Walter E. Hanson, a foundations expert and founder of the firm that became Hanson Professional Services Inc., a Springfield, Ill., engineer that ranks 174th on ENR’s list of The Top 500 Design Firms, died on April 4 in that city. He was 93. Hanson, who was the firm’s president for more than 30 years since its founding in 1954, specialized in foundation engineering and soil mechanics. A former engineering faculty member of the University of Illnois, Urbana-Champaign, he co-authored with noted experts Ralph Peck and Tom Thornburn “Foundation Engineering,” a textbook in those fields still widely used by students and practicing engineers, according to the company.
Hanson, who retired as firm chairman in 1986, was inducted into the Illinois Engineering Hall of Fame in 2006. He also was named an honorary member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1985, the group’s highest honor. Hanson reported revenue of $62.3 million in 2009.