Four engineering alumni to receive Penn State's highest honor

May 20, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Four engineering alumni -- Richard H. Bard, Donald Devorris, Lynn A. Dietrich and Jacqueline C. Hinman -- will be honored June 5 with Penn State's Distinguished Alumni Award, the University's highest award for an individual.

The award salutes the achievements of outstanding alumni whose personal lives, professional achievements and community service exemplify the objectives of their alma mater.

Bard, of Evergreen, Colorado, is president and chief executive officer of the Bard Capital Group LLC. He earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1969. After graduating, Bard became, at the time, the highest-paid civil engineer out of Penn State, involved in computerized design of highway structures.

He moved on to Citibank, where he created a desktop quality control process that allowed Citibank to better store Wall Street stock certificates and later worked on corporate acquisitions and strategic growth.

Today Bard is owner and chairman of two companies: Blastrac Global, Inc., the world's No. 1 brand in manufacturing equipment that resurfaces highways and bridges, and Jet Edge, one of the world's top five charter companies of large cabin jets.

He has helped chair fundraising campaigns at Penn State and the University of Colorado, and has been a champion of philanthropic efforts within the health and education fields for the last three decades.

In 2001, Bard received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which is recorded in the U.S. Congressional Record and awarded to those who encourage cultural unity and engage in humanitarian efforts that benefit the U.S.

He also holds a master of business administration from Baruch College of CUNY.

Devorris, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, is president and chief executive officer of The Blair Companies. He received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1956.

Following graduation, Devorris worked for a few years at General Electric before joining Emerson Gardner Electric as a field engineer. There he helped build the Arthur Kill Generating Station in Staten Island, New York.

Devorris moved to Altoona to help take over his father's motor rebuilding business. That business evolved into Blair Electrical Service Company, and during the next decade, Devorris helped grow Blair Electric into the largest electrical contracting company in the coal industry.

Today, Blair Companies employs more than 1,700 associates with annual revenue in excess of $430 million.

In 2010, Devorris was honored with the Outstanding Alumni Award by Penn State Altoona.

Dietrich, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, is director of global engineering and the Engineering Centers of Excellence for Manitowoc Cranes. He earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering in 1973.

Dietrich's first job out of college was with Grove Manufacturing Company, a manufacturer of large cranes located in Shady Grove, Pennsylvania. Forty-two years later, he's still with the same company, which is now known as Manitowoc Corporation.

Through the years Dietrich was involved with many multimillion-dollar global projects and was responsible for engineering groups in France, Germany, India, Brazil, China and the U.S.

In 2010 he was named an outstanding alumnus of the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.

Jacqueline C. Hinman of Denver, Colorado, is chief executive officer and chair of the board of directors of CH2M HILL. She received her bachelor's degree in environmental engineering in 1983.

Hinman began her career by interning at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. After graduation, she managed hazardous waste cleanup and landfill projects in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

In 1988, Hinman joined CH2M HILL. She has held numerous top-level management positions and was a key executive in many of the company's high-profile projects.

Under Hinman's leadership, approximately 31 percent of CH2M's employees are women, 21 percent of the engineers and project managers are female and the make-up of the board of directors is 33 percent women.

In 2009, the company became the first firm in the engineering and construction industry to receive the prestigious Catalyst Award for its commitment to recruit, develop and advance women in the workplace.

Hinman is the recipient of a 2013 Outstanding Engineering Alumna Award from the Penn State College of Engineering.

She delivered the college's spring 2014 commencement address.

Last Updated May 21, 2015