Elected in 1995
“For origination and development of innovations in fabrication and erection engineering of long-span bridges.“
BY IVAN M. VIEST
AN ENGINEER’S ENGINEER, Jackson Leland Durkee provided guidance in the design, construction, evaluation, and rehabilitation of about two dozen major bridges and other steel structures located in eleven countries on four continents. An independent consulting structural engineer in a field that is almost without exception handled by employees of a variety of companies, his unique services were sought after by numerous clients.
Son of the late civil engineer E. Leland Durkee, Jackson was born on September 20, 1922, in Tatanager, India, where his father was erecting bridges for Bethlehem Steel Company. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1941) and Cornell University (1947), respectively. Worcester Polytechnic awarded Jackson a CE degree in 1951. He began his professional life as a designer and structures test engineer for Douglas Aircraft Company in California. From 1944 to 1946, Jackson served his country in World War II as a naval deck officer in the Pacific Fleet. In 1947, Jackson joined Bethlehem Steel where he worked for 29 years. He was employed in various divisions of the company, attaining the position of Chief Bridge Engineer in 1965. His significant bridgework accomplishments while