ESD Announces 2010 Rackham Award Recipient


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) has selected John Rakolta, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Walbridge to receive the 2010 prestigious Rackham Award. Rakolta will receive his award during ESD’s Annual Awards Dinner on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel Soundboard Theatre in Detroit.

The Rackham Award is presented in recognition of an individual’s “outstanding humanitarian achievements as exemplified by meritorious technical accomplishments for the benefit of mankind or by recognition on either a local, national or international level for extraordinary achievements in civic, business, public-spirited or humanitarian endeavors.”

In his role, Rakolta oversees one of the largest privately held construction firms in the United States. Located in Detroit, the firm specializes in the design/build/management and development of large-scale federal and industry-specific projects. It also serves the commercial, municipal, educational and housing markets.

Rakolta received his bachelor’s of science degree in Civil Engineering from Marquette University and completed the Smaller Company Management Program at the Harvard Business School. His career with then Walbridge Aldinger began in 1971 where he held a variety of positions culminating with the dual role of Chairman and CEO in 1993.

In addition to his professional career, Rakolta has served on numerous boards including New Detroit Inc., Detroit Police Foundation, Community Foundation of SE Michigan, Detroit Downtown Partnership and Business Leaders for Michigan (formerly Detroit Renaissance).

The ESD Annual Awards Dinner will also recognize several of Michigan’s leaders in the fields of science and technology, as well as budding professionals. Also honored at the event will be this year’s winners of the annual prestigious construction and design awards. The event is open to the public.

Cost to attend is $125 for ESD members and $150 for non-members. To register, visit For more information, call 248-353-0735, ext 112.

Founded in 1895, ESD is a multi-disciplinary society uniting engineering, scientific and allied professions to enhance professional development and foster excitement in math and science to produce our next generation of leaders. Serving this generation of engineers and fostering the next. For more information, visit