Acclaimed sanitary engineer, ASCE member since 1941 dies at 99

BY 
November 2, 2018

Russell G. Ludwig, a California sanitary engineer whose skills were in demand around the world from World War II into the 2000s, has died at 99.

Ludwig, P.E., F.ASCE, joined the Society in 1941. He received his bachelor’s and master’s in civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and began his career with the U.S. Public Health Service during World War II. Ludwig then joined his two brothers to launch Ludwig Brothers Engineers, in California. As an independent sanitary engineer he managed extensive design work for the city of Escondido, including an activated sludge treatment plant and a trickling filter plant and ocean outfall at Dana Point.

He went on to larger projects in his next partnership, RCR Corporation, and with the formation of Ludwig Engineering and Science, the 1960s saw him both designing sewerage facilities in California and managing the firm’s projects in India, Ghana, and Haiti. In Brazil he formed the firm Encibra, which continues operation today with Ludwig’s son as executive vice president.

Among his many honors, Ludwig received ASCE’s Rudolph Hering Medal in 1955 for the most valuable contribution to the sanitary engineering division. He passed along his knowledge to younger generations as a lecturer and organizer of conferences.

As a consultant from 1980 to 2000, his clients included the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, World Bank, and US AID. Project work took him to Lebanon, the Cook Islands, South Korea, Thailand, and elsewhere.

Ludwig enjoyed having family along on his international travels. In 2017, he took a cruise with 19 relatives spanning four generations.

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