Obituaries: January 2013

January 1, 2013


Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, the Charles E. Via, Jr. Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), passed away on December 7 at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer. Kikuchi, who joined the faculty at Virginia Tech in 2005, also served as the program director for the civil and environmental engineering department at the university’s campus in Falls Church. His research focused on transportation planning, urban transportation systems, traffic logistics and engineering, intelligent transportation systems, the applications of “soft” computing, and the treatment of uncertainty and data. Among his accomplishments he was a cofounder of the Helsinki Summer School in Transportation, held each year at Finland’s Aalto University. Born in Kobe, Japan, Kikuchi earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Hokkaido University. In 1970 he began studying transportation systems engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and obtained a doctorate there in 1974. After working in Detroit for General Motors, he joined the faculty at the University of Delaware as an assistant professor in 1982. He remained there for 23 years, teaching and conducting research in the areas of urban transportation planning, public transportation systems, traffic engineering, and highway design and logistics. Students and colleagues remember his efforts in sponsoring and advising international students, many of whom have gone on to become leading professors and consultants in the United States, India, Japan, Serbia, and other countries. Kikuchi published a number of papers and lectured at universities in Japan, Italy, Finland, and other countries.


P.E., Hon.M.ASCE, who represented District 11 on ASCE’s Board of Direction from 1972 to 1974 and was an active member of the Society’s Arizona Society of Civil Engineers Section, passed away on December 17 at the age of 94. Born in Warren, Arkansas, on November 8, 1918, Lyon earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Arizona in 1942. With the country at war, he was immediately employed in Arizona in the construction of the Navajo Ordnance Depot. He then proceeded to join the U.S. Navy and was commissioned an ensign in the Civil Engineer Corps, serving in the Pacific with the 115th Naval Construction Battalion, better known as the Seabees, in New Guinea and the Philippines. In April 1945 Lyon was assigned to Camp Endicott, in Davisville, Rhode Island, for additional training in heavy equipment. There he met Patricia Anne Haley, a nurse assigned to the base hospital, and the two were married in the base chapel on October 4, 1945. Upon the conclusion of World War II, Lyon was discharged and returned home, where he was employed by the Arizona Highway Department on the Snowflake-Holbrook Highway. Over the years he rose through the ranks, holding the positions of district engineer, assistant state engineer, assistant director of the Arizona Department of Transportation, and state highway engineer before retiring in July 1980 after 34 years with the Highway Department and its successor, the Arizona Department of Transportation. Lyon then worked as an independent consultant for several major engineering firms before retiring in full in 1992, the same year he was named an honorary member of ASCE.
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