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Lyles College of Engineering

2024 Dean's Medalists

Undergraduate Medalist 

Matthew posing in a red Fresno State polo

Matthew David Forney, B.S. Construction Management

Matthew Forney is completing a B.S. in construction management with a 4.0 GPA. Matthew joined the program in 2020 after originally planning to be an electrician after high school. As a sophomore, he joined the construction management department’s commercial competition team. It was also during this year that he became a Champion in the Bluebeam User Group. He spent that summer with McCarthy Building Companies as a scheduling intern in San Francisco.

During his junior year, Matthew led the commercial team as a co-captain. The team placed second in the 2023 Associated Builders and Contractors Construction Management Competition, which was also Fresno State’s first appearance at the competition since 2018. Throughout the year, he continued his service in the BUG Group, where he obtained his Bluebeam Certified Professional License, and continued interning with McCarthy.

Under his continued leadership, the commercial team placed first in the Associated Schools of Construction Commercial Competition this past February. This was Fresno State’s first placing since 2007. A few weeks later, Matthew’s team won 2nd place Overall, and placed 1st in the Project Management and 3rd in the Safety Categories at the 2024 Associated Builders and Contractors Construction Management Competition.

Matthew also served as Secretary for Sigma Lambda Chi, the Construction Management Honor Society. In his spare time, he runs a kettle corn business with his brother. Matthew will transition from intern to Project Engineer with McCarthy Building Companies after graduation.

Graduate Medalist

Rodolfo sitting in front of white background

Rodolfo Lopez, M.S. Civil Engineering 

Rodolfo “Rudy” Lopez completed an M.S. in civil engineering last fall with a 3.8 GPA. He previously earned a dual B.A. in Mass Communications and Journalism and in Spanish Literature from Fresno State in 2006. In 2014, Rudy decided to pursue a different career path. Although he did not have a background in engineering, he took the challenge to become an engineer and successfully completed all the prerequisites over the course of four years to enter the graduate program all while being a father of a newborn and a three-year-old. 

Rudy began his engineering internship experience in 2019 as an office surveyor in with Central Valley Engineering and Surveying, where he calculated survey points, analyzed and verified projects correct construction elevations and plotted point data maps.

In 2020, he moved to interning with the California High-Speed Rail Authority until December 2023. He assisted state engineers with many tasks including updating the main alignment reference map within the project’s central valley segments when changes happened in right of way, construction sites and parcel acquisition. In the summer months of 2021, while still working for California High-Speed Rail Authority, he had a chance to intern at Pauli Engineering Inc., where he assisted with home structural inspections to evaluate dimensions, damage and repair options.

Rudy successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam last November before completing his degree. He is currently a transportation engineer with CalTrans.