The UA College of Engineering’s Ricardo Valerdi has received the 2014 Estimator of the Year Award from Galorath Inc., an international project management and estimation modeling products firm based in California.
Company president and CEO Dan Galorath presented the award to Valerdi, an associate professor of systems and industrial engineering, at his systems engineering process class on the University of Arizona campus Dec. 4.
“We started this award to recognize someone who had made real contributions to the industry; someone we’d been working with and respected, who deserved to be recognized for his or her work,” said Galorath.
Professor Valerdi is the first U.S. recipient of the Estimator of the Year Award, which Galorath has presented since 2008 at its international conferences in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Valerdi, a leading expert on cost estimation, creates predictive models to help the military and private industry make more accurate decisions, particularly in estimating equipment and service needs and costs. The U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as IBM, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems are some of the military and civil entities that have supported his research to help them more accurately predict costs, whether purchasing software or designing fighter jets.
Valerdi’s cost-estimation products include the Constructive Systems Engineering Cost Model, or COSYSMO, one of the key models used in Galorath’s SEER project management and cost-estimation software, which helps companies estimate and control project costs, risks, quality and duration.
Valerdi joined the UA College of Engineering faculty in 2011 after working in MIT’s Engineering Systems Division. He is a visiting professor at the University of Southern California, where he received his master’s and doctoral degrees, and is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cost Analysis and Parametrics, the official publication of the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association.
“In addition to his superb contributions to estimation and engineering, Ricardo is an incredible human being,” said Galorath. “One of the things that has always impressed me about him is his positive, can-do attitude. He’s always lifted everyone around him up.”
In selecting Valerdi for this year’s award, Galorath said he wanted to honor Valerdi not just for his cost-estimation work, but for his contributions to engineering education, through his “other pastime” -- turning youngsters on to science with the Science of Baseball program (see related story below on Science of Baseball).
“Through the Science of Baseball, Ricardo has gotten more than a thousand sixth and seventh graders from underserved areas enthusiastically discussing concepts like angular momentum and Newton’s First Law of Motion,” Galorath said.
“Many of these kids dream of becoming pro ball players, and that certainly may happen. But that’s not Ricardo’s motivation. To him, the best possible outcome would be one day running into a young engineer, scientist, teacher or mathematician who says, ‘Hey, I went through your baseball camp 10 years ago, and because of that experience I decided to become an engineer.’”
Top picture: Dan Galorath (left) awards Ricardo Valerdi the 2014 Estimator of the Year Award.