Don V. Roberts, Past President of GBA – Dies Age 87 

Don V. Roberts, Past President of GBADon V. Roberts, P.E., Dist. M., ASCE and past President of the GBA (ASFE) and World Engineering Partnership for Sustainable Development, passed away peacefully at his home in Denver, Colorado on January 31, 2016.

Roberts received a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Stanford in 1950 with a strong minor in geological engineering. He then conducted post-graduate studies in geotechnical engineering at the Imperial College, University of London. He also completed post-graduate studies in engineering geology at the Royal School of Mines in England and at the University of Southern California.

With over 60 years’ experience as a consulting civil and environmental engineer, Roberts was responsible for major geotechnical investigations and environmental studies for 500 projects located in 20 countries. He was a pioneer in developing methods to analyze the environmental impacts of projects prior to the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). He also managed programs to investigate and clean up nuclear waste sites for the US Department of Energy.

Roberts began his career with Dames & Moore and left, as a senior partner, to become vice-president of CH2M Hill. After his retirement in 1994, Roberts held senior positions in several professional engineering societies including Engineers Without Borders, WFEO, HWAC, and FIDIC. He was president of GBA (ASFE) from 1985-1986.

Roberts received several awards for his contributions to engineering including WFEO’s Gold Medal in 2003 for “outstanding service to humanity”, the AAES Joan Hodges Queneau Palladium Medal in 2004 for “outstanding achievement in environmental conservation as one of the engineering profession’s most eloquent spokespersons for sustainable development” and the ASCE Presidents’ Award in 2005 “for his advocacy for the engineering community’s engagement in the dialog on sustainability issues internationally, his leadership in WFEO and his tireless efforts to serve civil society by incorporating the tenants of sustainable development into engineering practice.” In 2009, Roberts was elected a “Distinguished Member” of ASCE.

Roberts will be fondly remembered for his creativity, wisdom, vision, and professional and personal kindness to many engineers. Charleen, his wife of 64 years, has asked that all donations in his memory go to the ASCE Sustainability Fund.