Albert A. Grant, 88, who was the American Society of Civil Engineers' first president from the public sector, in 1988, and became an early advocate of engineering sustainability, died in Potomac, Md., on April 2, says ASCE.


He was director of transportation planning for the Metropolitan Council of Governments in the Washington, D.C., area and pushed "to have civil engineers more involved in shaping public policy," he told ENR in the 1990s. Grant expanded ASCE's "key contact" program to link thousands of members and legislators on key issues and led the group and the American Association of Engineering Societies in setting sustainability standards.

Grunley Started DC Builder

Martin R. Grunley, 98, co-founder of two Washington, D.C.-area building contractors that specialized in major renovations of landmark federal buildings, died on April 17 in Bethesda, Md.


He and his partners in 1955 formed Grunley Walsh Blanche Inc., which became Grunley Construction Co., Rockville, Md., in 1988. The firm and its predecessors renovated the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution and Washington Monument and built the World War II Memorial on the National Mall, among other high-profile jobs. Grunley retired in 1995 but "didn't stop coming to work until he was 88," his son and CEO successor, Ken Grunley, told a local business publication in February. The firm ranks at No. 178 on ENR's Top 400 Contractors list, with 2013 revenue of $360 million.

Smith Led Texas A&M Program

James C. "Jim" Smith, 74, who led the construction program at Texas A&M University, College Station, and previously served on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that managed military construction budgets and authored defense security legislation, died on April 20 in Houston. The cause of death was cancer, says the school. 

Smith, who also was named to the first federal military-base closure commission, was a 38-year U.S. Army veteran whose service included overseeing building projects for the Corps of Engineers in Japan and Vietnam. He also was a former executive with industry firms CRSS Inc. and Brown & Root Inc. Smith in 1996 launched the Texas A&M program's industry advisory council, which is now the largest in the U.S., with 160 construction firms as members, says Joe Horlen, current program head. The school created an endowed scholarship in Smith's honor in 2004.