Charles J. Berkel, Founder of Berkel & Company, Dies at 88

BY 
December 3, 2013

Charles J. Berkel, P.E., M.ASCE, chairman of the board and founder of Berkel & Company Contractors Inc., one of the largest piling contractors in the U.S., passed away November 4 at the age of 88. Born May, 10, 1925, Berkel graduated from the University of Illinois in 1946 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. A year later he began his career in deep foundation construction working for Intrusion-Prepakt Ltd., in Chicago, Illinois. While there he was the project engineer for the first commercial project supported on auger cast-in-place (ACIP) piles in the U.S. In 1959 he left Intrusion-Prepakt and started Berkel & Company, specializing in pressure grouting and the installation of auger pressure grouted (APG) piles. Over the decades, he grew the company to become one of the largest piling contractors in the U.S. A charter member of the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI), Berkel was the recipient of the 2007 DFI Distinguished Service Award, and a major donor to the DFI Educational Trust Scholarship Program. At the DFI Annual Conference in October 2007, Berkel generously committed $1 million to the DFI Educational Trust to establish the Berkel & Company Contractors Inc. Scholarship, which annually provides $50,000 in scholarships to civil engineering or construction management students interested in pursuing a career in deep foundations. Thanks to Berkel’s generosity, 4 universities currently receive $12,500 each per year from the scholarship fund: the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Illinois, Auburn University, and the University of Houston. Said David Coleman, chair of the DFI Educational Trust, “A prominent engineer and respected industry leader, Charles [Berkel] recognized that the future of our industry depends on our ability to encourage and engage promising young engineers to consider careers in the deep foundations construction field.”

Leave a Reply

— required *

— required *