Norbert K. Becker
In Windsor and Essex County, Dr. Norbert Becker, P.Eng., is considered a "community hero". He has a reputation as a leader who can entice engineers and contractors, university and college students, community leaders and other volunteers to donate their time, energy and services to needy churches, non-profit organizations and community groups, to realize 'miraculous' community projects. In June 2000, to recognize his outstanding, long-term, public contributions, Engineer Becker received the 'Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship' from the Lieutenant Governor and the Premier of Ontario. Typical of the work for which he was recognized is the project in which he secured funding and organized a team of volunteers to bring about the restoration of the Nazrey African Methodist Episcopal Church which was an important Station on the 'Underground Railroad' for many escaped slaves. The restored church is the first designated National Historic Site in Canada to officially commemorate Black History. Dr. Becker also sponsored the design and construction of a landmark pedestrian bridge over Turkey Creek in LaSalle that was completed by a team of engineers, students and other volunteers to commemorate Engineering Week 2000. Meanwhile, in the Town of Tecumseh, he spearheaded a volunteer initiative by local engineers to design and build a VIA Rail pedestrian bridge crossing in response to a Coroner's Jury recommendation. Indeed, Engineer Becker has been honoured for over a decade. In 1990 he received the Outstanding and Commendatory Service Award from the University of Windsor. In 1996, he was admitted to Professional Engineer Ontario's 'Order of Honour' for his service to PEO. In 1999, he was selected 'Essex County Engineer of the Year' by his peers. And in 2000 he received the Exemplary Citizen Award in Education from the Windsor-based MEDA (Modern Engineering Design Associates) Charitable Foundation for his work with St. Clair College students. Dr. Becker has also been a supportive alumni of the University of Windsor. As an adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 1980, he has developed course material based on his international consulting practice, as well as contributing generously to student and faculty research activities. Over the years, he and his wife have welcomed many students into their home. It's been said that Norbert Becker exemplifies the highest ideals of the profession of engineering. He represents the quality of professionalism that places service to the community above service to oneself. He has worked diligently and often behind the scenes, to increase public safety and protect the engineering heritage of Ontario for future generations. The resounding support for his nomination for this award indicates the availability of many volunteers to work on his next project.