Daniel Wong, Ph.D., P.E., a distinguished graduate of the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering, has been selected as the 2022 Houston Engineer of the Year.
Wong was honored at the 2022 Engineer of the Year Gala, which took place on Feb. 25 at the InterContinental Houston-Medical Center. Wong is President and CEO of Tolunay-Wong Engineers, Inc., which is headquartered in Houston and has 10 offices in Texas and Louisiana. He is a licensed engineer in Texas, and an adjunct professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Wong has given generously to the college in the past, and in June 2020, he established an Endowed Professorship, known as the Honorable Daniel Wong Endowed Professorship.
At the gala, Roberto Ballarini – Thomas and Laura Hsu Professor and Department Chair – read the following speech:
The faculty, students and staff of the University of Houston’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department are delighted that Dr. Daniel Wong was selected as the 2022 Houston Engineer of the Year. Dr. Wong is one of our most distinguished alumni, and we are extremely proud of him.
Dr. Wong left his native Macau in 1984, with only the shirt on his back, to pursue a doctorate in our Department. Under the guidance of Professor Cumaraswamy Vipulanandan he completed his degree with a thesis that led to a publication and presentation that received the 1990 ASCE Texas Section John B. Hawley award for best paper.
While Dr. Wong could have gone on to a successful career in academia, as evidenced by the dozen or so research papers he published in prestigious journals, he decided to pursue a job in industry. I must note that Dr. “Vipu” is especially proud of his first doctoral student, having predicted early on that Dr. Wong would become a leader in the Texas engineering profession.
What can our Department be more proud of than an alumnus who used his technical excellence, extraordinary vision, exemplary work ethic and distinctive leadership abilities to create a company that employs hundreds across the Southern United States, and that has improved its infrastructure? The answer is that in addition to excelling technically and in leading his company, Dr. Wong has dedicated a significant amount of his time and energy to serve his profession and his communities.
Dr. Wong was a past gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Board of Professional Engineers as a member for seven years (2006-2013) and as Chairman for an additional seven years (2013-2020). He is an active member of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Council of Engineering, and was the recipient of the 2016 Texas Engineering Foundation Distinguished Engineer.
His community service has also been impressive. Dr. Wong served as At-Large Council Member for the City of Sugarland for six years (2002-2008), on the Board of the Houston-Galveston Area Council, and the Board of the Texas Municipal League. In addition, he is an officer of the Ford Bend County Economic Development Council and is a former board member of the Fort Bend YMCA and the Fort Bend American Heart Association.
But there is more. Dr. Wong has been one of the pillars of our undergraduate teaching program in geotechnical engineering. As a Senior Lecturer for many years, he inspires our students and provides them his “real world” experience.
As Department Chair I very much appreciate Dr. Wong’s unflinching support of our teaching and research missions, and of our students, faculty and staff. He has proven to always be there for me when I need his advice and guidance. Dr. Wong recently established, through a very generous gift, the Honorable Daniel Wong Endowed Professorship in Civil Engineering. This gesture speaks volumes for how much Dr. Wong loves our Department, and for his appreciation of his mentor Dr. “Vipu”, who is the inaugural recipient of this honor.