The late John F. Parmer, a founder of SEAOI and its first Executive Director, believed structural engineers should be recognized for their important role in creating our constructed environment. 

The John F. Parmer Award is presented to a structural engineer in recognition of outstanding lifelong contributions in the field of structural engineering. This award is presented jointly by SEAOI and the Structural Engineers Foundation. The candidate must be an individual whose distinguished career is acknowledged by his or her peers to be an example of excellence.


Congratulations to Ken Price, 2018 John F. Parmer Award Recipient

Kenneth D. Price manages the complex bridge group in the Central and Texas/Mountain Regions for WSP USA.  Over the span of his career, he has worked on major bridges including long-span highway cable-stayed and arch bridges, segmental bridges, and rail bridges. 
Ken was originally registered in Illinois as both a structural engineer and a professional engineer.  He is also registered as an SE in several other states and certified with Texas DOT as an Exotic Bridge Engineer.  
Prior to joining WSP in October 2017, Ken worked with two other legacy bridge firms, HNTB and JMI. With HNTB, Ken was a National Practice Consultant on some of the firm’s most significant projects. A few notable examples include the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge (cable-stayed segmental), the Port Mann Bridge (composite cable-stayed), the Honolulu Area Rapid Transit (segmental), the I-70 Mississippi River Bridge in St. Louis (cable-stayed), the Hastings Bridge over the Mississippi River in Minnesota (tied arch), and the I-71 Jeremiah Morrow Bridge in Ohio (CIP segmental).
With JMI, Ken worked on some of the largest international bridge engineering projects, including the Confederation Bridge in Canada, the Bangkok Skytrain (28 miles of elevated Light Rail structure) and the Bang Na Elevated Tollway (36 miles of elevated highway structure) all of which were P3 projects worth approximately $3.5 billion combined.
He is well known as an innovator in long span and complex bridge design, signature bridges, and accelerated bridge construction.  He has left a mark on the USA bridge-scape. He holds a B.ASc., Engineering degree from the University of Toronto (Honors 1).


About John F. Parmer

John F. Parmer, a structural engineer, was one of the seven founders of SEAOI. In 1965 he, along with Frank Wells and Ken Naslund, came to talk to Nissim Eskenazi and George Ellis about starting a structural engineers association in Illinois. They were joined by Henry Miller and Frank Cooper. Within a very short period of time, SEAOI was founded. John F. Parmer became the first executive director and he, as well as his wife Chris, spent many hours working for SEAOI at 173 W. Madison Street in Chicago.

In the spring of 1977, at age 88, Mr. Parmer’s health began to fail and he found it necessary to retire from SEAOI. In June of that year, SEAOI presented him with an award, the first John F. Parmer Award, for service to the profession. When Mr. Parmer passed away in the fall of 1977, his son, John C. Parmer, and daughter-in-law, Carolyn Noonan Parmer, wanted to remember him by doing something special, on his behalf, for structural engineers. Therefore, in his honor, they presented SEAOI with a check for $500.00 to fund a John F. Parmer Award, honoring a structural engineer whose distinguished career was acknowledged by their peers to be an example of excellence.

John C. Parmer passed away in September, 2005. His family continues to support the John F. Parmer Award as they have done for more than 30 years. Both SEAOI and the Structural Engineers Foundation gratefully acknowledge the Parmer family’s longstanding support of the structural engineering profession.


John F. Parmer Award Recipients

2017     William Baker
2016     Jay Paul
2015     Ron Klemencic
2014     German R. Gurfinkel
2013     Burton A. Lewis
2012     Ian R. Chin
2011     Robert A. Halvorson
2010     John (Jack) E. Barrett
2009     D. Stanton Korista
2008     Chris Stefanos
2007     Mike Tylk
2006     Charles H. Thornton
2005     John M. Hanson
2004     Ralph S. Peck
2003     Mete A. Sozen
2002     John J. Zils
2001     Chester P. Seiss
2000     Jack Janney
1999     R. Shankar Nair
1998     Kolbjorn Saether
1997     W. Gene Corley
1996     Nissim I. Eskenazi
1995     Clyde N. Baker, Jr.
1994     Eli W. Cohen
1993     Dr. Sidney A. Guralnick
1992     Srinivasa “Hal” Iyengar
1991     Leslie E. Robertson
1990     William J. Hall
1989     Eivind Hognestad
1988     Richard A. Parmelee
1987     Fazlur Rahman Khan (posthumous)
1986     Narbey Kachaturian
1985     Nicholas A. Bilandic
1984     Harry Stavrides
1983     Harold R. Sandberg
1982     Edward S. Hoffman
1981     Walter E. Hanson
1980     Alfred Benesch and Carl Metz
1979     Max Zar
1978     John Gnaedinger