While still a graduate student at CMU, I went to work for the University and this was my first project. The National Engineering Society was moving to install their symbol at institutes around the country. Since the Challenger Disaster had recently occurred, the University chose to dedicate the installation to Astronaut and alumnus, Judy Resnik.
My job was to design the base to receive the NEE's symbol, a large brass "bent". The budget was less than $3000, but I treated the task like it was the base of the Statue of Liberty and made up for the small budget by attention to detail, scrounging and calling-in favors. The granite was obtained from local surplus and machined by a small monument works that had just obtained state-of-the-art equipment.
The key to the design is the dedication plaque. It simply did not belong on any of the four faces of the truncated pyramid. The only place it could go was on the top, hence the ring shape. I was inspired by the Air-Force wing symbolism and used it to create an image of a space shuttle flying into the sunset, warped upward in the reflection in the polished "bent".
Location: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA