Robert C. Ewing, P.E, F.ASCE, is a retired civil engineer who brought his engineering expertise into the business of foundation repair. In 1968, he founded the Ewing Foundation Company, which quickly became the firm of choice when foundation problems arose in the State of Mississippi. After the successful sale of the Ewing Foundation in 1994, Ewing continued to work as a consulting engineer until 2010, when he finally retired at age 90. While consulting, Ewing was selected by the State of Mississippi in 2002 to lead the foundation repair efforts of the Jackson residence of Eudora Welty, a Pulitzer Prize–winning author of short stories whose home was being memorialized as a state and national landmark. He published his work on this historic home in the January/February 2011 issue of ASCE’s Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities.
A little over a year after the U.S. entered World War II, Ewing graduated from Oregon State in 1943 with a degree in civil engineering, where he immediately served his country as an engineer with Boeing Aircraft. He worked on several projects connected with the engines of the B-29 bomber and became the Boeing liaison with the engine cowling manufacturing companies in the South and Midwest.
After the war, Ewing went to work for 2 different engineering firms in the Pacific Northwest, building much-needed community facilities such as schools and hospitals. In the early 1950s, as the Pacific Northwest experienced an economic downturn, he moved south to Memphis, Tennessee, where he worked for the L and M Construction Company, continuing to help build postwar community infrastructures, including bridges and flood walls.
By the late 1950s, Ewing joined the MT Reed Construction Company, in Jackson, Mississippi, where he was given a diverse set of building assignments – from missile storage igloos for the Department of Defense, to interstate bridges throughout the South, to construction of the runways at the new Jackson airport.
It was while working in Mississippi during the 1960s that Ewing observed the ravages that the volatile Yazoo clay had upon commercial and residential structures. He sensed an opportunity to bring his engineering expertise into the business of foundation repair, and thus started the Ewing Foundation Company.
In recognition of his diverse work as a professional engineer for over 67 years, in 2013 Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, established the Robert C. Ewing P.E. Scholarship Fund in the Engineering School to help other young, aspiring engineers.