Kotchou says Bearup's demeanor and ability to get people motivated made for a good work environment.

"When I first realized he was going to be my boss, I was a little hesitant with him being from the military. But it wasn't [like] that at all," Kotchou says. "What he did was set the tone and the path, letting people take those ideas and concepts and run with them."

Next Generation

During Bearup's tenure as city engineer, and later as street transportation director, the Phoenix downtown core witnessed a revitalization, with capital construction projects and the addition of a major university campus bringing significant change.

"There are also any number of other various projects that I'm proud of: the ASU School of Journalism, the whole ASU downtown Phoenix campus, 10 or 11 libraries and just a whole rack of smaller but equally important projects," he says.

Bearup, who retired from the city last year, is now the executive director of ASU's Alliance for Construction Excellence and a professor for the university's Del E. Webb School of Construction. He says he is looking forward to teaching the next generation of engineers.

"The work of civil engineers in providing the framework to support society is just so rewarding," Bearup says. He especially appreciates the "satisfaction to be a part of a team that brought about these huge buildings and monuments ... and working together collaboratively to create something that didn't exist before."