History and Heritage

Related News Archive: 2011

THE SLIDE RULE: A Part of Engineering History

Older members of ASCE may recall that a hand-drawn likeness of a slide rule was included as part of the banner at the top of the Orange County Branch Newsletter for a number of years. The slide rule stood as a symbol of the essential tools used by civil engineers and other technical professionals in their work. The advent of electronic pocket calculators in the early 1970's brought the use of slide rules to an abrupt end and the image of one was eventually removed from the Newsletter banner. More »

Back to the Sixties in Orange County

Ironically, my first year with Orange County Flood Control District (OCFCD), 1960-1961was the driest on record until superseded by another dry year 2006-2007. Initial work involved design of small structures on Laguna Canyon Channel, Haster Retarding Basin and the Red Hill Channel all under the supervision of Elmer Christiansen and John Huntsman. Both had extensive experience with Los Angeles County Flood Control District (LACFCD) before coming to OCFCD and were excellent mentors. I was a novice in flood design having only recently completed evening classes in hydraulic engineering USC. Instructors included among others, Erv Spindel Director of Public Works at Downey, Bob White City Engineer of Burbank and a Mr. Bargman, design chief for Los Angeles City’s Hyperion Treatment Plant. More »

Irvine Ranch Irrigation System Named Historic Landmark

A plaque and pedestal were presented at Peters Canyon Regional Park on Thursday, September 15,2011 to commemorate the ingenuity of James Irvine II and C. Roy Browning, P.E. The second reservoir in the system, Peters Canyon Dam was granted to the County as a Regional Park and as part of a nearby residential development in 1991. The plaque was dedicated by Bill Lawson, Chairman of the ASCE Orange County Branch History and Heritage Committee in collaboration with Orange County Parks. ASCE OC Branch Historian, Carl Nelson spoke about the historical significance that the Irvine Ranch Irrigation System played in Orange County’s economic development, and how its existence shaped the expansion of irrigated agriculture on the Irvine Ranch. More »

Fifty Years Ago in Orange County

When I came to work with the Orange County Flood Control District (OCFCD) in 1960, the district was in the midst of building out planned projects authorized in the successful bond issuance election of 1956. H. “George” Osborne had been appointed by the Board of Supervisors in 1955 to the position of “Flood Control Engineer” (later changed to “Chief Engineer”). Senior engineers in the relatively small organization included Joe Brunner, Jack Schwarze, Max Sloan, Don Martinson, Elmer Christiansen, John Huntsman, Joe Devlin, Dick Schmid, and Joe Natsuhara. Before my time a number of other young engineers were recruited, including Milt Madole, Jim Brennan, Wayne Osborne, Don Talley, Lloyd Lichlyter and Wayne Osborne. Several went on to form new firms (Madole, Christiansen, Brennan), or joined private engineering firms such as Schmid to Williamson & Schmid, and Martinson to Lowry. Some became City Engineers; Devlin to Newport Beach and Lichlyter & Osborne to Fountain Valley. More »

ASCE Local Historic Civil Engineering Landmark Dedication

The Irvine Ranch occupies the geographic heart of Orange County.  James Irvine II began to irrigate the central valley of San Diego Creek with drilled wells early in the 1900's to transition from the historic era of dry-farming and pasturage. Then, in the 1920's he began the planning of surface water conservation dams to augment diminishing groundwater resources. Construction of Santiago Dam and Reservoir, completed in 1931, commenced the expansion of the Irvine Ranch Irrigation System that would sustain the agricultural enterprise until the era of urban development and imported water from the Metropolitan Water District began to displace agriculture land use in the 1970's. More »

Dr. Mohammad Gamal Mostafa

Dr. Mostafa was brilliant; an extraordinary person who was the epitome of all things aspired to in life. He was academically without peer, collegial, accomplished in the profession, and loving beyond compare to his wife, children, grandchildren and the vast extension of family and friends all over the world.   Some of us were lucky to have worked with him know of his accomplishments first-hand.  Many others continue to benefit from his work.  His contributions were of such significance that they need to be noted by the Civil Engineering family. More »

Carl Nelson Looks Back

Some time ago, our Branch President Ziad asked me to contribute to the OC ASCE newsletter my recollections of Civil Engineering in Orange County. Now, I’ve finally gotten my “round tuit” (A circular object giving its owner the ability to get done something done that otherwise would have been put off to a later date). My round tuit arrived with the recent Caltrans announcement that the San Diego Freeway (I-405), through Sepulveda Pass in the Santa Monica Mountains, would be closed to all traffic late Friday, July 15 through early Monday July 18. The purpose of the closure is for demolition of the Mulholland Drive Overcrossing (OC) to accommodate impending widening of the freeway which, according to the Los Angeles Times, is burdened with up to 500,000 vehicles on a typical weekend.  Can you imagine the congestion countywide in LA that weekend due to impacts on other routes? More »

Mr. G. “Lynn” LeBaron, Jr. - 1925-2011

Mr. LeBaron’s work experience included Reading Railroad for 11 years in construction of bridges, coal dumpers, and towers. Later he was employed at Holmes & Narver, Inc., Architect Engineers in Orange, CA for 26 years.  His projects, located at various sites, included a Nevada Test Site;  Amchitka, Alaska for DOE; Tonopah Integrated Air Defense System TIADS,  Central Nevada for the Air Force; ROTHR on Amchitka for the Navy; KC-135 Rebasing at Malstrom AFB, and Montana for the U.S. Army.  He is survived by his wife, Patricia, and son, Geof.  A Memorial Service was held at St. George’s Episcopal Church. More »

John Wayne Airport Named Historic Landmark by ASCE - APRIL 7th, 2011

The airport was given this distinction based on its many Civil Engineering projects that have contributed to the Orange County Area.  According to OC Branch History and Heritage Committee Chair, Bill Lawson, “Eddie Martin's Airport, predecessor of John Wayne Airport, was established in Orange County in 1923.  In September 1941 the County of Orange Airport was constructed with Martin Aviation as a tenant.  In 1965 construction of new runways was completed, followed by the construction of a new terminal in 1967.  In 1979 the name of the airport was changed to John Wayne Airport, and in 1990 the present 'Supervisor Thomas F. Riley' Terminals A and B were completed." More »

ASCE Local Historic Civil Engineering Landmark Dedication Ceremony for John Wayne Airport

Eddie Martin's Airport, predecessor of John Wayne Airport, was established in Orange County in 1923. In September 1941 the County of Orange Airport was constructed with Martin Aviation as a tenant. In 1965 construction of new runways was completed, followed by the construction of a new terminal in 1967. In 1979 the name of the airport was changed to John Wayne Airport, and in 1990 the present 'Supervisor Thomas F. Riley' terminals A and B were completed. More »

In Memory of Fred Meier, PE

The American Society of Civil Engineers lost one of our most devoted engineering brothers on December 29, 2010 when Frederick J. Meier passed away.  Fred’s first visit to California was as a member of the University of Nebraska football team when they won the 1941 Rose Bowl game against Stanford University.  He was president of Nebraska's ASCE Student Chapter from 1941-42.  Fred and his beloved wife Jane were married shortly after graduation in 1942.  More »

Chester Lawrence "Chet" Schultz, PE

Schultz, Chester Lawrence "Chet," born April 3, 1922 in PA, passed away December 4, 2010 in Fullerton. Chet graduated from Pittsburg University and proudly served in the Army Air Corp. He was one of the founding partners in McLean & Schutlz Engineers, Architects & Consultants since 1955.  More »

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