The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), Washington Chapter, selected Senior Principal Geotechnical Engineer and COO Dan Campbell as their Washington Engineer of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the engineering industry. ACEC announced the news at its 53rd Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala on Friday night.
During Mr. Campbell’s 30-year career in the engineering profession, his work has advanced the industry and made significant contributions to important infrastructure projects in Washington and around the world. Mr. Campbell’s geotechnical engineering work has focused on seismic engineering, temporary and permanent support structures, dams and roadways.
Mr. Campbell cut his teeth on seismic engineering at GeoEngineers. His early seismic work on liquefaction and site-specific studies around the Puget Sound advanced the field and eventually helped launch GeoEngineers’ industry-leading seismic-modeling team. Mr. Campbell was a key member of reconnaissance teams after the Nisqually (2001), Taiwan (1999) and Northridge (1994) earthquakes.
This seismic expertise complemented Mr. Campbell’s frequent work on large transportation projects in Washington, often for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Over the years, Mr. Campbell has also specialized in alternative project-delivery methods, like design-build, that are often required for large infrastructure projects. Recognizing Mr. Campbell’s experience, WSDOT asked him in 2005 to lead a GeoEngineers team in co-authoring the agency’s first Geotechnical Design Manual (GDM), a best practices document that has influenced geotechnical standards in Washington State and beyond.
“I’ve worked with Dan in lots of different capacities through the years,” says GeoEngineers CEO Mike Hutchinson. “Even though we’ve each reported to the other, we’ve never had a hierarchical relationship—it was always collaborative. It’s a value that defines our firm, and it’s what Dan has always been about. He knows we are stronger when we work together, and that’s what makes Dan, and GeoEngineers, so successful.”
In addition to Mr. Campbell’s contributions to GeoEngineers’ growth, he has long been a champion of the overall engineering industry. As an active ACEC member for more than 20 years, Mr. Campbell has served on the board of directors, numerous committees and a long list of working groups during his time as board president from 2018 to 2019. He’s also been closely involved as both mentor and donor with engineering programs at his alma maters—Washington State University and the University of California, Davis.
“Mr. Campbell’s impressive career in geotechnical engineering and tireless service as a positive representative for the A/E industry has set a high bar for those of us lucky enough to learn directly from him,” says Ben Upsall, one of Mr. Campbell’s mentees. “He brings the highest levels of professional ability, business acumen, unwavering ethics and positive guidance to every mentor-mentee relationship that he has ever engaged in. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work alongside and learn from him.”