Architecture & Engineering Special Section
purple brain and orange dots illustration
Engineer of the Year Nominees
The following bios were written by the Engineer of the Year nominees and have been edited only for length and style. Thank you to the nominees for providing this information; the winner will be announced at the EWeek Banquet on February 22.
Bill McNeal headshot
Bill McNeal
William “Bill” McNeal is a mechanical engineer with more than forty-seven years of professional design experience. He grew up in Oregon and earned his manufacturing engineering degree from Oregon State University. While attending college, McNeal was drafted into the US Army and served from 1967 to 1970. He worked as a manufacturing engineer for General Electric before starting his journey at Coffman in 1992 and has managed the firm’s Anchorage Mechanical Department for nearly twenty years. He is a licensed professional engineer in seven states, including the Territory of Guam, where he was instrumental in the startup of Coffman’s Guam office.
McNeal, a lifetime member, joined the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in 1974. He served on various ASHRAE chapter committees and offices. McNeal has presented a paper at the ASHRAE Biannual Southern Asia Conference about the selection of HVAC equipment for hot and humid climates and led training courses on energy conservation and ASHRAE Std. 90.1.

McNeal has served on trips with Engineering Ministries International (eMi) for projects in Sierra Leone, Belize, and Romania. He is also a member of the eMi Disaster Responders team—which is ready to deploy in as little as two days’ notice to assist in the aftermath of natural disasters. McNeal is currently designing a training course for eMi in support of young engineers and technicians in developing nations. He plans to travel to Uganda to present the first four-week class.

Bill Mott headshot
Bill Mott
Bill Mott is the principal chemical and materials engineer and president of Taku Engineering. Mott was born and raised in Montville, Connecticut, but dreamed of living in Alaska as a child. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with degrees in chemical and materials engineering. He joined Ocean City Research Corporation and conducted laboratory studies on corrosion, cathodic protection (CP), coatings, and high cycle fatigue of metals. Mott moved to Alaska in 1990 to assist Alyeska Pipeline Service Company (APSC) with managing corrosion on the Trans Alaska Pipeline System. In 2001, he co-founded Taku Engineering.
Mott has designed and led a variety of successful corrosion engineering related projects. Notable projects he has led include TAPS MP 780-800 CP upgrades; APSC tank maintenance program; Nuiqsut Pipeline coating repair; APSC Tank 111 CP system design; and the Red Dog Port impressed current system upgrades.

Mott has become a recognized corrosion control expert over the course of thirty years of practice. He is recognized by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) as a CP Specialist (CP-4) and senior internal corrosion technologist. He has assisted NACE with the development of new CP Technologist (CP3) and Specialist (CP4) exams. His work has been presented in several NACE and SSPC annual conferences. His articles have been published in World Pipelines magazine and in the Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings. In addition to his work with NACE, Mott currently serves on the Alaska State Board of Architects, Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Landscape Architects.

Danny Kane headshot
Danny Kane
Danny Kane has more than twelve years of Alaska oil and gas industry experience, most recently as a Senior Drilling Engineer with ConocoPhillips Alaska. He graduated with a bachelor’s in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia and shortly thereafter moved to Alaska to start his career.

Kane has been instrumental in planning for the Fiord West Extended-Reach Drilling project, which will be spud in April using North America’s largest land-rig, Doyon 26, “The Beast.” He has been busy demonstrating how the drilling envelope can be pushed further by utilizing a combination of new and existing technologies such as tuned-catenary trajectories to reduce targeted drilling loads, real-time torque and drag and mass balance initiatives, directional performance mapping, employing a mud chiller to drill deeper surface holes, and liner flotation technology.

In 2019, Kane led the planning and implementation of the first North Slope surface hole drilled entirely with a rotary steerable system as well as the floating of a liner that had the longest step-out shoe set from a pad, the first floated liner for ConocoPhillips worldwide.

When Kane isn’t pushing the cutting-edge at work, he keeps busy raising his two children while trying to keep a good work-life balance, helping with his children’s school programs, and always looking for the next mountain to run up.

Kane is currently focused on managing the advancement of big bore liner flotation technologies for ERD well designs.

Gregory Latreille headshot
Gregory Latreille
Gregory O. Latreille was born and raised in rural northern New York State. He received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2004. He moved to Alaska in January of 2005, immediately after completing college, and has been working as a structural engineer for BBFM Engineers in Anchorage since then. In 2017, he was named as a Principal at BBFM Engineers.

