Washington, DC - April 28, 2001
Riley P. Bechtel, chairman, CEO and a director of Bechtel Group, Inc., today was bestowed with an Honorary Fellowship from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Presented at the second annual Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) award gala, the honor recognizes Bechtel for his dedication to excellence in engineering and construction. The Bechtel organization, which was founded more than 100 years ago, is one of the world’s leading engineering, construction, and project management firms."Riley’s work with Bechtel over the past 20 years embodies the innovation and stature that we as professional civil engineers aspire to," said ASCE President Robert W. Bein, P.E. "We are proud to recognize him before his peers for his achievements and efforts that have benefited our community, nation, and humanity."
Chairman And Ceo Of Bechtel Group, Inc. Receives Honorary Fellow Status With National Engineering Society
"This honorary fellowship means a lot to me, both personally and as the fourth-generation leader of my company," Bechtel stated. "Bechtel and the American Society of Civil Engineers go back a long way together. My grandfather, Stephen Bechtel, joined the ASCE in 1934, and my father, Stephen Bechtel, Jr., has been a member since 1946. While civil engineering has changed over the years, the ideals and high standards shared by Bechtel and the ASCE have remained firm and continue to bind us together."
Mr. Bechtel joined the company in 1966, working summers in various field construction jobs while attending school. After receiving a combined JD and MBA degree from Stanford University, he joined the law firm of Thelen, Marin, Johnson & Bridges where he was engaged in legal work for Bechtel and other clients.
Mr. Bechtel rejoined the family business in 1981 and became contract coordinator and later piping superintendent at the Belle River Power Plant in Michigan. In early 1985, Mr. Bechtel moved to London, where he served as a business development representative, pursuing projects in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and Africa. He became assistant manager of operations for the London Division in late 1985 and division technical manager in early 1986. Later that year, he was named managing director of Bechtel Limited.
Bechtel was named a director of Bechtel Group, Inc. in August 1987 and executive vice president and a member of the executive committee three months later. In March 1989, he was elected president and chief operating officer of Bechtel Group, Inc. He became chairman of the executive committee in January 1990 and chief executive officer in June 1990. He became chairman in January 1996.
The Honorary Fellow grade was established in 1986 to recognize and honor individuals who have made significant contributions to their communities, nation, and humanity through the field of their choosing, who that have adhered to high standards of conduct. Recognition is conferred by the executive committee of ASCE’s Board of Direction.
The OPAL awards honor professional civil engineers for lifelong contributions in five categories — public works, construction, management, design, and education. The first OPAL awards were inaugurated in April 2000.
Founded in 1852, ASCE represents more than 123,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society.