Logo: University of Southern California

Alumnus Albert Dorman Establishes Endowment

New endowment will fund trips to Washington, D.C. and Sacramento for USC Viterbi Ph.D. students and junior faculty members to meet with policymakers.
By: Rosalie Murphy
March 12, 2014 —


From left to right: Dean Yannis Yortsos, Albert Dorman and Lucio Soibelman, Chair of the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Albert Dorman (MSCE ‘62) and Joan Dorman have given a generous endowment gift in the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. It establishes the Albert A. Dorman Endowment Award in Civil and Environmental Engineering for Public Policy and Infrastructure Leadership. Awarded every two years, the endowment will enable one Ph.D. student or junior faculty member to spend two weeks in Washington, D.C. or in Sacramento. There, the winner will have the opportunity to meet with infrastructure policymakers such as the Congressional and California Public Works Committee staffs and with organizations like ASCE and ACEC that interface with these legislative bodies as representatives of engineering professionals in both the private and public sectors. The gift was made in honor of Dean Yortsos.

Recipients of the biennial cash grant will deliver lectures on campus about their research when they return to Southern California.

“It is important for engineers to understand how public policy is formulated and to participate with policymakers in developing legislation and budgets that affect America’s infrastructure,” Dorman said.

Dorman, who completed his master’s degree in civil engineering at USC in 1962, is the founding chairman of AECOM Technology Corporation, ranked No. 1 in the world in its category by “Engineering News Record.” The Fortune 500 Company employs 45,000 people located in more than 100 nations.

Dorman has also worked as a public servant. He did military service in the Army Corps of Engineers, worked for Caltrans and the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, and served as city engineer for two California cities. In addition, he has held leadership positions in organizations such as the California Chamber of Commerce.

Dorman has previously funded the Future Leader Award, given annually to an outstanding USC engineering graduate with leadership potential. He serves on the Viterbi Board of Councilors. In 2008, the Viterbi School established in his honor the Al Dorman Distinguished Lecture Series. Dorman is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and an Honorary Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), as well as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) — the only individual ever to have simultaneously achieved this dual distinction. He has served as president of the Consulting Engineers Association of California and the Los Angeles Section of ASCE, and has authored dozens of papers on an impressive range of subjects. In 2000, Dorman received the ASCE’s inaugural OPAL Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Leadership.