Brandie Banner is Georgia Society of Professional Engineers’ student of the year; CEE alumni take top awards

Thursday, March 5, 2015
Brandie Banner, Robert MacPherson and Angela Snyder. (Photos Courtesy of the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers.)


The Georgia Society of Professional Engineers gave its top honors to three School of Civil and Environmental Engineering students and alumni February 28.

At its annual awards banquet, the society named senior Brandie Banner the Georgia Engineering Student of the Year while alumni Angela Snyder received the Georgia Young Engineer of the Year award and Robert MacPherson was named the 2015 Engineer of the Year.

The group also recognized Robert Jacquette, B.S. 2007, as Volunteer of the Year for the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia.

Banner, whose team won last year’s InVenture Prize for their design of an inexpensive mobile toilet for the developing world, graduates in May with her bachelor’s in civil engineering. She’s been an intern at World Water Relief this semester and is a member of the College of Engineering’s Advisory Board and executive vice president of Georgia Tech’s Student Government Association.

MacPherson, B.S. 1984, is vice president at Prime Engineering. Snyder, B.S. 2004, is a project manager at Wolverton & Associates. Both said they were humbled by the honor.

“I never dreamed I would ever win an award like this,” MacPherson said. “This type of award is something you see other people for whom you have a ton of respect winning.”

“I felt like there were probably plenty of others who deserved to be nominated more than me,” Snyder said. “But I was very flattered by the nomination and then really surprised to find out that I had won.”

Both alumni attributed their success to the support of their families and working for bosses and companies that have given them opportunities to tackle challenging, impactful work.

Snyder works on a variety of transportation projects for Wolverton, from large Georgia Department of Transportation road widenings to small, local culvert replacements.

Two south Georgia jobs stick out to her, though: “Truman Parkway Phase V in Savannah and SR 133 widening from Moultrie to Valdosta.

“I am most proud of both of them because I learned so much about roadway design and civil engineering as a whole while working on them. I have seen the direct impact that Truman Parkway has on the traveling public. Also, I can see the potential for economic development once the SR 133 widening projects are built.”

MacPherson’s work at Prime Engineering covers everything from water and sewer design, roads, multi-use paths and site design for residential, commercial and industrial projects. But one of his favorites was a water treatment plant in El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico.

“This water treatment plant was designed to operate with no power requirements and to withstand hurricane force winds [so] water could be produced no matter what conditions may occur,” MacPherson said. “The project required both pack mules and helicopters to bring material in to this remote, difficult-to-reach, mountainous site. When the project was complete, I was able to train employees of the forest service how to operate this extremely user-friendly plant so they could provide high quality drinking water to visitors, employees and local residents.”

“I love the career I have chosen and get up every morning excited to go to work,” MacPherson said. “What a blessing it has been to work in such a great profession with so many fabulous folks.”