He has designed and analyzed structures of various construction types and materials, including wood, steel, concrete, and masonry, and he is familiar with the special design constraints and demands of Arctic structures and areas of high seismic activity. Notable projects he has worked on include the Fairbanks International Airport terminal renovation and expansion, the Alaska Airlines Center Sports Arena in Anchorage, the Paul John Calricaraq new clinic and hospital renovation project in Bethel, structural stabilization of the Kennecott Historic Copper Mine mill building in McCarthy, and renovations to the IT facility at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

Involvement in the Alaska Society and National Society of Professional Engineers has been an integral part of Latreille’s professional career since it began in 2005. What started as the simple act of raising his hand to volunteer for a committee at an Anchorage Chapter meeting led quickly to him becoming chair of that same committee and embarking on a road of service to the organization that includes serving as statewide treasurer, president, and Alaska’s representative in the NSPE House of Delegates for two terms. He dipped his toe into National activities at the 2010 annual conference in Orlando and thus embarked on nearly a decade of service to the organization at the national level. He has served on various national committees, including the Honors Awards Task Force, the Retention, Self-Assessment, and Recruitment Task Forces, several years on the Membership Committee, serving as chair in 2015-2016, and served two years on the NSPE National Board of Directors, serving as the Director of the Western & Pacific Region. He is currently serving on the National Membership Committee.
Irene Malto headshot
Irene Malto
Irene S. Malto is a transportation engineer at DOWL with more than thirteen years of experience in transportation design, utility coordination, stormwater compliance, and project management. She was raised in Anchorage after moving from the Philippines at an early age and holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering with minors in mathematics and communication from UAA. Malto obtained two graduate degrees from UAA in 2019, a master of science in civil engineering and another in project management.
As a project engineer at DOWL, Malto has led multiple design projects and taken on several summers of field work. Her current projects include working on the November 2018 earthquake repairs project to monitor, identify, and design repairs from damage caused by the earthquake and the Old Seward Highway and Seward Highway pavement preservation projects. As a certified inspector of sediment and erosion control (CISEC), Malto led the evaluations of more than 300 DOT&PF material sites around the state for stormwater discharge and compliance. Her field work has also taken her up the Dalton Highway to monitor riverbank and spur dike repairs to protect the Trans Alaska Pipeline System and to Kodiak Island to monitor and inspect the construction of water, sewer, and storm drain lines during a full road reconstruction.

In addition to her duties as a transportation engineer, Malto mentors junior engineers and is the summer intern hiring coordinator. As an active member of the Society of Women Engineers, she volunteers her time to participate in STEM outreach activities like SmartGirls Rock for high schoolers, Women in Engineering Night for college students, and EWeek events. She is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and has held various board positions including president and chair of the PE Refresher Committee for the Anchorage Branch.

Sean Baski headshot
Sean Baski
Sean M. Baski, a registered civil engineer and a senior project manager in the DOT&PF’s Central Region Highway Design Section, acquired his bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage and has worked in the engineering field for seventeen years.

Baski works on a variety of design projects with wide ranging scopes including bridges, interchanges, divided highways, and more, addressing failing infrastructure, congestion, and safety concerns for Alaska communities. Baski and his team manage more than $700 million in projects, which include some of the largest projects in the state, advertising more than $100 million in projects in the last two years alone, including Seward Highway MP 75-90 Rehabilitation Phase 1 and Glenn Highway MP 34-42 Reconstruction Phase 1. Notable ongoing projects under his management include Parks Highway: Pittman to Big Lake Reconstruction; the second phases of the previously mentioned projects; Seward Highway: O’Malley to Dimond Reconstruction; and earthquake recovery design efforts.

Baski is also active in the community. He is heavily involved with UAA’s civil engineering program, speaking to classes and mentoring CE senior design capstone project teams—now serving as a lead mentor. Additionally, Baski has volunteered with the EWeek Student Competition event for nearly twenty years and with the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education programs for youth; he also speaks to students for EWeek and serves on ITE’s Scholarship fundraising committee. Baski served on the Board of ITE–Alaska Section for four years, including the president’s position. He also coaches youth sports including soccer, mountain biking, and hockey.

Baski was nominated by the Institute of Transportation Engineers–Alaska Section, a nonprofit organization established to connect the professional transportation community while providing opportunities for learning and growth.

Sterling Strait headshot
Sterling Strait
Sterling Strait is a lifelong Alaskan who is passionate about projects that contribute to the wellbeing of the state. As the earthquake program coordinator for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, he is charged with ensuring that the Trans Alaska Pipeline System can endure the seismic challenges for which Alaska is famous.

Strait earned a master’s of civil engineering from UAA and has thirteen years of experience engineering a wide variety of projects throughout Alaska. His experience ranges from engineering the Nullaġvik Hotel in Kotzebue and teaching structural design courses at UAA to serving as the lead structural engineer and project engineer for the CD5 and GMT1 drillsite projects. Since joining Alyeska in 2017, he has refreshed their earthquake program by upgrading the automatic earthquake alert system and introducing an earthquake response training program. Following the November 2018 7.1 Anchorage earthquake, he organized volunteers to perform building damage assessments.

A strong believer in giving back to his profession, Strait volunteers his time and expertise in many areas. He serves as the chairman of the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission promoting earthquake safety within state government. He is a member of the ASCE 7-22 Rain and Snow Load Code Committee where he works to update snow load data for Alaska. He is the secretary and past-president of the Structural Engineers Association of Alaska, vice-chair of the Municipality of Anchorage Building Board, and serves on the NCEES Civil PE Exam committee where he writes and reviews questions for the PE exam.