Bernard Amadei acknowledged for philanthropy and social involvement
CU professor Bernard Amadei is one of six recipients of the annual Heinz Awards this year.
The award began in 1993, and is named for John Heinz, a former congressman who sponsored the Clean Air Act amendments and other legislation aimed at curbing environmental destruction. Heinz died in 1991.
The awards include five categories: public policy and technology, economy and employment, the environment, arts and humanities and the human condition.
Amadei’s name was announced along with his fellow recipients on Sept. 12, and the awards will be presented on Oct. 22 at a private ceremony in Pittsburgh.
The awards themselves consist of a medallion and an unrestricted cash prize of up to $250,000, according to the Heinz Awards Web site.
Amadei shares the award for the Environment with Susan Seacrest, a Nebraska mother who founded the Clean Water Foundation to protect America’s water.
“(Amadei) has been, from the time he came (to CU), a dedicated faculty member, a dedicated teacher and a dedicated researcher,” said professor Stein Sture, regarding Amadei’s acquirement of the Heinz Award.
Amadei arrived at CU in 1982 after earning his doctorate in civil engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. He pursued a conventional career as a professor and volunteered at a homeless shelter for 7 years.
Soon thereafter he founded Engineers Without Borders, an organization that provides basic necessities to poverty-stricken parts of the world.
Amadei calls EWB “compassionate engineering.”
“I’m proud to see so many young people willing to be of service to the world. There’s quite a few who don’t care much,” he said.
One of these young people with whom this idea resonated was Maria Linderoth, a graduate student in civil engineering.
“He has a genuine desire to see his students succeed,” Linderoth said.
According to the Heinz Award’s Web site, EWB has since grown to include 8,000 members in 235 chapters, and has completed 224 projects similar to the one in San Pablo. In 2001, he founded E.W.B. International, which has a presence in 45 countries.
Jon Newman, a public relations representative for the Heinz Awards, said that at least several of the recipients, Amadei included, intend to use the money for charitable purposes.
Amadei said that he intends to give the money to the U.S. chapter of EWB, vocational schools in developing nations and E.W.B. International.
“If they have a vision for making the world a better place, then you need to follow that vision,” Amadei said.
Amadei went on to condemn the many barriers he sees in the way of his work. These barriers include a lack of funding for the projects, economists and politicians without a technical background making technical decisions and a lack of will to make a difference.
“There are a lot of people who talk about helping,” Amadei said. “But it’s more difficult to walk the talk.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Sam Dieter at firstname.lastname@example.org