The Robert M. Gillim Foundation of The Kentucky Section of The American Society of Civil Engineers was founded in memory of Mr. Gillim in 1966.

Mr. Gillim graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1948 with a degree in Civil Engineering and had a distinguished career in the field.

He was a registered engineer in ten states. He began work in 1948 for the Magnolia Oil Company; then continued with the Bridge Division, KDOH; Construction Division, Dupont Chemical Company; C. I. Girdler Company; Tecon Engineering Company; and Brighton Engineering Company. In 1962 he was President and Chief Engineer for the Brighton Engineering Company owned by Mr. Bill May. The company was one of the design consultants for KDOH building the Toll Roads and Interstate Highways.

Mr. Gillim was a member; past-president KY Section ASCE, and a member; past president of the Louisville Chapter KSPE. He was also a member of the American Welding Society, the American Concrete Institute and an associate member of the Highway Research Board.

Mr. Gillim died of Cancer at the age of 45. He was a young and popular engineer and his fellow engineers decided to establish the Foundation in his memory. The purpose of the foundation was to award an annual "Professional Recognition Award" to an outstanding Kentucky Civil Engineer and to issue annual scholarships to Junior or Senior Civil Engineering students at UK and U of L.

The non-profit Foundation was formed and the first two checks for $2,000 each were received from Mr. Dwight H. Bray, PE president of Brighton Engineering and Mr. Kenneth Hagen, PE of the R. R. Dawson Bridge Company of Bloomfield, Ky. Many other contributions were made to the Foundation over the years. The awards committee of the Kentucky Section, ASCE made the decisions of who would receive the awards.

The first Professional Recognition Award went to Professor William R. McIntosh, PE of the University of Louisville. The only non PE to receive the award was Mr. Robert R. Dawson of Bloomfield who left the civil engineering program at UK to go into the construction business and was the premier bridge contractor in Kentucky in the 1960's.

The scholarship program has grown and been developed over the years to the current program.

Because of administrative problems the Foundation was dissolved October 3, 2003. The funds were transferred to the Kentucky Section scholarship program and the Section Awards Committee is to continue the "Professional Recognition Award" as the annual outstanding Civil Engineer award.


Kentucky’s 2017 Civil Engineer Professional Recognition Award

Nancy Albright, MSCE, PE


Nancy graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, and obtained her Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 1992. A transportation scholarship student with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), she began her career with the KYTC as a student and stayed with the KYTC upon graduation. Early in her career, she accepted a position in the State Highway Engineer’s Office, responding to technical questions from citizens, other Cabinets, and legislators. She developed a wide knowledge of the KYTC operations across all divisions and propelled her array of skills even further through her work with other agencies including the Federal Highway Administration and neighboring Departments of Transportation. She developed a reputation as a collaborator with a passion for the mission of the KYTC, its employees, and the citizens of Kentucky. 

As the Intelligent Transportation Systems Branch Manager, she oversaw the TRIMARC regional traffic management system deployment in Louisville and worked on the statewide launch of the KY 511 traveler information system and the deployment of the ARTIMIS traffic management system. She served as the Director of the Division of Maintenance for eight years which included the direct oversight of the twelve maintenance programs involving over $300 million annually with 45-60 employees and contractors. This covered everything from bridge maintenance, winter weather and emergency responses, rest areas and median maintenance, permits, and pavement restoration.  She retired from KYTC in 2015 as the Deputy State Highway Engineer for Operations and Maintenance, working with cabinet leadership on adequate funding for state transportation maintenance. She worked briefly with CDM Smith in Lexington, and is currently with the Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) at the University of Kentucky. In this role, she continues her dedication to the mission of better transportation, serving as a research engineer with the Special Projects and Initiatives program.

She has served on numerous committees and in various leadership roles in the Kentucky Section and Frankfort branch of ASCE including State President, Frankfort Branch president, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee and the Awards Committee. She was dedicated to the scholarship program and mentoring program at the KYTC, actively participating as a young engineer, and providing leadership as she advanced within the KYTC. She is active with the Kentucky Association of Transportation Engineers, Kentuckians for Better Transportation, and served as the KYTC member on the AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance. She was named the KY ASCE Outstanding Engineer in Government twice and in 2001 was named the Outstanding Young Civil Engineer of the Year by the University of Kentucky.

As a leader and a role model, mentor, engineer, and dedicated public servant Nancy’s service and dedication to the civil engineering profession is greatly appreciated.

Previous Winners