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ASCE Student Award Foundation Names Ody Mackin Achievement Award

03 May 2015 9:09 PM | ASCE Blog Editor (Administrator)

Press Release from Student Award Foundation

The Student Award Foundation (SAF) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Pittsburgh Section, is proud to announce the naming of its primary student achievement award, which is presented annually in February at its Engineers’ Week Awards Banquet. This prestigious award will now and perpetually be known as the “SAF Italo V. (Ody) Mackin Achievement Award.” SAF student awards are given to outstanding students of civil engineering who reside in or attend an engineering school within the bounds of the ASCE, Pittsburgh Section.

It is the goal of SAF and the Mackin Engineering Company to make this award one of the most prominent and prestigious awards a student of engineering can receive (second only to the SAF American Bridge Leadership Award). 

This year, the amount of the SAF American Bridge Leadership Award was $6,000, and the amount of the Primary Achievement Award, now known as the “SAF Italo V. (Ody) Mackin Achievement Award,” was $1,500.

Ody Mackin was born in the Friuli region in the northeastern Italian Alps in the village of Pesariis, about 10 miles from the Austrian border. He migrated to the United States as a tot and has resided in Pennsylvania for all but five years of his life. Almost three of those years were service in the U.S. Army during World War II, 27 months of which were served in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Upon his discharge, Ody took advantage of the G.I. Bill to attend the Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. 

Ody, an icon in the engineering field, is the ideal person to have his name associated with this achievement award because of all that he has achieved over his 62 years (and still counting) as a professional engineer. Ody has been a Registered Professional Engineer since 1953, having reached that distinction when he worked for Richardson Gordon Associates (RGA) in its Pittsburgh office. He served in various capacities in his 10-year tenure with RGA, where he worked in both the bridge and highway departments. Ody served as project engineer on the Point Park Portal Bridge (the only one of its kind in the United States) and the Delaware River Turnpike Bridge, which connects Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He also gained experience on both the Ohio and Indiana Turnpikes as well as with the Pennsylvania Department of Highways (PDH), now the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). 

It was because of this wealth of experience, enhanced by his field surveying exposure, that Ody decided, together with a colleague (George Davic), to form a partnership to provide bridge, highway, and surveying services, a partnership that lasted three years. The partnership was dissolved and Ody decided to provide those services as Mackin Engineering Company, a Subchapter S corporation. The date of that transformation was May 1963.

In 50 plus years of operation, Mackin Engineering has served a diverse set of clients, namely, PennDOT (all 11 engineering districts), the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the County of Allegheny, the City of Pittsburgh, several municipal governments throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and a litany of public and private clients. 

Ody served as President of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC/PA) in 1980, and he received the Distinguished Award of Merit, the most prestigious award of the organization, in 1999. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Airport Corridor Transportation Association (ACTA) in 2012 and the Distinguished Service Award from the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers (PSPE), Pittsburgh Chapter, in 2014.


Nationally founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 145,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE's vision is to position engineers as global leaders, building a better quality of life.

The National organization, headquartered in Reston, VA has three strategic initiatives:

  • Infrastructure – Propose practical solutions to maintain and modernize our nation’s deteriorating infrastructure
  • Raise the Bar – Increase education requirements for engineering licensure to better protect the public in the future
  • Sustainability – Embrace and encourage civil engineers’ role as contributors to a sustainable world

For additional information, please contact:

Mr. James J. Lombardi

SAI Consulting Engineers

Tel: 412.392.8763

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