American Society of Civil Engineers Illinois Section names Commissioner Frank Avila as “Citizen Engineer of the Year”

MWRD Commissioner Frank Avila has been named “2012 Citizen Engineer of the Year” by the American Society of Civil Engineers Illinois Section.


For his contribution and advancement to the science and profession of civil engineering, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Commissioner Frank Avila has been named “2012 Citizen Engineer of the Year” by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Illinois Section.

The ASCE awards local engineers and members of the general public for their contributions. The award was presented during the ASCE’s annual dinner meeting on Oct. 10 at the Union League Club in Chicago.

Leo X. Morand, PE, is the Chairman of the Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers Awards Committee.  “It is with great enthusiasm that we honor Commissioner Avila this year,” said Morand. “He has embodied the engineering profession in a public agency that provides a vital service throughout Cook County. We are proud that he has served in an admirable fashion and is a credit to our profession.”

Commissioner Avila expressed his gratitude for the recognition. “I am deeply honored by the tribute,” said Commissioner Avila.  “I hope that my work has contributed to the improvement of water quality, aquatic life, and the lives of everyone living in Cook County.”

Commissioner Avila was elected to the Board of Commissioners of the MWRD in 2002 and re-elected in 2008.  He is Chairman of the Engineering Committee and the Committee on Maintenance and Operations. Commissioner Avila works to protect the health and safety of the public and protect the quality of water in the Chicago area waterways.  His top priorities include cost-effective wastewater treatment, flood prevention, the regulation of waste disposal to protect our waterways including eliminating toxic chemicals from the source to prevent endocrine disruption.

Commissioner Avila frequently speaks about the MWRD, addressing many community and business organizations, schools and public agencies. He and his wife, Sherry, have produced numerous Environmental Chicago Access Network TV shows that may be viewed at www.avilamedia.blip.tv and www.youtube.com/user/avilatvproducers. In addition, Commissioner Avila has produced several Public Service Announcements for children as well as adults on protecting our water environment.

Commissioner Avila received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois-Champaign in 1961 and his Master’s Degree in Finance from the University of Arizona-Tucson  in 1968. He owned a civil engineering company named AVILA & ASSOCIATES, INC. and practiced engineering and land surveying for over 45 years.

Married for 47 years, Commissioner Avila and Sherry have three children and two grandchildren: son Frank, wife Rachel and two grandchildren, Clarence (16 years) and Thalia (20 months); son Quinn and wife Jackie, and daughter Audrey.

Congratulations Commissioner!

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