subscribe to ENR magazine subscribe
contact us
careers industry jobs
events events
Dodge Data & Analytics
ENR Logo
Web access will be provided
as part of your subscription.

Paul Munger, Hyatt Walkway Collapse Investigator and Design License Arbiter, Dies at 82

Text size: A A
----- Advertising -----

Paul R. Munger, 82, a Missouri civil engineer and longtime educator who probed the fatal 1981 Hyatt Regency skywalk collapse and chaired the board that revoked the licenses of its designers, died on April 19 in Rolla, Mo. The cause of death was not disclosed.

As Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors chairman, Munger was among the experts who investigated the Hyatt incident. They found the collapse of two vertically contiguous atrium walkways was linked to design issues; 114 were killed and 216 were injured, making it the deadliest U.S. structural collapse till 9-11.

Munger also led the board that, in 1986, stripped engineering licenses of structural engineer Jack Gillum, an associate and their firm for not thoroughly reviewing design changes to supporting steel tie rods.

A state court upheld the ruling. Munger implemented post-collapse licensing practices and became an engineering ethics leader. "Responsibility was delegated [at the Hyatt] but not really picked up, and you can't let that happen," said Munger in 2011.

Munger taught for 41 years at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, and chaired its civil engineering program. He also directed its Institute of River Studies, was a recognized expert on Missouri and Mississippi river environmental issues, and founded a consulting firm that specialized in water resources and hydrology. The firm merged with Benton & Associates in 2012.

Munger was president of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying and chaired the American Society of Civil Engineers' committee on professional conduct. He was an ASCE fellow and cited by the council for leading the design registration changes.

Munger, who won many national and state awards, was "an inspiration to thousands of students," says Col. Leon E. McKinney, retired commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District.




----- Advertising -----
  Blogs: ENR Staff   Blogs: Other Voices  
Critical Path: ENR's editors and bloggers deliver their insights, opinions, cool-headed analysis and hot-headed rantings
Project Leads/Pulse

Gives readers a glimpse of who is planning and constructing some of the largest projects throughout the U.S. Much information for pulse is derived from McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge.

For more information on a project in Pulse that has a DR#, or for general information on Dodge products and services, please visit our Website at

Information is provided on construction projects in following stages in each issue of ENR: Planning, Contracts/Bids/Proposals and Bid/Proposal Dates.

View all Project Leads/Pulse »

 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.