Stephen P. Byrne, a construction executive and educator who pushed contractor certification and helped shape the construction science department at Texas A&M University, died suddenly on Feb. 11 from back surgery complications, says the school. He was 59. 

Byrne, a senior lecturer since 2000, also managed internships and was executive director of Texas A&M's Construction Industry Advisory Council. He previously worked for the school as associate executive director of facilities, planning and construction.

A certified professional constructor, Byrne was a fellow of the American Institute of Constructors and a past president. "Steve was clearly dedicated in his efforts to promote the professional constructor," says Andrew Wasiniak, an assistant vice president at Michigan contractor Walbridge and AIC president in 2011-2012. "As AIC president, he led with steady resolve just as the recession was beginning to impact our industry."