Lehigh Valley 
Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers

2020 Awards


2020 LVPSPE Engineer of the Year: Stephen J. Ressler, P.E., Ph.D., Dist.M.ASCE, F.ASEE

This award recognizes a PSPE member who has made significant achievements in the area of: professional society activities; civic, fraternal, religious or humanitarian activities; professional and/or technical publications, papers, or patents; and the field of engineering during their professional career.

Currently serving as President of the Lehigh Valley Section, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Dr. Stephen Ressler is Professor Emeritus from the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, NY.  He holds a B.S. degree from USMA, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from Lehigh University, and a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College. 

Dr. Ressler served for 34 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and retired at the rank of Brigadier General in 2013.  He served in a variety of military engineering assignments in the U.S., Europe, Africa, and Central Asia, including service as Deputy Commander of the New York District, Corps of Engineers.  He is an Army master parachutist and a registered professional engineer in Virginia.  At West Point, he served as Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Director of the ABET-accredited civil engineering program, Vice Dean for Education, and USMA Chief of Staff, while also teaching a wide variety of mechanics, structural engineering, and professional practice courses across the civil engineering curriculum.  As Department Head, he supervised 46 faculty and staff, two ABET-accredited engineering programs, and two research centers.

In 2007, he deployed to Afghanistan to develop a civil engineering program for the newly created National Military Academy of Afghanistan (NMAA) in Kabul. 

Dr. Ressler’s passion is engineering education. He has produced four on-line engineering lecture series for The Great Courses (http://www. thegreatcourses.com/), achieving some of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the company’s 25-year history. He is a frequent guest lecturer at universities, museums, and professional meetings—and has been a featured speaker on seven cruises.  He has taught as an Adjunct Professor at Lehigh University and serves on two national-level education committees of ASCE.  He was the developer and director of the West Point Bridge Design Contest, a nationwide online engineering competition that engaged over 100,000 middle school and high school students between 2001 and 2016.  For over a decade he has served as an instructor for ASCE’s landmark faculty development program—the Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Workshop.  He has written over seventy scholarly papers on engineering accreditation, curriculum assessment, faculty development, teaching techniques, K-12 engineering outreach, and information technology.

Dr. Ressler is a winner of the ASCE Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Award, the ASCE Presidents’ Award, the ASEE Civil Engineering Division’s George K. Wadlin Distinguished Service Award, the ASCE Leif Sverdrup Award for Civil Engineering Management, the ASCE ExCEEd Leadership Award, the ASCE President’s Medal, the Society of American Military Engineers Bliss Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Engineering Education, the American Association of Engineering Societies Norman Augustine Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Communications, the ASEE Distinguished Educator Award, the Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education Courseware, the ASEE Dow Outstanding New Faculty Award, the EDUCOM Medal for application of information technology in education, and ten best paper awards from ASEE and ASCE.  He was one of Engineering News Record’s “Top 25 Newsmakers Who Served Construction” in 2000 and was named a Distinguished Member of ASCE in 2005 and a Fellow of ASEE in 2017.

2020 LVPSPE Young Engineer of the Year: Alexa F. Rooney, EIT, JD

This award is presented to an individual (no more than 35 years-old) based on his/her scholastic achievements, technical and professional society activities, technical papers and/or patents, engineering experience and accomplishments, and civic/humanitarian activities. It is awarded to a young candidate who is a licensed Professional Engineer or Engineer-In-Training.

As a child, Alexa Rooney loved to work with her hands and figure out the skeletons of buildings she visited.   This translated into her love and passion for Civil Engineering.  Alexa received B.S. Degrees in Architectural Engineering and Civil Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology (formally University of Missouri – Rolla).  She then went on to receive her Juris Doctorate from Concord Law School in 2016.

Alexa currently works at PPL, Electric Utilities (PPL), as a Senior Transmission Regulatory and Rates Specialist.  Previously, she spent three years as a Transmission Engineering Design Supervisor.  Prior to that she had eight years of experience with Transmission Line Design working at companies in Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, and New Mexico.

Alexa currently serves as a Director of Lehigh Valley Chapter, Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers.  She’s also a member of Lehigh Valley Chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers, Treasurer for Lehigh Valley Chapter of Society of Women Engineers, and member-at-large on PPL Business Resource Groups, PPL Tomorrow and POWER Network.  Alexa is also a foster parent and a very active volunteer with the Salvation Army – Office of Foster Care.

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