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CHESTER P. SIESS

1916–2004

Elected in 1967

“For reinforced concrete construction.”


BY METE A. SOZEN


CHESTER PAUL SIESS was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, in 1916, to Leo Chester Siess and Adele Liebreich Siess. In time, he attended Rosenthal Grammar School and Bolton High School, both in Alexandria. He continued his education at the Baton Rouge campus of Louisiana State University where he was a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. In those years, when Huey Long rarely missed a football weekend in Baton Rouge, the young Siess was within earshot of Long almost every week during the football season.

When Siess graduated in 1936 with a B.S. in civil engineering, he had the highest scholastic record in the engineering school and was named the Outstanding Civil Engineering Graduate by the Louisiana Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Besides being gifted in mathematics, he developed a keen sensitivity to writing and grammar, evidenced by his only teenage rebellion against his father, who had a sign identifying his drug store as “Siess’ Pharmacy.” His son would have none of it! He insisted on “Siess’s Pharmacy.” That was one argument he did not win.

Chester entered the profession during the Depression, and his first job was survey party chief in the Rural Road Inventory Program of the Louisiana Highway Commission, where he spent his time documenting the layout and condition of the road sys-



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