William B. Conway ’52 Th’54, P.E., received the John A. Roebling Medal for lifetime achievement at the International Bridge Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., last June. He is the chairman of Modjeski and Masters Inc., a structural engineering firm in St. Louis, Mo., that specializes in bridge engineering for federal, state, and local agencies, railroads, and port authorities. His works include the first Newburgh-Beacon Bridge across the Hudson River, the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River in Cincinnati, the Teddy Roosevelt Bridge over the Potomac, and the Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge and seven other bridges across the Mississippi. He recently served as principal-in-charge on the seismic retrofit of the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge in San Francisco and the vessel collision vulnerability study assessment of bridges on the lower Mississippi.
>> Heinz Kluetmeier ’65, whose career as a photojournalist for Sports Illustrated spans nearly four decades, was honored in October for outstanding achievement in sports photography with a Lucie Award, an international photography award. Kluetmeier, who was already shooting pictures for the Associated Press at age 15, majored in engineering and worked as an engineer for a steel company until 1969, when he joined Time Inc. as a photographer for Sports Illustrated and Life. He has since shot more than 100 covers for SI, and in 1986 was named the director of photography at the magazine. “Technique and technical stuff is absolutely irrelevant to the picture in terms of what you do as a photographer,” he told PDN Legends Online. “I think the most important thing is to have a vision, to have an emotional feeling, to care about what you’re photographing, and to have something that’s already there in your heart, in your eye.” View his images at pdngallery.com/legends/heinz/.
>> The American Society of Civil Engineers recognized Philadelphia Inquirer science reporter Tom Avril ’89 with an Excellence in Journalism Award honorable mention for his article about skyscraper construction, “Water to Tame Wind Atop New Skyscraper: Giant Bathtub in the Sky.” His lead was a grabber: “It’s a great big bathtub in the sky, but hold the soap. A 300,000-gallon, double-chambered tank of water is going in near the top of the Comcast Center — a creative solution by engineers to keep Philadelphia’s tallest building from swaying too much in the wind.”
>> Bert Yankielun Th’92 offers step-by-step instructions on building igloos, spruce traps, bivy bag shelters and drift caves in his new book, How to Build an Igloo and Other Snow Shelters (Norton Press). As a doctoral student at Thayer and then a research engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, Yankielun developed ground penetrating radar systems and other geophysical instrumentation. He is now a consulting engineer in private practice.
>> Charlie Nearburg ’72 Th’73, ’74 set three new land-speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats World Finals in October. Driving “The Spirit of Rett,” a 35-foot-long streamliner, Nearburg beat two 10-year Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) records with two-way runs averaging 348 mph and 351 mph over a course with five miles for acceleration and two to three miles for shutting down. Three days later he set a Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) record with a two-way average run of 359.5 mph over a course with six miles for acceleration and five miles for shutting down. “In the first FIA run I exited the timed mile at 375 mph. It was pretty awesome,” he says. “This puts me seventh on the all-time fastest list at Bonneville and makes the ‘Spirit of Rett’ the fastest gasoline powered car in history.”
Owner of Nearburg Producing Company and a member of Thayer School’s Board of Overseers, Nearburg has been racing since high school. “I enjoy the engineering of it and the skill,” he says.
The “Spirit of Rett” is named after Nearburg’s late son, Rett. Watch Nearburg in action at rett.org.comments powered by Disqus