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Rafael Frias, a Black & Veatch engineer, was recently presented with the “A. Ivan Johnson Outstanding Young Professional Award” at the annual American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Awards Luncheon in Baltimore, Md.
The award, established in 2000 as the Pyramid Award, was created to recognize young professionals who have demonstrated outstanding achievements, talents and leadership potential through professional activities in water resources for at least two years but not more than eight years. A project engineer based in Black & Veatch’s Tampa, Fla. office, Frias has worked on many projects in storm water, surface water quality and groundwater modeling.
“Rafael is a very intelligent, personable professional, and he’s a key member of our Florida water resources team,” said Helen Bennett, east region vice president and project director for Black & Veatch. “We are pleased to see him receive recognition at the national level. He truly is an outstanding young professional.”
Before moving to the company’s office in Tampa, Frias spent five years in Kansas City, Mo., where he was involved with several projects in the midwestern U.S., particularly in Missouri and Kansas. He also has completed international assignments in Puerto Rico and Honduras.
“Rafael has been very involved in our organization and in the Florida section,” said Dick Engberg, AWRA technical director and Frias’ nominator. “I’m quite sure that his professional accomplishments in Kansas City and Florida were also major considerations in the selection process.”
Frias earned a master’s degree in 2002 from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in 1997 from Louisiana State University. In addition to taking an active role in AWRA, Frias is a member of the Water Environment Federation and the American Society of Civil Engineers.
This year, the AWRA Board of Directors renamed the award the A. Ivan Johnson Outstanding Young Professional Award in honor of a past AWRA president who was dedicated to helping young professionals reach their potential.