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Alumnus Bruce Dorfman receives CEE Alumni Merit Award

The award recognizes alumni who inspire students to embody the term “leaders and best.”

A man stands and speaks to a group of sitting people.
U-M CEE alumnus and Senior Managing Director of Trammell Crow Residential Bruce Dorfman addresses current U-M students at Alameda Naval Air Station.

Bruce Dorfman received the 2019 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Alumni Merit Award on October 4, 2019, at the Annual Graduate Student Awards Ceremony and Alumni Reception.

The award recognizes alumni who inspire U-M students to embody the term “leaders and best.” Awardees must exhibit a deep passion for improving their communities and the world. 

Dorfman exemplifies this ethos, using his background in civil and environmental engineering to explore opportunities perhaps not traditional to most engineering graduates. After earning his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1982, Dorfman moved to California, where he started a career in real estate development. He worked as a pension fund and institutional advisor for Piedmont Realty from 1986 to 1991, and then joined Trammel Crow Residential, one of the largest multi-family real estate developers in the nation. Dorfman co-founded Thompson-Dorfman Partners, a developer of mixed-use multifamily residential projects, and in 2015 rejoined Trammel Crow as Managing Director of the Northern California Division. 

Additionally, Dorfman and his wife, Stephanie, have generously endowed the Bruce and Stephanie Dorfman Scholarship, which supports full-time undergraduate students who are first-generation students or who have faced substantial economic or educational challenges.

Over the years, Dorfman has encouraged students to pursue their passions and dare to enter fields such as business. In addition to setting an example through his work in real estate, in 2018, the Dorfmans supported a group of 20 CEE students to travel to the San Francisco Bay Area, where the students visited sites including Trammel Crow’s newest residential projects in Oakland to a tour of Skidmore Owens and Merrill’s offices in downtown San Francisco. 


Portrait of Mason Hinawi
Mason Hinawi

Marketing Communications Specialist
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering