Association News

Society of Women Engineers earns construction innovation award.

Press Release Summary:

Dec 17, 2012 - National Building Museum will award Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction Technology to Society of Women Engineers (SWE), which was chosen by jury in recognition of 60+ years of giving women engineers unique place and voice within engineering industry. Prize will be presented on February 5, 2013 in Washington, D.C., where SWE's Betty Shanahan will deliver "Diversity Fueling Innovation" lecture and discuss ways to promote under-represented populations in STEM professions.

National Building Museum - Washington, DC

Original Press Release

Society of Women Engineers to Receive the National Building Museum's 10th Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction Technology

Press release date: Dec 11, 2012

The Museum to host award ceremony and talk on February 5, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Building Museum will award the Society of Women Engineers its Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction Technology. The Turner Prize jury chose the Society of Women Engineers for its more than 60-year history of giving women engineers a unique place and voice within the engineering industry. The Society currently serves over 22,000 members and is a proponent of strengthening science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for women.

The Museum’s executive director, Chase W. Rynd, will present the prize during a ceremony at the Museum in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, from 6:30–8 pm. Betty Shanahan, executive director and CEO of the Society of Women Engineers, will deliver a lecture titled “Diversity Fueling Innovation,” and discuss strategies to recruit, retain, and promote women and other under-represented populations in STEM professions. Registration for the event is required. To register, visit

The Society of Women Engineers was selected unanimously as the recipient of the Turner Prize by a jury composed of five members:
•    M. Arthur Gensler, founder and chairman of the architectural firm Gensler
•    Harold J. Parmelee, past president of Turner Construction Company
•    Clyde Tatum, professor and chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University
•    Janice L. Tuchman, editor in chief, Engineering News Record
•    Christopher A. McFadden, vice president for communications, Turner Construction Company

“The future of the construction industry depends on attracting a more diverse workforce,” said Janice L. Tuchman, editor-in-chief of Engineering News-Record and Turner Prize juror. “The Society of Women Engineers is a driving force in bringing women into engineering careers through training, networking, scholarships, and outreach.” Fellow juror and past president of Turner Construction Company Hal Parmelee added, “Women have been a welcome force to the team of people who are in construction. Their professional leadership contributions have not only enhanced the process of construction but the quality of facilities for the end user, the public at large.”

The Henry C. Turner Prize is named after the founder of Turner Construction Company, which was established in 1902 in New York City. The prize recognizes an invention, an innovative methodology, and/or exceptional leadership by an individual or team of individuals in construction technology. This includes construction techniques, innovations and practices, construction and project management, and engineering design.

Since its inception in 2002, the Turner Prize has been awarded to: structural engineer Leslie E. Robertson; architect I.M. Pei; engineer and builder Charles A. DeBenedittis; the U.S. Green Building Council; Paul Teicholz, founder of Stanford University’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering; Gehry Partners and Gehry Technologies; Charles Thornton, engineer and founder of the ACE Mentor Program; Engineers Without Borders-USA; and Caterpillar Inc.

The Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction Technology is sponsored by the Turner Construction Company. In 2001, the Turner Construction Company established an endowment to support the prize which carries a cash award of $25,000.

The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution dedicated to advancing the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, online content, and publications, the Museum has become a vital forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the world we build for ourselves. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit Connect with us on Twitter: @BuildingMuseum and Facebook:

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit educational and service organization. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and receive the recognition and credit for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders. For more information about the Society please visit or call 312.596.5223.

Photo courtesy of Society of Women Engineers.

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