The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at NDSU honored several transportation leaders at its annual awards banquet Oct. 3 in Fargo.
Honorees included State Sen. Rich Wardner of Dickinson; Don Andersen, professor emeritus of civil engineering at NDSU; and Tim Horner of Bismarck, former deputy director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation and current director of the Transportation Learning Network.
Wardner received the John M. Agrey Award, the highest award presented by the institute. Wardner has served in the North Dakota Senate since 1999 representing district 37 in the Dickinson area. The award recognizes his visionary leadership and commitment to transportation. Most recently, he championed Operation Prairie Dog legislation that provides a legacy of funding for political subdivisions in North Dakota appropriating certainty into the funding process for many years. Historically, Wardner was a key supporter of transportation funding efforts during the oil boom years. He has been Senate majority leader since 2013. He served in the North Dakota House from 1991 to 1998. He was a member of the Finance and Tax, Government and Veterans Affairs and Senate Appropriations committees. During the current interim, he is chair of the Energy Development and Transmission Committee. Wardner is a retired educator and coach and formerly served as the executive director of the Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce. Wardner and his wife, Kayleen, have two children and five grandchildren.
The Agrey Award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the state of North Dakota, its citizens and its business community through involvement in transportation. The award is named for John M. Agrey, a pioneer, innovator and advocate for transportation in North Dakota. In his nearly 40-year career with the North Dakota Public Service Commission, Agrey advocated for farmers through dedication to fair freight rates.
Andersen received the Chairman’s Award. The award recognizes Andersen’s long-term commitment to transportation education, research and outreach. He was engineering advisor to many students who went on to successful careers in North Dakota transportation and has served on the selection committee for institute scholarships. Andersen began his teaching career at NDSU in the Department of Civil Engineering in 1977 and retired in 2012. He taught a variety of courses, including land surveying, pavement design, geometric highway design and traffic engineering. He was the director of the North Dakota Local Technical Assistance Program from its inception in 1986 until 2006. Andersen was a registered professional engineer in North Dakota and Texas. He is a past president of the North Dakota Society of Professional Engineers and the North Dakota Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 2012, he received the Elwyn F. Chandler award from the North Dakota Society of Professional Engineers. At various times in his career he served as faculty adviser for the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers student chapters at NDSU. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NDSU, master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and doctorate from Texas A&M University. He and his wife, Sandra, live in Fargo and have one son, Jeffrey.
The Chairman's Award recognizes individuals for contributions to transportation research, education and outreach at NDSU, or contributions to the viability of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute.
Horner received the Lifetime Achievement Award. He joined the institute in 2010 and has managed the four-state Transportation Learning Network and coordinated numerous legislative and North Dakota Department of Transportation statewide infrastructure and truck studies.
The award recognizes Horner’s long-term leadership and excellence in service to transportation in North Dakota. Before joining the institute, Horner worked for the North Dakota Department of Transportation for 32 years, serving in various divisions including bridge, design and planning. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NDSU and master’s degree in in public administration from the University of North Dakota. Horner and his wife, Gail, live in Bismarck and have three children.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has had a distinguished career in a transportation-related field. The award is based on long-term professional excellence in the field of transportation and nominees are recognized for their example in upholding professional standards, mentoring other professionals or contributing to day-to-day excellence in their chosen field within transportation.