CORVALLIS - Martin N. Kelley, retired vice president and chief engineer of Peter Kiewit Sons', Inc., of Omaha, Neb., has been named as recipient of the 2002 E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni Award by the Oregon State University Alumni Association.
The award will be presented Friday, April 19, at the CH2M-HILL Alumni Center.
Given annually since 1981, E.B. Lemon winners are selected and honored both for their professional achievements and service to the university. Past recipients include Linus Pauling, two-time Nobel Prize laureate; Douglas Englebart, inventor of the computer mouse; and Warren Washington, the first African American president of the American Meteorological Society.
Kelley, a 1950 OSU civil engineering graduate, is often referred to as a legend at Kiewit and an "engineer's engineer."
Born in New York City on Jan. 1, 1928, Kelley began his career as a bridge design engineer in Salem, Ore., as an inspector with the city's Civil Engineering Department. He then worked as field, office, and cost engineer for Consolidated Builders to construct the Detroit Dam near Mill City.
He was hired by Peter Kiewit Sons' in 1954 in a professional relationship that would last until his retirement in 1991 and several years beyond as a consultant. Early on, Kiewit gave him field assignments on large concrete and earthfill dams, tunnels, powerhouses and bridges. In the 1960s, he served as project engineer on the San Francisco Trans-Bay Tube and Tunnel project for the Bay Area Rapid Transit System, the longest and deepest immersed tube in the world.
He was appointed chief engineer for Kiewit in 1968, and in 1974 was promoted to the position of vice president. In 1982 he was named president of Kiewit Engineering Company and three years later became director of the Kiewit Construction Group.
As director, Kelley was responsible for estimating, bidding and providing construction engineering services for major Kiewit projects throughout the world. Some of these include: New York City's 63rd Street Tube and Tunnel Project; Washington's Pasco-Kennewick Cable Stayed Bridge; Saskatchewan's Nipawin Dam; southern Oregon's Applegate Dam; the Seattle Metro Outfall project; Eugene's Carmen Smith Powerhouse; and the Danish Great Belt Crossing's eastern tunnel, off Denmark.
Kelley has received the two highest engineering honors given in this country: the 1988 Golden Beaver Award for Outstanding Achievement in Heavy Engineering Construction and the 1999 Moles Members Award. He is only the second engineer in history to have earned both awards.
In 1989 the American Society of Civil Engineers honored him with their highly prestigious Roebling Award, named after the famous designer of the Brooklyn Bridge.
He served as chairman of the Rapid Excavating Tunneling Conference in 1989 and serves on the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation, the Legacy Finance Committee, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium board and executive committee. He is a former member of the Portland Opera Board and in 1995 received that group's Aubrey Morgan Award for outstanding volunteer service.
Kelley has been a staunch supporter of his alma mater. He is past president and chairman of the board of the OSU Foundation and serves as a member of the board's executive committee. He is also a member of the College of Engineering Foundation.
In 1990, he made a $5 million gift to OSU, at that time the largest single gift ever made to the university by an individual alumnus. He also personally funded the cost of the covered walkway that now connects the CH2M-HILL Alumni Center to LaSells Stewart Center.
E.B. Lemon graduated from OSU in 1911 and served his alma mater for over 70 years as a prominent faculty member and administrator. The award named in his honor is one of the most prestigious given by the university and the OSU Alumni Association.