Georgia-Based Consultant, Former ASCE Board Member Chalfant Dies at 99

BY 
August 17, 2020

Ray King Chalfant Jr., a civil and structural engineer in Atlanta whose active ASCE involvement extended back decades, has died. He was 99.

Chalfant

Chalfant, P.E., F.ASCE, served as Georgia Section president from 1983-84. He also served from 1988 to 1990 on the Society’s national Board of Direction, representing what was then District 10.

Born in Barnesville, Ohio, in 1920, Chalfant graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terra Haute, Indiana, in 1942 with a bachelor of science in civil engineering. While in the U. S. Army during World War II, he helped in building the Alcan Highway as an overland route between Alaska and the 48 contiguous states. He then attended Yale University to earn his master’s degree in engineering.

Chalfant taught at Yale while studying and spent a year there after graduation teaching full-time. From 1948 to 1955 he taught structures, surveying, fluid mechanics, highway engineering, and concrete, structural and steel design at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

The next few years saw him working with Prestressed Concrete of Georgia, and in 1960 he opened an office in Brookhaven, Georgia, as Ray K. Chalfant Jr., Consulting Engineer. This was his base of operations until 2016. Still working occasionally up until about 10 years ago, all of his friends knew that Ray’s “official” retirement happened when he was 89 years old.

Chalfant’s activity with ASCE began back at Rose-Hulman and continued when he was faculty advisor of the ASCE Student Chapter at Georgia Tech. He remained involved during his private practice, becoming a member of the Structural Engineering Institute.

After World War II, Chalfant remained in the U.S. Army Reserves’ Advance Engineering School, where he served as teacher and instructor. His rank at retirement was lieutenant colonel.

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