W. Charles Greer Jr. is this year’s University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Engineer in Residence. The program brings accomplished alumni to campus to interact with students and faculty.
Greer, who graduated from CEE with his bachelor’s in 1971 and his master’s in 1973, recently visited the department to give a lecture, “Once-in-a-Lifetime Project Every 10 Years.” The lecture highlighted important projects that have defined Greer’s career and the importance of young engineers taking on challenging projects in their careers. While visiting CEE, Greer toured the Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Lab, where ICT is headquartered. He also held office hours for current students and met with faculty.
Greer is Senior Vice President and Director of Quality Assurance for AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. He has worked on a broad range of civil engineering projects throughout the world. Notably, he has worked for almost 40 years as a consultant for Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. There, he was instrumental in the development and implementation of a pavement management program that extended the life of the two main departure runways from their original 20-year designs to 37 years and 40-plus years; the second runway is still in service. Each runway has served more than 5 million departures.
“It’s important to give back to your alma mater by providing students with actual examples of the problems with which they may be challenged once they graduate. My goal is to give them a better understanding of how they can apply the analytical tools and problem-solving techniques they are learning at Illinois,” says Greer.
Greer was the C. C. Wiley Award Winner in 1972 while at Illinois and was named Engineer of the Year by the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers in 1987 in recognition of his technical and professional accomplishments. He serves on numerous national and international technical committees and has been an invited speaker for the Mack-Blackwell Rural Transportation Center Distinguished Lecture Series at the University of Arkansas in 2001 and the Kirlin Distinguished Seminar Series at the University of Maryland in 2011.