Amy DiRienzo Photo

RESPEC Engineer Receives Top Honors From SDES

The South Dakota Engineering Society (SDES) recently announced that Amy DiRienzo, staff engineer at RESPEC, was named Young Engineer of the Year 2018, by the SDES Black Hills Chapter. DiRienzo was praised for her collegiate achievements, professional society activities, publications and presentations, volunteer efforts, and professional achievements.

“I deeply appreciate this award and am so grateful to be recognized for my dedication to STEM outreach and professional achievements,” DiRienzo said.

At RESPEC, DiRienzo specializes in video monitoring and numerical modeling. As RESPEC’s video monitoring expert, she captures and analyzes video recordings to extract displacement and strain measurements caused during dynamic events. She has performed numerical modeling of geomechanics problems in the salt-mining and petroleum-storage industries that include structural and subsidence studies of underground excavations in salt.

DiRienzo is also well-known across the state for her volunteer efforts in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) educational outreach and for Youth and Women in Science programs. She is the president of Youth in Science Rapid City Inc. (YISRC), which is a nonprofit organization focused on providing Black Hills youth with engaging opportunities to learn about STEM careers. YISRC hosts the annual Women in Science conference at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T). DiRienzo is an avid STEM supporter statewide, and she helps maintain and promote a larger network to support and strengthen Women in Science efforts across South Dakota to ensure that every geographical area is served. She is often featured in panel discussions for area college students and has presented ethics workshops for the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers Program and for the Mine Management course at SDSM&T.

The statewide SDES organization, led by President Ryan Johnson, PE, and Executive Director Nancy Hoines, is an affiliate of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). Richard Bell, PE, is the SDES Black Hills Chapter president. Headquartered in Pierre, South Dakota, SDES is the state society of engineers from all disciplines and has a mission to “promote the ethical and competent practice of engineering, advocate licensure, enhance the image of its members, and advocate legislation and public policy for the betterment of human welfare and the profession.”

RESPEC was also recognized by SDES (Eastern Chapter) and was honored with the 2018 Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award. SDES cited RESPEC’s project for the Big Sioux River Flood Information System that was designed for the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Congratulations to the team for your exceptional efforts.