Savannah Post Connolly Award

James Brendan Connolly

The Connolly Award

The Connolly Award is named in honor of James B Connolly, former Savannah District, US Army Corps of Engineer’s employee, veteran of the Spanish-American War, Olympic Gold Medalist in 1896 and distinguished author.

Presented for notable contribution to engineering by a civilian or uniformed service engineer bringing recognition to our fair city of Savannah.  This plaque will first be awarded in 2005.

Short Biography

James Brendan Connolly (1868-1957) was the first winner of an Olympic Gold Medal, a veteran of the charge up San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War, candidate for Congress in 1911 (Progressive Party), and one of America’s foremost writers of maritime tales, having authored some 25 full-length works and more than 200 contributions to journals and newspapers.  He also served with the Savannah District, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Born in South Boston, Massachusetts, one of twelve children, Connolly came to Savannah in 1892 at the invitation of his brother Michael, who worked for the Savannah District and arranged a position for James.  In the next three years, James served in various positions, including clerk, recorder of tidal and river current fluctuations, pile-driver inspector, and dredge inspector.  Connolly liked the District Engineer, Captain Oberlin Carter, who moved Connolly to rivers and harbors work after he became bored with a clerk’s duties.  Connolly enjoyed himself in Savannah, where he indulged in many athletic events, including track meets and football.  He captained the Catholic Library Association (CLA) football team to a 36-0 win over the Young Hebrew Association, scoring three touchdowns himself.  For a while, he also wrote the sports column for a new weekly paper called the Lamplight.


Eminent and notable contribution in engineering, particularly in design, construction, and methods, bringing credit and distinction to the engineer and the Savannah Community.

Period of Examination:  The engineer nominated must have made contributions to engineering during the previous calendar year.

Eligibility:  Engineers in civil, military, or academic practice. Membership in one of the Savannah Community of Engineer organizations (ASCE, SAME, IEEE, Georgia Technical Institute (Savannah Campus), etc.) required.

Nominations:  One nomination is allowed per participating engineer organization supporting National Engineer Week no later than the close of business on the second Friday of December annually.

Award:  A historical plaque shall be maintained at the US Army Corps of Engineers Building with individual nameplates updated annually.  The individual winners shall receive a nominal plaque to recognize their efforts and have the plaque presented during Engineer Week (normally late February) after the calendar year of the distinguishing act.

Award Winners
Year Name Company
2023 Douglas Saxon USACE Savannah
2019 Steven Davie GHD
2018 Jeff Stein USACE Savannah
2017 Brian Sapp Tharpe Engineering Group
2016 Tracy Hendren USACE Savannah
2015 Rich English USACE Savannah
2013 Carol Abercrombie USACE Savannah
2012 Laura (Beth) Williams USACE Savannah
2011 Michael Wielputz USACE Savannah
2010 Tom Brockbank USACE Savannah
2009 Dan Nale Gulfstream Aerospace
2008 Ric Powers USACE Savannah
Robins AFB Resident Office
2007 Gordy Simmons USACE Savannah
2005 Guoming Lin Terracon
2004 Tim Doyle Hargray


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