With support from the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions by Virginia Tech faculty members who have extended the university’s outreach mission throughout the commonwealth, the nation, and the world. Recipients are nominated by their peers, receive a $2,000 cash prize, and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Outreach Excellence.
After recognizing a shortcoming in Virginia Tech’s curriculum regarding land development, Dymond created the Land Development Design Initiative (LDDI) in 2006. As many as one-third of graduating civil engineers go to work in the land development industry, but prior to Dymond’s initiative there was only one course covering this topic. Since its inception, LDDI has improved land design education through increasing awareness and interaction between students and practitioners inside and outside the classroom.
“When LDDI was conceived over 10 years ago, there really was no model on which to base the program. The course curriculum, learning modules, and examinations were developed jointly by CEE faculty and seasoned veterans from the private engineering consulting community, all under the guidance of Dr. Dymond,” Roy E. Waugh, principal of the Bowman Consulting Group, wrote in a nomination letter.
Through statewide outreach meetings in the four major geographic regions of Virginia, Dymond and the LDDI team recruited industry professionals who now donate their energy and resources to accomplish the initiatives of LDDI. The success of these meetings led to the fundamental contributions to LDDI by more than 100 engineering and land development firms and over 700 individuals.
Dymond oversees the website for LDDI, which serves as an outreach platform for students and practitioners in the land development industry to learn more about the program.
The program has been well-received by students and currently boasts a 100 percent placement rate for civil and environmental engineering students who focus on the LDDI curriculum.