Obituaries: March 2013

March 1, 2013
Kris Nielsen
Nielsen, Kris


Ph.D., F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE, NAE, one of the world’s foremost experts in analyzing buildings damaged by bombs, earthquakes, fire, and tornadoes, who led the ASCE/Structural Engineering Institute and FEMA assessment into the September 11, 2001, collapse of the World Trade Center’s twin towers, passed away on March 1, at the age of 77. The assessment team’s report, which was released in May 2002, resulted in recommendations to the building code and standards for improving structural fire protection, life safety, and engineering practice. Senior vice president of the CTL Group from 1987 to 2013, Corley also led a multi-agency Building Performance Assessment Team that studied the structural performance of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, following the bombing there in 1995. Corley’s team concluded that the Murrah Building could have performed much better had it been constructed to standards used in earthquake-prone areas, with special reinforcing of key columns. Corley led other notable assessments, including the April 1982 collapse of a highway ramp under construction, which killed 13 workers in East Chicago, Indiana; the Los Angeles Civic Center following the 1994 Northridge earthquake; the Humberto Vidal Building in San Juan, Puerto Rico, following a gas explosion; and the collapse of a ten-story parking garage under construction on October 30, 2003, at the Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City. Born December 19, 1935 in Shelbyville, Ill., Corley graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1954. He received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering (1958), his master’s degree in structural engineering (1960), and his Ph.D. in structural engineering (1961) from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Corley throughout his distinguished career has received many awards and honors, including the Norman Augustine Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Communication from the American Association of Engineering Societies in 2004. In addition, he has been an active member of many professional organizations, including ASCE, the American Concrete Institute, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations, and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, where he served as president. An enterprising writer, Corley published over 180 papers and books, including more than 90 on bridge design and/or seismic design. He was also a frequent speaker on topics ranging from structural failure investigations to professional licensure. Prior to working for the CTL Group, Corley served as captain in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Active in the community, he functioned as an elder and deacon of the Northminster Presbyterian Church in Evanston, Illinois, a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, a Boy Scout Webelo leader, and president of the Cook County District Board of the American Red Cross.


Ph.D. P.E., M.ASCE, a distinguished teacher and educator of civil engineering students for over 35 years, passed away on January 19 at the age of 78. Born in Pierre, South Dakota, on October 23, 1934, Echelberger graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He went on to attend the University of Michigan, where he received his master’s degree in public health and civil and environmental engineering, and his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering. Upon graduation, he had a long and productive academic career as a professor of civil and environmental engineering. Echelberger held academic positions at the University of Michigan (1964-65), the University of Notre Dame (1965-73), Indiana University (1973-83), the University of Texas-El Paso (1983-89), and the University of South Florida (1989-99), the last two serving as professor and department chairman. After his retirement from the University of South Florida in 1999, he continued to be engaged in academic activities as a professor emeritus. Over the course of his career, Echelberger received many honors and awards, beginning with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003 from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and in 2010 the Guy E. March Medal, the highest award given by the university to one of its graduates. Aside from being named a Diplomate in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, he also received its Stanley E. Kappe Award in 2006. One honor particularly dear to Echelberger’s heart was having a scholarship named in his honor at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. This scholarship includes a testament to his life which states, “As a teacher and mentor, he helped launch the careers of promising engineers while emphasizing the importance of balance between professional responsibilities and family life. Lessons on life about ethics and balance that Echelberger imparted to his sons carried over into lessons in the classroom. He taught his engineering students the value of giving back through community service and active involvement in professional organizations.”


P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, NAE, professor emeritus at Cornell University and recognized as a visionary in the area of structural engineering, passed away on January 31 at the age 92. He received ASCE’s Norman Medal in 1962 for an atomic power plant containment design, on which in 1968 he wrote Steel Structures, one of the most widely respected textbooks on steel design. Born December 17, 1920, on Staten Island, New York, McGuire received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Bucknell University in 1942. With the United States entering World War II, McGuire enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a maintenance officer and served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Franklin in the Pacific theater. At the conclusion of the war, he entered Cornell University, where he received a master’s degree in engineering. Upon graduation, McGuire joined Jackson & Moreland, a Boston, Massachusetts, engineering firm, as a structural designer of power plants and atomic energy projects. In 1949, he joined the faculty of Cornell’s School of Civil Engineering. Over the course of his distinguished career, his research, teaching, and consulting interests were primarily in the area of steel structures, and he authored or coauthored more than 40 technical and professional papers and texts, as well as contributed to numerous monographs and handbooks. Among his notable contributions to the civil engineering profession was, during the 1970s, recognizing the application of computer graphics in the area of structural engineering to more completely simulate the behavior of buildings. After 40 years of teaching, researching, consulting, and international lecturing, he retired in 1989 as professor emeritus. In 1994 McGuire received one of the highest professional honors in his field when inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. Among his many awards and honors, he received the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award (1992) and the Geerhard Haaijer Award for Excellence in Education (2000) from the American Institute of Steel Construction.


