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Hartsfield official named ‘engineer of year’

Special Photo
Jim Drinkard, assistant general manger at Hartsfield-Jackson, recently received the “2012 Engineer of the Year in Government” award from the Georgia Engineering Alliance.

Special Photo Jim Drinkard, assistant general manger at Hartsfield-Jackson, recently received the “2012 Engineer of the Year in Government” award from the Georgia Engineering Alliance.

The assistant general manager for planning and development at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been named “2012 Engineer of the Year in Government” by an engineering alliance, said airport spokesman Al Snedeker.

Jim Drinkard received the award from the Georgia Engineering Alliance at the “2012 Georgia Engineers Week Awards Gala” held at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta, he said.

“Jim is an invaluable asset to the airport,” added Louis Miller, aviation general manager at Hartsfield-Jackson. “I’m proud to have him on my team and very pleased that he is receiving the professional recognition he deserves.”

The Georgia Engineering Alliance states that the annual awards, given out last Saturday, recognize deserving and dedicated engineers who’ve developed important contributions to the profession and have impacted the engineering community, said Snedeker.

Drinkard joined the City of Atlanta’s Department of Aviation in 2009 and has more than 34 years of airport planning and engineering experience, said the spokesman.

Snedeker said Drinkard was also co-director of planning for Atlanta’s Department of Aviation, where he focused on the $6 billion capital improvement program. The program’s major projects include the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal, set to open this spring, the Rental Car Center, completed in 2009, and the fifth runway, which opened in 2006.

Drinkard started his career as a design engineer with HNTB Corporation on the original midfield design for Hartsfield-Jackson in 1977, Snedeker said. Through HNTB, he returned to the world’s busiest airport in 2000 as a consultant planning manager, prior to his current position.

While employed at HNTB, he said, Drinkard was project manager for important projects at airports throughout the country, such as Orlando International Airport in Florida, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Ky., and Houston Intercontinental Airport in Texas.

Drinkard is an active member of the Airports Council International-North America Operations and Technical Committee, and the American Society of Civil Engineers, Snedeker added.

Drinkard was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.