Elected in 1992
“For advancing understanding of the behavior of structures, for innovations
in engineering education, and for leadership in concrete technology.”
BY WILLIAM McGUIRE
RICHARD NORMAN WHITE, James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the Cornell University School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, died on October 3, 2009.
Dick was born on December 21, 1933, in Chetek, Wisconsin, and grew up on several different dairy farms. His father alternated farm ownership with operation of a small contracting firm. Work on the farms, helping his father in construction, and his classroom interests made civil engineering Dick’s clear choice while still in high school.
He received his civil engineering education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, earning his B.S. in 1956 and M.S. in 1957. Then, after six months of active duty service in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he returned to the University of Wisconsin to study for his Ph.D., which he received in 1961. While studying for the doctorate he worked part time as a structural engineer for a consulting firm and served as an instructor at the university, with responsibility for several undergraduate courses. As an undergraduate he had met Margaret Howell, also a student at the university. They were married in 1957, and Marge completed her undergraduate program while he worked on his doctorate. These formative years were the firm base for his later career and his accomplishments as a