Donald S. Barrie Award

The Donald S. Barrie Award is presented annually at the PMI® Global Congress–North America by the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation in conjunction with the former PMI Design-Procurement-Construction Specific Interest Group (DPC SIG). The selection of the recipient(s) for the award will be done by a panel of knowledgeable industrial and academic professionals recommended by the leadership of the former DPC SIG and approved by the PMI Educational Foundation.

The winner of the award receives $1000 (US) and prominent publicity at the awards ceremony of the North America Congress as well as publicity in PMI Today and the DPC newsletter.

The application deadline is 15 February.

Award Criteria

The panel will recommend the award for the paper which best meets the following criteria:

The paper advances the PMBOK® Guide in the field of design, procurement and/or construction by providing a useful contribution to the engineering and construction industry.

In general, the paper should present a pragmatic approach to engineering and construction issues.

The paper is to be focused on one or more of the following areas:

  • engineering and construction means and methods
  • project organizations and delivery systems
  • engineering and construction performance
  • cost, schedule, and progress controls

The paper will be judged on the basis of originality and innovation, without being inconsistent with the PMBOK® Guide. The paper may also include discussion of unusual conditions, issues and/or challenges that required special management action and performance.

About Donald S. Barrie

Donald S. Barrie had a distinguished professional career in the construction industry:

  • B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA;
  • Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Washington and several construction licenses;
  • Vice President of the General Construction Division of (ICF) Kaiser Engineers of Oakland, CA; (ICF) Kaiser Engineers—34 years; President, CM Consultants—12 years;
  • Co-authored and edited several books in construction management, including; Professional Construction Management—1st, 2nd, 3rd Editions Directions In Managing Construction;
  • Construction Management Instruction at University of California, Berkley; Stanford University, Mission College, Santa Clara, CA and St. Mary's College, Moraga, CA

Don also had a distinguished career of service to his profession:

  • Member of the Project Management Institute from 1977 until his passing in June 1997
  • President of PMI Northern California Chapter
  • Co-Chair of PMI's 20th Annual Seminars/Symposium—San Francisco, 1988
  • PMI's Distinguished Contribution Award in 1990
  • Wally Kruse Award in 1982 for Outstanding Service to PMI and
  • Northern California Chapter Chairman of ASCE Committee on Construction Management Member of ASCE Task Committee on Construction Productivity

PMI '98 Donald S. Barrie Award Ceremony Remarks

"My Father", By Don Barrie, Jr.

Thank you. It’s truly an honor for my mother and I to be here today. I imagine that many of you knew my father, or at least knew of him. He certainly accomplished a lot. And I also suspect that some of you knew him in a professional sense better than his own family did. Which of course is quite fitting. You all worked with him. You were his peers. And so, rather than list his professional accomplishments, what I hope to do, very briefly, is to give you a more personal account of who my father was...

I once asked my father what he did for a living, and after a pause, he said:

"I solve problems."

My father was a problem solver, but at heart, Don Barrie was a construction man. In fact, he used to say sometimes that he was probably the ONLY construction stiff ever to graduate from CalTech. He was also a teacher, a scholar, and an intellectual. He valued knowledge for its own sake, but for him, it was always more important to pass on what he had learned to others. He taught graduate courses at Cal and Stanford. He wrote books and published papers. He lectured all over the world, in places such as the Mideast, South Africa, and China. And yet, what I think he valued most was the day-to-day process of doing his job and of mentoring the next generation of construction managers.

I’d like to tell a short story that for me captures the value he placed on teaching others. When I was about 6 or 7, I once asked my father why a basketball bounces. Now many of us, when faced with a question such as this one, particularly from a young child, would say something like, "A basketball bounces because it has air in it." Or perhaps we’d say, "Well, a basketball bounces because it’s made of rubber." Instead, my father sat me down and gave me a lecture on the displacement of energy. He talked of how the bouncing of the ball represents the conversion of gravitational energy to kinetic energy and heat. (Everybody remember their physics?) Now I’m sure I didn’t understand much of this at the time, but now, many years later, his explanation illustrates for me the commitment he had to teaching others about his world. He was never one to offer simplistic answers.

My father liked to do many things in his spare time. He loved trout fishing and playing golf and watching football. I don’t think he particularly liked yard work, although he did a lot of that, too. But my father’s greatest passion, by far, was his work. About 6 months ago, my father’s sister Ruth gave me a picture, taken in 1956, of my dad as a younger man of about 32 (younger than I am now). It’s just a snapshot in black in white, but for me it captures perfectly the passion he had for being a construction man. In the picture, he’s wearing a metal hard hat and holding onto a hoist, casually surveying the project he was supervising. He looks perfectly content, like he’d rather be there than anywhere else in the world. And the amazing thing to me is that he’s about 50 stories up, standing on top of a giant, half-built chimney, perhaps 1 foot from its edge. And if you’re ever down in Chalmette, Louisiana, outside of New Orleans, all you have to do is look up, because the chimney is still there. It’s sort of a running joke in our family that whenever we drive past the chimney my mother has to say something like, "you know, boys...your father built that chimney." Let me just go on record as saying, "Yes, we know mom. You’ve only told us about 50 thousand times!"

And yet, if it weren’t for that chimney, I probably wouldn’t be here, because my dad was transferred to the New Orleans area to supervise the building of that chimney, and this is how he met and married my mom, who was a secretary at Kaiser.

It’s surprising to me, really, that the chimney still stands. After all, it hasn’t been used for over two decades. And while it’s a bit of an eyesore, it’s also a lasting monument, at least in our family, to my father’s career. Don Barrie was at heart a builder, a construction man, and a teacher. He loved to build things. And he built a lot of things: dams, tunnels, bridges, and power plants...and even entire towns. But more importantly, he loved to show others how to build things. That, ladies and gentlemen, was Don Barrie’s passion.

Thank you very much...

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