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2016 Award Winners
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Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year announced

Paul Elzinga and Kate Chulski have been named the MSPE 2016 Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year respectively. The awards were presented during the MSPE Annual Conference in May.

Paul Elzinga, PE, has devoted his life’s work to the construction industry. He is recognized throughout Western Michigan for his construction expertise on unique and challenging projects. He has provided leadership for the planning and construction phases of significant projects with regard to budget, scheduling, value engineering, foundations and constructability. Additionally, he has provided corporate leadership and management as the company has pioneered changes in the industry, and as markets and new business lines have been developed.


Paul’s interests and active participation in community programs have earned him recognition among his peers. He has dedicated his time and resources to such organizations as the Holland BPW (current Board Member), Greater Holland Boys and Girls Club, City of Holland Downtown Development Committee, Holland Rotary, Holland United Way, Rest Haven Patrons, Holland Airport Advisory Committee, Hope College Annual Business Campaign, Hedcor, Youth Soccer and Wings of Mercy.


Paul has directed planning and construction of electric generation plants, municipal water and wastewater plants, religious, civic, educational, healthcare, marine, four unique bridges and industrial projects.


Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University. He served as the President of Elzinga & Volkers, Inc. for a number of years and is now Chairman Emeritus of the company. He and his wife Janet reside in Holland, MI.


Kate Chulski, PE, began her engineering career at Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc. as a cooperative education student in 2005, and returned in 2006 as an intern, performing construction materials testing services. Upon graduation from the University of Michigan in late 2007, Kate joined SME as a full-time staff engineer, providing field engineering services in addition to previously honed testing services. When the Great Recession hit at the turn of 2009, Kate was laid off, and spent the better part of the year trying to break into the world of geotechnical engineering. In 2010, Kate realized that she would be better off pursuing her passion in geotechnical engineering by furthering her education. She attended the University of Toledo and waitressed part-time, where she learned the importance of communication skills and doing whatever it takes to meet the client's needs. In 2013, Kate was invited to join TTL Associates, Inc., as a geotechnical engineer. In the meantime, Kate completed her thesis on the Life Cycle Assessment and Costing of Geosynthetics Versus Earthen Materials, and graduated with her Master's degree in May 2015. She immediately applied herself toward obtaining her Professional Engineer certification, and became a Professional Engineer in December 2015.


Kate currently serves as the secretary of the Southeastern Chapter of MSPE where she is described as an enthusiastic leader. She is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society of Highway Engineers. She also volunteers for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training and Habitat for Humanity. 

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