Port and Harbor Expert Earns Distinguished Member Status


Stephen A. Curtis, P.E., D.PE, Dist.M.ASCE, whose career as a practitioner of civil engineering spans 39 years, has been honored as part of ASCE’s 2017 class of Distinguished Members for his prominent contributions to port and harbor engineering and for advancing the profession through leadership of conferences, forensic investigations, and dissemination of those results to the port community.

Curtis exemplifies what all engineers strive to be – innovators, problem solvers, and great helpers of society. Along with development of new ports plans, designs, and construction, his impacts have been felt in the rehabilitation of existing infrastructure and through expertise applied to the areas of container and general cargo terminals as well as landside storage and intermodal transfer facilities.


Immediately following the damage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, he assembled a team of port engineers to assess damage to Gulf Coast facilities, bridges, and highways and then document mode of failure and lessons learned. The team’s findings were presented later by ASCE as the Hurricane Katrina Damage Assessment. Curtis was also responsible for major redevelopment of the principle container facilities for the Virginia Port Authority while he was chief engineer there.

He has been invited to multiple leadership positions due to his reputation in port and harbor engineering. He was significantly involved in preparing the inland waterways and ports portion of ASCE’s 2013 Infrastructure Report Card – also participating in the presentations to Congress – and in preparing the Failure to Act Economic Impact Report.

He is currently the program director of waterfront services at Collins Engineers, and has worked with Tetra Tech EC Inc. and CH2M Hill. He served a two-year term as At-Large Director on ASCE’s Board of Direction, and for four years on the Governing Board (plus one as President) of the Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute (COPRI). He is also an active member of AAPA, NSPE, and SAME.

For the Ports 2004 Conference, he was chair of the Ports & Harbors Technical Committee’s Conference Organizing & Planning Committee and edited the conference proceedings, published by ASCE. Other works Curtis has authored or coauthored are Innovative Container Handling Facility (2001) and The Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (PB Network, 2006).

Curtis’ recognitions are as Diplomate, Academy of Coastal, Ocean, Port and Navigation Engineers (Port Engineering) and as Distinguished Graduate, College of Engineering, University of Maine at Orono, where he earned his B.S. in 1974. He is a professional engineer in the states of Maine, Virginia, and Texas.


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