Elected in 1995
“For leadership in applied research technology transfer professional activities and for promoting alternative forms of project execution.”
BY JAMES L. LAMMIE
HENRY L. MICHEL passed away on May 23, 2001, and the engineering and construction industry lost a leader, a teacher, and an ambassador. But we did not lose a role model, for the way in which Henry conducted himself throughout his life will continue to set an example for those who come after him.
Henry’s interest in engineering started at an early age. It was the 1930s, and the Flushing High School in Queens, New York, was so crowded that students attended classes only in the morning or afternoon. So for a half-day, Henry watched the construction of Whitestone Bridge from an excellent vantage point on Long Island Sound as the bridge was rushed to completion for the 1939 World’s Fair. After watching the bridge through completion, Henry decided that he wanted to be an engineer to be able to build such structures.
However, on his 18th birthday, he received two birthday cards and a letter from his draft board, which changed his plans.
The next two plus years were spent in the Army Signal Corps, which started with several electrical engineering courses at Manhattan College, followed by two and a half