Past Recipients Names and Years of Past Recipients

The 2016 Houston Engineer of the Year

Nathelyne A. Kennedy, P.E.

Nathelyne Archie Kennedy founded her own engineering consultancy in 1981, and has since built Nathelyne A. Kennedy & Associates into a highly respected company providing civil engineering and program management services for highway, mass transit, street, bridge, aviation, port, water and wastewater, educational campus, and sports complex projects.

A Conroe native, she was Prairie View A&M University’s first female engineering graduate. After beginning her career in Chicago, she returned to Houston and in 1979 became the first African-American woman to attain a professional engineering license in the State of Texas. She was one of three African American women engineers profiled in a 1984 Ebony article, “Engineering Their Way to the Top.”

Ms. Kennedy shares her entrepreneurship experience by mentoring women, minorities and students. She also endowed a scholarship for architecture and engineering students at Prairie View A&M University. In 2006, she was honored by her alma mater naming their new Architecture building and History and Culture center the Nathelyne Archie Kennedy Building. The Houston Chapter of WTS International celebrated the 35th anniversary of Ms. Kennedy attaining her professional engineering license by conferring on her in 2014 their inaugural Trailblazer Award.

The 2015 Houston Engineer of the Year

Michael Talbott, P.E.

Mr. Michael Talbott, P.E., D.WRE, has been with the district for 33 years. Under his direction, the District carries out its mission to devise countywide flood damage reduction plans, implement those plans, and maintain the infrastructure. That mission is executed in the third most populated county in the United States, with a population in excess of 4.3 million, which includes the City of Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city. The District has jurisdiction over the primary stormwater facilities in the county, which consist of about 1,500 channels, totaling nearly 2,500 miles in length, as well as more than 60 regional stormwater detention basins and a 2.5-square mile wetlands mitigation bank. Mr. Talbott is active in a number of associations, local committees and task force groups relating to stormwater planning and environmental management. Mr. Talbott is a licensed professional engineer with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston.

The 2014 Houston Engineer of the Year

Stephen Costello, P.E.

Stephen Costello is in his second term as a Houston City Council Member (At-Large Position 1). He chairs City Council's Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee and is vice chair of the Transportation Policy Council of the Houston-Galveston Area Council. Stephen is an engineer with a background in flood control and drainage and is president of Costello, Inc., a firm he founded over 20 years ago.

Stephen began his engineering career with the Army Corps of Engineers in Galveston where he saw firsthand the damaging effects of flooding. He has worked throughout his career on storm water management and flooding issues. His interest in improving Houston's drainage infrastructure led him to work for the passage of the ReBuild Houston program, a program designed to address the city's drainage and flooding issues with funds set aside for that purpose only.

On City Council, Stephen is focusing on issues related to: improving the city's long-term financial health; increasing access to fresh, healthy food in underserved communities; upgrading and maintaining the city's aging infrastructure; and improving transportation and mobility.

Stephen has served as chair and longtime board member of the Memorial Park Conservancy and is an avid runner, marathoner, and tri-athlete. He and his wife Debbie raised two sons in Houston and are now the proud grandparents of two granddaughters.

The 2013 Houston Engineer of the Year

William "Bill" Fendley, P.E.

William "Bill" Fendley has over 40 years of experience involving civil engineering. As a registered professional engineer in six states, and a registered professional land surveyor in Texas, Mr. Fendley has been planning and designing for public works, telecommunications, transportation, and utility projects throughout the State of Texas. He cofounded Cobb, Fendley & Associates, Inc. in 1980 with just two people, then grew the firm to more than 180 employees and seven offi ce locations, and now serves on the Board of Directors.