Miami, FL, April 3, 2012 — Fiatech has announced that Tom Sawyer, a senior editor at ENR magazine, is the recipient of its highest honor, the James B. Porter, Jr. Award for Technology Leadership. The announcement was made here at the Marriott Doral Golf Resort and Spa during the Fiatech Technology Conference & Showcase.
The award is a tribute to Jim Porter, retired chief engineer and vice president - safety, health, environment, and engineering for DuPont. He was instrumental in establishing Fiatech. The award honors and celebrates Porter's vision, technical acumen, commitment to people, and leadership in advancing the capital projects industry and Fiatech's goals to increase business value through implementing IT.
Sawyer specializes in information technology at ENR, a weekly publication from McGraw-Hill that is recognized as the voice of the industry. IT is a key focus for Fiatech and its R&D projects that are bringing the latest IT methods into use in the capital projects industry. Sawyer also is the technology editor at ENR. His coverage of IT issues in the industry and his frequent references to Fiatech have increased industry's awareness of the consortium and its goals as well as the role that technological innovation plays in advancing the capital projects industry. An award-winning journalist, he has written numerous ENR cover stories, performed original research about technology, launched an online technology newsletter, and organized conferences on the topic of IT for the engineering and construction industry.
Sawyer also covers breaking news. He reported for ENR on the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, served as an embedded reporter with combat engineers during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and for subsequent coverage on reconstruction, covered Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, traveled to Japan to report on the tsunami, and was an eyewitness to the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti.
Jerry Gipson, Jr., senior director for manufacturing and engineering IT at Dow Chemical and chair of the Fiatech Board of Advisors, presented the Porter Award to Sawyer. "Tom Sawyer is a recognized champion of strong industry interactions and shared progress in delivering innovative solutions," he said.
Sawyer, a former reporter for the Atlantic City Press, in Atlantic City, N.J., is one of ENR's most avid photo and video journalists and taught photography to New York City high school students before joining the magazine. He has a lengthy tenure in the design and construction industry as well. He has worked construction and owned and operated a business engaged in yacht management and making fiberglass dock furnishings for marinas in North Carolina.
Jan Tuchman, ENR editor-in-chief, revealed that Sawyer maintains a fine balance between technology and the lessons learned from world news events. "He is as eager to unravel technological mysteries as to set out on an expedition to find lessons from disaster that could help prevent loss of life in the future. He is an amazing asset," she said.
Sawyer is the fourth recipient of the Porter Award, which is not an annual recognition but one that is given only when a worthy candidate has been judged to meet the award's tough criteria by the Fiatech Board of Advisors. He joins Jim Porter, the original recipient, Keith Roe, John Voeller, and Dr. Ric Jackson as those recognized with Fiatech's highest honor, the Porter Award for Technology Leadership.