes over 350,000 barrels per day of equivalent production and over $1 billion in new infrastructure investment. As a part of the BPX executive team, Krieger is delivering on a shared vision to disrupt U.S. onshore operations with rapid innovation and game-changing technologies. Before moving to BPX, Krieger served in engineering and leadership roles for BP in Alaska, Trinidad and the Gulf of Mexico.

Pat Tyrrell earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1979 and a master’s degree in civil engineering in 1982 from UW. After graduation, he worked for WWC Engineering, Wenck Associates, Arco Coal Co. at the Black Thunder Mine and States West Water Resources Corp.

In 2001, Tyrrell was appointed as Wyoming state engineer by Gov. Jim Geringer. In this role, he was the chief water official for the state of Wyoming, overseeing state compliance with interstate compacts and court decrees in addition to managing the permitting, use and adjudication of all of Wyoming’s surface and groundwater resources. Tyrrell served during the administrations of four governors and retired in 2019, the longest-serving state engineer in Wyoming history.

Outstanding Faculty Awards

Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award: Jorge Flores, assistant lecturer, Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Sam D. Hakes Outstanding Graduate Research and Teaching: Morteza Dejam, associate professor, Department of Energy and Petroleum Engineering.

Outstanding Staff Awards

Tau Beta Pi Outstanding Staff: Jeremiah “Jerry” Schuchardt, senior office associate, Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering.

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Outstanding Staff: Mēgan Barber, director of business operations, Dean’s Office.

Outstanding Student Awards

Joint Engineering and Physical Sciences Council Outstanding Senior: Alicia Thoney, Sheridan.

Wyoming Engineering Society Student Engineer of the Year: Hannah Hood, Cheyenne.

Tau Beta Pi Outstanding Member: Anna Steele, Cheyenne.

Contact Us

Institutional Communications
Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2929
Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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