Future winners of a prestigious honor bestowed by the Engineering and Construction Contracting Association will receive a trophy designed by accomplished sculptor, welder and woodcarver Rodney Hill, professor of architecture at Texas A&M.
Hill redesigned the prize at the request of Jorge Vanegas, dean of the College of Architecture, ECC board member and first academic recipient of the annual award, which recognizes outstanding professionals in the energy, process, industrial and general manufacturing industries.
Hill’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the U.S. In Aggieland, he is perhaps best known from the centennial woodcarvings in the Memorial Student Center, the Silver Taps sculpture and myriad other artistic works on campus.
Using the letters of the association’s acronym, Hill made approximately 40 different designs before culling his 10 favorites. Vanegas picked his preference from the group, and a foundry made the medal with bronze letters and a walnut stand from a mold created by Luis Martinez, an M.Arch student working as a graduate assistant for the dean’s office.
Vanegas, who received the award in 2010, earned the honor for his visionary leadership and lasting impact on the competitive face of the engineering and construction industry.
Throughout his more than 20-year career, Vanegas has championed collaboration between academia and industry in developing solutions to the many challenges facing the architecture, engineering, and construction industries, as well as society at large, and, Vanegas has actively promoted a closer link between industry and academia as an advisor to the ECC executive board.