December 12, 2022

AAWRE honors the life and legacy of William (Bill) Patrick Henry who passed away peacefully on November 26, 2022, at the age of 84. Mr. Henry was a founding AAWRE Diplomate and was the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National President during the AAWRE’s launch in 2004-2005. Bill was an active and life member of ASCE, serving as Chair for various ASCE national committees and President of San Francisco ASCE Section. Mr. Henry was renowned for fighting corruption in engineering and for coining the phrase, "It's great to be a Civil Engineer!".

His service included serving on the Committees on Professional Practice (1997-1999), Committee on Government Affairs (2002-2003), Committee on Policy Review (1994-1997), State Government Relations Committee, Ad-hoc Committee on Professional Issues, and Committee on Public Involvement. He also served as Vice Chair for Committee on Diversity and Women in Civil Engineering and served as member on Congressional Fellow Selection Committee, State Public Affairs Grants Committee, and the National Water Policy Committee.

Bill was born on September 26, 1938 in New York City and grew up in Manhattan with his mom and three older sisters. Bill spent his engineering career primarily in the private sector.  His work has involved assignments as a technical specialist, project manager, branch office manager, marketing manager, corporate planner and corporate officer.  He served as president and chairman of the consulting engineering firm he co-founded. His area of technical expertise is water resources planning and engineering.

More than half his career has been with large firms – Bechtel, PB and CH2M Hill.  The remainder has been split between mid-sized firms and small businesses.  Bill co-founded the small business Aqua Resources Inc. and served as marketing manager for the Seattle office of Schaaf & Wheeler Consulting Civil Engineers.

Mr. Henry held key positions in different geographic areas of the U.S.  He led engineering efforts in San Francisco, Denver, Fairfax (VA), and Seattle.  His projects were located in 17 states and 4 foreign countries. Upon completion of his Bachelors in Civil Engineering at Cornell University, Bill was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and spent 18 months with an Engineer Maintenance Company in the Republic of Korea.

Bill was a graduate of the Cornell University in 1963; Stanford University in 1965; and George Mason University in 1976. Among some of the notable awards and honors Bill has received are the William H. Wisely American Civil Engineer, the H.J. Brunier Award from the San Francisco Section of ASCE, the G. Brooks Earnest Lecture Award from the Cleveland Section of ASCE, and California Water Environment Association’s Order of the Silver Cover.

Bill is survived by his wife Joan, his son and daughter, and five grandchildren.

>To read AAWRE 2011 Interview with Bill