Some features of this site are not compatible with older versions of Internet Explorer. Upgrade your browser or install Google Chrome Frame to better experience this site.

Special Awards

The Special Awards are presented at the NCSEA Structural Engineering Summit to NCSEA members who have provided outstanding service and commitment to the association and to the structural engineering field. These include the James Delahay Award, the NCSEA Service Award, the Robert Cornforth Award and the Susan M. Frey NCSEA Educator Award.  All awards are based on worthy recipients and may not be awarded each year.  2019 Special Awards Press Release
Submit Your Nomination

Nominations are due July 17, 2020




2019 Special Awards Winners

The NCSEA Service Award

This award is presented to an individual who has worked for the betterment of NCSEA to a degree that is beyond the norm of volunteerism. It is given to someone who has made a clear and indisputable contribution to the organization and therefore to the profession. Nominations can be submitted by any SEA Member. NCSEA Board members are not eligible.


Ben Nelson, P.E., is Structural Division Manager and Chairman of the Board for Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers, based in Lakewood, Colorado. He has practiced structural engineering for over 35 years, all with the same firm. He served on the Board of the Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC) for 5 years and was President in 1999. He was SEAC’s delegate to NCSEA from 2002-2010 and was elected to the NCSEA Board of Directors in 2007, serving 7 years, including NCSEA President in 2012-2013.
While NCSEA President, Mr. Nelson founded the initial Young Member Group (YMG) which evolved into the YMG Support Committee as well as the YMG scholarship program to encourage greater participation at the NCSEA Annual Conference, later the NCSEA Summit. He is most proud of the growth of YMGs throughout nearly all of NCSEA’s Member Organizations and their substantive impact to the future of NCSEA and the structural engineering profession.
Mr. Nelson also established NCSEA’s Susan Frey Educator Award in 2014 and has served on NCSEA’s Awards Committee since 2013. He has presented numerous talks and sessions to structural engineers throughout the country. In his 17 years with NCSEA, he also actively served many NCSEA committees including Advocacy, Winter Institute, Structural Engineering Summit, Continuing Education, and Member Organization Liaison/Communications.

Robert Cornforth Award

This award is presented to an individual for exceptional dedication and exemplary service to a Member organization and to the profession. Nominations can only be submitted by SEA Leadership (any Delegate, President, Executive Director, or someone acting on behalf of the organization as a whole.) NCSEA Board members are not eligible.


Thomas A. DiBlasi, P.E., SECB, has been a practicing engineer for over 34 years and is a licensed Professional Engineer in 14 states. Over the past 34 years, he has moved the profession forward by being an active member of many boards, associations, and committees, and also by encouraging staff and future generations of structural engineers to participate in professional learning opportunities and to get involved.
Mr. DiBlasi is the Principal/President of DiBlasi Associates. The success of DiBlasi Associates is due to DiBlasi's own dedication to the field as well as his mentoring and support of his small, yet impressive staff of only four.
He has been involved with the Structural Engineers Coalition of ACEC/CT since its inception in the 1980’s. He carried over that support to NCSEA, where he represented Connecticut as their delegate, he served as President of the Board of Directors in 2011-2012, and where he currently sits as Chair of the Code Advisory Committee.
Mr. DiBlasi has made important contributions to the field at both the state and national level which is highlighted though his tireless work on committees that highlight a variety of aspects of the field from professionalism to code writing, to supporting future engineers.

Susan M. Frey NCSEA Educator Award

The Susan M. Frey NCSEA Educator Award is presented to an individual who has a genuine interest in, and extraordinary talent for, effective instruction for practicing structural engineers.  The award was established to honor the memory of Sue Frey, one of NCSEA's finest educators. Nominations can be submitted by any SEA Member. 


Dr. S. K. Ghosh heads the consulting practice, S. K. Ghosh Associates LLC, Palatine, Illinois, now a subsidiary of the International Code Council.  Dr. Ghosh is active on many national technical committees, is an Honorary Member of ACI, and is a Fellow of ASCE, SEI, and PCI.  He is a member of ACI Committee 318, Standard Building Code and the ASCE 7 Standard Committee (Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures). He is a former member of the Board of Directors of ACI, EERI (Earthquake Engineering Research Institute) and BSSC (Building Seismic Safety Council). He is a member of the Board of Governors of ASCE’s Structural Engineering Institute.
Dr. Ghosh has influenced seismic design provisions in the United States for many years. In addition to authoring many publications in the area of structural design, Dr. Ghosh has investigated and reported on structural performance in most recent earthquakes.

The James Delahay Award

This award is presented at the recommendation of the NCSEA Code Advisory Committee, to recognize outstanding individual contributions towards the development of building codes and standards. It is given in the spirit of its namesake, a person who made a long and lasting contribution to the code development process. Nominations can only be made by the Code Advisory Committee Chairperson.


Kelly E. Cobeen, S.E., is an Associate Principal with Wiss Janney Elstner Associates in their San Francisco office, and is a registered Civil and Structural Engineer. Her work experience includes a wide range of project types, sizes and construction materials, with a special interest in seismic resistance of light-frame construction. She is a past president of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) and Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC). She has more than 30 years of involvement in building code and standard development, including participation in activities with SEAONC, SEAOC, the Building Seismic Safety Council, the American Wood Council, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and others. Through all of these activities, she has looked for opportunities to bring participants together to find common interests and solutions. She has participated in code development hearings as far back as the early 1990’s, playing significant roles in revisions to the 1994 and 1997 Editions of the Uniform Building Codes, and is still involved in the code development process today. Kelly has had involvement in testing and research projects in management and professional advisor roles, and occasionally as a hands-on researcher. She has had involvement in the development of numerous Applied Technology Council publications, and is coauthor of the fifth through eight editions of the Design of Wood Structures textbook.