Water Resources Expert, Former Oregon Section President Named Fellow

July 10, 2017


Lawrence M. Magura, P.E., D.WRE(Ret.), F.ASCE, a longtime water resources engineer both federally and in the private sector, has been elevated to the status of Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.

After working a few years in San Francisco, Magura made a “lifestyle” transfer to Portland, OR, in 1980, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Pacific Division’s first full-time chief of emergency management of the Portland District office. This was just in time to participate in the Corps’ massive response after the May 18 eruption of Mount St. Helens and the Presidential Disaster Declaration that soon followed. Bureaucracy was kept at bay, flooding stemmed, and communities in Oregon and Washington protected. Among the many other challenging projects he worked on during the early part of that period was the installation of a temporary pumping station on Spirit Lake to stabilize the lake’s water surface elevation, and several emergency levee raises to protect the communities of Castle Rock, Kelso, and Longview along the Cowlitz River.

When the Corps’ response to the Mount St. Helens disaster declaration was completed, in 1987, Magura refocused his career on the civil engineering profession. He also became active in the affairs of ASCE. Working through his Section’s leadership ladder, he became president of the Oregon Section in 1992. In 2008 he received his Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer diploma from EWRI.

Magura progressed through several Portland-area consulting engineering firms, eventually settling in at the Portland office of Black & Veatch, where he served for 14-and-a-half years as the firm’s principal water resources engineer on the West Coast before retiring from the firm in 2014. During this time he worked on the Echo Park Lake Restoration Project for the City of Los Angeles, which was an OPAL Project of the Year Award finalist in 2015. He also served as technical lead at Black & Veatch for a large USEPA Consent Decree-driven stream restoration project in suburban Montgomery County, MD, which led to him publishing a feature-length article, “A River Flows Through It” (Civil Engineering, June 2014).

He has since formed Lawrence M. Magura, P.E., Consulting Water Resources Engineer LLC, and continues to serve several of his former Black & Veatch clients.

Magura received his B.S. degree in renewable natural resources from UC Davis, and an M.S. degree in civil engineering from UC Berkeley.

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