Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award

Established in 1966, the DEAA honors graduates and friends who have distinguished themselves through outstanding personal qualities, knowledge, and significant contributions to their fields. These contributions may fall into six categories:

  • Education
  • Research and Invention
  • Government Service
  • Industry and Commerce
  • Private Practice
  • Special (Alumni distinguished in other areas or non-alumni who deserve recognition for service to the college)

The committee considers these criteria:

  • Career: Has the nominee achieved a high level of distinction in his or her field as measured by career trajectory, prior awards, or substantial contributions that have had a positive impact on the profession or society?
  • Community and professional service: Has the nominee given his or her time and talents, above and beyond normal job expectations, in service to the local, national, or international community or to professional societies and associations?
  • Continued involvement with CU Engineering: Has the nominee remained engaged with the college by serving on an advisory board, giving guest lectures, mentoring students, providing financial support, or in other ways?

The selection committee doesn’t require that all nominees have strong achievements for all three criteria but looks for an overall record of high distinction.

Faculty, staff, alumni, or friends of the University of Colorado Boulder may submit nominations. Self-nominations are not accepted.

Nominating two candidates for a joint award is not permitted, as their contributions to all three criteria generally differ, making it difficult to evaluate two candidates on a joint basis. Instead, if two nominees are closely coupled, such as having achieved recognition for a cooperative achievement, separate nominations should be submitted in the same year.

Special category awards are generally limited to one per year with rare exceptions. When a CU faculty or staff member is nominated in the special category as a non-alumnus/a, he or she should have first received other recognition by CU (such as outstanding teaching, research, service and staff awards given by the college and campus) and then have made substantial additional service contributions to the college.

Incomplete nominations or those received after the Oct. 31 deadline will be deferred until the following year. Nominations that don’t meet guidelines (including the minimum/maximum number of supporting letters) will be returned to the nominator.

Nominations remain active for three years, meaning a nominee not selected in the year the nomination is submitted will have two additional years of consideration. Nominators are encouraged to refresh nominations during their active period to add new information or achievements.

Winners must be available to accept the award in person at the Engineering Awards Banquet. A nominee who is chosen for the award but unable to attend the banquet will be returned to the pool for consideration the following year as long as the nomination is still within its three-year active status.

Recent Alumni Award

Recent Alumni Award nominees must have graduated from the College of Engineering and Applied Science with a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree within the last 10 years, as counted from the year of graduation for the most recent degree. For example, a May 2006 BS and May 2006 MS graduate would have eligibility through December 2016. The selection committee will consider these weighted criteria:

(50%) – Career accomplishments and professional development: Nominee has made significant or distinct contribution to an organization, business, or cause since graduation from the college. This may include demonstrated experience or knowledge of field. Examples: formal recognition/awards, patents, innovations, key projects; active involvement in professional organizations; leadership roles in professional groups or boards, or in the company/industry in which they are employed; training and certifications, advanced education, and licenses.

(25%) – Continued involvement with CU and the college: Nominee actively participates in university or college sanctioned/organized events or activities and/or gives back to the college/university in the form of time or money. Examples: student mentorship, senior design project involvement, departmental engineering boards, engineering societies, freshman projects, alumni events, financial contributions, speaking engagements, industry recruitment, etc.

(25%) – Character, growth, and service: Nominee exhibits exemplary personal qualities and development. Examples: proven leadership skills or qualities, passion for interests, demonstrated integrity and ethical decision-making, and commitment of time, experience, and/or recurring involvement with volunteer, nonprofit, or outreach work.

Nominees who do not meet the eligibility requirements will not be considered. Nominations that are incomplete or received after the Oct. 31 deadline will be deferred until the following year. Nominations that do not conform to the guidelines (including the minimum/maximum number of supporting letters) will be returned to the nominator.

Nominations remain active for three years, meaning a nominee not selected in the year the nomination is submitted will have two additional years of consideration.

Winners must be available to accept the award in person at the Engineering Awards Banquet. A nominee who is chosen for the award but unable to attend the banquet will be returned to the pool for consideration the following year as long as the nomination is still within its three-year active status.