The Cecil and Sally Drinkward Professorship in Structural Engineering

A graduate of Caltech, Cecil Drinkward joined Hoffman Construction Company in 1967, serving as its president and CEO from 1974 to 1991, then as president of Hoffman Corporation. One of the largest construction companies in the Pacific Northwest, with principal offices in Portland and Seattle, the company has had a long, close relationship with Oregon State University, hiring many of its engineering graduates.

In 1990 Cecil Drinkward joined the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees. In addition to serving a term as board president, he chaired its investment committee. He was named to the OSU Engineering Hall of Fame in 1998.

Building on their past generous support of the university, in 2013 Cecil and his wife, Sally, made a $1 million gift commitment creating the Cecil and Sally Drinkward Professorship in Structural Engineering. “This is payback for the training Oregon State provided to the engineers over the years who helped me build Hoffman into the premier Oregon general contractor,” he said.

An arts enthusiast, Sally Drinkward is a trustee of the Oregon Symphony Foundation and a member of ARCS Foundation Portland.

Christopher Higgins

In 2014 Christopher Higgins became the inaugural Cecil and Sally Drinkward Professor of Structural Engineering. He is a professor in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering and a registered Professional Engineer. He also directs the Structural Engineering Research Laboratory at OSU.

Higgins’ research focuses on inspection, evaluation and rehabilitation of infrastructure. He has extensive experience testing and evaluating structures subjected to the effects of such things as wind, ocean waves, and earthquakes. He has conducted research on steel, concrete, composite, titanium, hybrid, and polymer structural materials. His research on reinforced concrete bridges for the Oregon Department of Transportation is reported to have saved state taxpayers $500 million.

Prior to coming to Oregon State in 2000, Higgins taught at Clarkson University in New York and was a project engineer in Texas. He has received numerous teaching and research awards and was the Slayden Construction Faculty Fellow at OSU from 2009 to 2014. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Marquette University, master’s at the University of Texas at Austin, and doctorate at Lehigh University.

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