The Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia presented Somerton resident Ruben David with its 2014 Outstanding Service to the Community Award on Feb. 14. The award recognizes an engineer who has over the course of his career provided professional and personal service above and beyond the call of duty to the Delaware Valley community. David was honored during Delaware Valley Engineers Week, which is part of a national engineering observance.
“David has been a major contributor to the City of Philadelphia through his work in the Department of Public Property on a number of city building projects,” said Susan Best, executive director of the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia. “But more importantly, he has been an exemplary member of the community where he volunteers in several civic, religious and community groups. It is with great pleasure that we present this award to him.”
“It is truly an honor to receive the Outstanding Service Award this year,” David said. “Although my work in engineering has been extremely important in my life, I think that it is equally important for me to give back to a community that has given me so much. I am proud to represent the Asian and Asian-American groups in Philadelphia and plan to continue my work with these groups well past my retirement.”
David began working for the city as an entry-level graduate engineer and climbed the ranks to become a project director in the Department of Public Property. He has had an exemplary career and has been a critical part of various city building projects in his 36 years of service. He retired in August 2013.
He was a project engineer for various SEPTA transit facilities and a project manager for the $325 million design and construction of the Center City Commuter Connection from 1978 to ’84. He also managed the process for rehabilitating major city office buildings, including City Hall, the largest free-standing masonry office building in North America.
He has served the Philadelphia Section of American Society of Civil Engineers and the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia. He was named the Philadelphia Section ASCE’s Government Engineer of the Year in 1993.
Outside of his professional career, David has volunteered in civic, religious and community groups, through which he aims to increase awareness of Asian and Asian-American affairs and to further causes for the Filipino-American community. He has helped to mold the future of engineering in our region through his service as an adjunct faculty member at Temple University.
Further, David is a board member of the Police Athletic League. He has been a judge at the Special Olympics of Philadelphia, the 50th International Science and Engineering Fair and the Delaware Valley Science Fair. He is a member of Friends of Fairmount Park and Habitat for Humanity.
Formerly, he was a member of Philadelphia’s Commission on Asian Affairs, advising the mayor, police commissioner and district attorney. He also was public relations director for the Asian Federation of the United States. Currently, he is an executive committee member of the Filipino-American Community Athletic Association.
He has secured grants, proclamations and citations for deserving Filipino organizations, coordinated the Filipino-American Heritage Celebration with the 76ers and the Phillies and coordinated the collection of books, canned food and medical equipment for underprivileged citizens in his hometown of Marikina, Philippines.
David was born in Marikina as the seventh of eight children and worked full-time to pay for college, attending summer and evening classes. In 1976, he earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of the East in Manila. He is married and has three grown children, along with two grandchildren. ••