P.E., M.ASCE, a senior principal at Northbrook, Illinois-headquartered Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) and an expert in the investigation and analysis of existing structures as well as the use of nondestructive testing methods and computer modeling, passed away on February 25, 2013, at the age of 55. Born March 30, 1957, in Fullerton, California, Moore earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Purdue University and his master’s degree in engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduation, he joined WJE in 1979 as a junior engineer and was with the firm for thirty-four years. As a member of the Princeton, New Jersey, Dallas, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia, offices at WJE, Moore was involved in many of the firm’s most significant structural investigation assignments, including the safety inspection and audit of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge (or Zakim Bridge) across the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts; the service life assessment of the Bonner Bridge in North Carolina’s Outer Banks; the investigation of the partial collapse of Vanderbilt University’s Medical Center parking garage; and load testing of LaGuardia Airport’s overwater runway extensions. He was also involved in the evaluation and repair of the steel framing in New York City’s iconic Woolworth Building. Perhaps Moore’s most notable role was leading the design, construction, and operation of the Federal Highway Administration’s NDE (nondestructive evaluation) Validation Center in McLean, Virginia. Assuming responsibility for the project in 1996, he developed, managed, and conducted groundbreaking scientific programs and studies related to the evaluation and assessment of NDE techniques through bridge inspections, research, and field testing. Outside of WJE, Moore was an active member of ASCE, the American Concrete Institute, the American Society for Nondestructive Testing, the Post-Tensioning Institute, and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.


Ph.D., J.D., M.ASCE, recipient of ASCE’s 2011 Outstanding Project and Leaders (OPAL) Lifetime Achievement Award in Construction, passed away on February 16 at the age of 68. Nielsen made significant contributions to the construction industry in the area of risk management and best practices, and spent his entire career working towards bettering the construction industry. As chairman and president of the Cle Elum, Washington-headquartered Pegasus Global Holdings, Inc., an international consulting firm that specialized in management consulting, risk management, and strategic advice, he was both an engineer (mechanical and civil) and a lawyer, with experience relative to project management and IT system processes and procedures. Particularly experienced in the energy and financial sectors, he also advised financial institutions regarding the investment strengths and weaknesses of companies in the civil engineering industry. Born May 14, 1945, Nielson received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Princeton University in 1967, his law degree from George Washington University Law School in 1970, and his doctoral degree in infrastructure systems (civil) engineering from Kochi University of Technology in 2005. In addition, he is one of only 1,100 individuals in the United States to have received a certificate in director education from the National Association of Corporate Directors. Recognizing his contributions in Latin America in the area of risk management, both in engineering and construction practices, Nielsen in 2008 was elected to the Pan American Academy of Engineering. Engaged in risk management in megaproject construction for the past 40 years, he has been hired to work on some of the biggest projects in over 60 countries throughout the world, including the Panama Canal Expansion in Panama; the Crossrail project in London; the Guri Dam in Venezuela; the CityLink project in Melbourne, Australia; the Xialoangdi Dam in China, and the Sound Transit Program in Seattle. Nielsen coedited and coauthored the book, Managing Gigaprojects: Advice from Those Who’ve Been There, Done That, published by ASCE Press in October 2012. A prolific writer and speaker globally, he authored four books and chapters of books, over 200 papers, and 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, and made nearly 125 public speaking engagements (including over 75 keynote addresses) regarding management and strategic issues; management audits (prudence, compliance, and performance); program and project risk management; arbitration, mediation, and dispute review boards; dispute resolution; and other topics. A speaker at numerous Society annual conferences, he had been a member of ASCE since 1970 and served as chair of the National Research Policy Committee (1996-1998) and a member of the International Activities Committee (2003-2005). Nielsen was the husband of Patricia D. Galloway, Ph.D., P.E., ASCE’s first female president.
Leave a Reply

— required *

— required *