Great Builders


Great Builders

Raymond “Paul” Giroux, Purdue University

3:30 p.m., September 7, 2023   |   140 DeBartolo Hall

In the past century, the means and methods to design and build infrastructure have evolved at an ever-increasing rate. Yet, there are timeless lessons from the builders of the “Great Projects”: Brooklyn Bridge, Panama Canal, Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. Veteran builder and award-winning civil engineering historian Paul Giroux will share his unique perspective on the great projects and their builders. Paul will also share what he’s learned about great builders throughout his 45-year career with the Kiewit Companies.

Paul Giroux
Paul Giroux

After attending the Great Builders lecture, participants will be better able to:

  • Understand the challenges of designing and building the Great Projects
  • Understand the role of the key individuals who worked on the Great Projects
  • Identify lessons from the Great Builders that are still relevant to modern practice
  • Identify the essential traits of great builders
Old photo of man standing on or near a suspension bridge during construction.

Raymond “Paul” Giroux, Dist.M.ASCE, NAC, received his B.S. in construction engineering from Iowa State University in 1979.  Paul worked for Kiewit for 45 years on a wide variety of heavy civil engineering mega projects throughout the United States. Paul played a key role in notable projects such as the Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore, several projects on the Big Dig in Boston, the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, and the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (East Span). 

Currently, Paul is a visiting professor of engineering practice at Purdue University Lyles School of Civil Engineering.

Paul has served on numerous industry advisory board and has been an active member of several national committees for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

During the past two decades Paul had leadership and speaking roles at numerous anniversary events including the Brooklyn Bridge 125th, the Hoover Dam 75th, the Golden Gate Bridge 75th, the Panama Canal 100th, the Grand Coulee Dam 75th, the Transcontinental Railroad 150th, as well as lectures on the Eads Bridge, and the Mackinac Bridge.

Paul is the author of several bridge design and civil engineering history papers.  He is also an active public speaker having presented over 300 lectures and seminars at over 90 engineering schools.  Additionally, he has presented over 150 other speeches at professional and public venues.  Paul has also been a contributor on the Fox Business News show ‘American Built.’  Renowned for his ability to bring the past alive with inspirational storytelling and dynamic animations, he has shared his lectures to a wide variety of audiences around the world. Paul was the recipient of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Civil Engineering History and Heritage Award for 2013.  In 2015, Paul received ASCE’s G. Brooks Earnest Technical Lecture Award.  In 2016, Paul was awarded the American Society of Engineering Societies’ Norm Augustine Award.  Paul was elected as a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2016.  In 2017, Paul was awarded the ASCE Construction Institute’s Roebling Award.  In 2018, Paul was inducted into the Iowa State University Construction Engineering Hall of Fame. And, in 2022, Paul was inducted into the National Academy of Construction.