Peter DiMaggio Speaks at Civil Engineering Dinner

May 28 2013
Mr. Peter DiMaggio (left) and Professor Raimondo Betti (right) speaking during the Dinner
Mr. Peter DiMaggio (left) and Professor Raimondo Betti (right) speaking during the Dinner.

The annual Civil Engineering Graduate Students, Faculty and Alumni Dinner was held on May 8 at the Faculty House. This year, the Department celebrated its 145th graduating class.

Professor Raimondo Betti, the Chairman, welcomed the participants and presented the graduate and undergraduate awards.

Mr. Daniel Schiavello, President of the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association, related some of his experiences when he was a student in the Department and described how the Association could be helpful to graduating students.

The main speaker was Peter DiMaggio, a Senior Partner at Weidlinger Associates, known for blast resistant design of structures, including the U.S. embassies in Moscow and Berlin.

Mr. DiMaggio congratulated the graduates and pointed out how the prestige associated with the Columbia degree and the alumni network would facilitate the path to professional advancement. He stressed that although he was extremely well prepared for the technical aspects of an engineering career by the eminent faculty in Civil Engineering when he was a student 20 years ago, he had to then develop the managerial, communication and interpersonal skills required to be part of a successful business which sells services. Finally, he admonished the students to be passionate about their involvement in the profession so that they will be prepared to eventually accept leadership roles from the outgoing generation.

The program ended with a tribute to Professor Rene Testa, who is retiring after 50 years on the faculty.