Newly Dedicated Brian Leach Design Resource Center Prepares Next Generation of Civil Engineers

Apr 08, 2019
The state-of-the-art space will keep Oregon Tech at the forefront of educating the next generation of civil engineering students who will design, build and protect our society’s infrastructure

Leach Lab 1Honoring an alumnus who became a mentor to many students, Oregon Institute of Technology, “Oregon Tech,” announced the new Brian Leach Civil Engineering Design Resource Center within the newly remodeled Cornett Hall at the Klamath Falls campus. The Center is named for Brian Leach, Oregon Tech 1995 civil engineering graduate and dedicated alumnus who passed away in 2016.

Celebrating Brian Leach's commitment to student empowerment through technology education, Oregon Tech formally dedicated the new laboratory which emphasizes innovation, in his name on  Friday, April 5, 2019. The ceremony was attended by family and those closest to Mr. Leach; colleagues and friends; Oregon Tech Foundation members; as well as several Oregon Tech students, faculty and staff. The naming of the resource center was made possible through a generous contribution from Brian Leach’s family. In attendance at the dedication ceremony were his wife Patty with their son Mitchell (currently a student in civil engineering at Oregon Tech), Brian’s parents Sue and Doug, brother Steve, and sister and brother-in-law Laurie and Tim. Dr. Nagi Naganathan, president of Oregon Tech, led the event, which was hosted by the Oregon Tech Foundation.

“We are thankful for the generous contributions of the Leach family, which establishes the Resource Center a tribute to Brian and a way to continue his legacy at Oregon Tech,” said President Naganathan.

The state-of-the-art space will keep Oregon Tech at the forefront of educating the next generation of civil engineering students who will design, build and protect our society’s infrastructure. The Brian Leach Civil Engineering Design Resource Center is dedicated to student learning and will allow collaborations on projects and testing of ideas—ensuring that civil engineering students have access to technology that fosters their creativity and problem-solving skills, and helps them become innovative leaders in their field.

Leach Lab 2Mr. Leach graduated from Sherwood High School, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1995, and passed the professional engineering exam in 1998. He continued his career in the family business, Carlson Testing, and later became one of the principal owners. He served on the Oregon Tech Civil Engineering Industrial Advisory Council (IAC) and acted as an adviser and mentor to the next generation of graduates, until his untimely passing in 2016. As a member of the IAC, he provided advice, counsel, and guidance to the Civil Engineering Department to help the department excel in its mission of preparing students for professional practice and leadership roles during their careers.

Dr. Sean St.Clair, who served as the Chair of the Civil Engineering department during the last decade commented on Brian Leach's impact on the department. "Our department has undergone many changes while Brian was advising us transitioning from a technology program to an engineering program and then to offering graduate degrees. Brian was always keen to move the profession and our program forward."

President Naganathan presented the family with special commemorative plaques to celebrate the occasion. “This special endowment will enrich our students’ educational experiences for decades to come,” President Naganathan shared. “We are truly honored to name this student-centered laboratory after Brian Leach.”

The Brian Leach Civil Engineering Design Resource Lab is located in the East wing of the recently remodeled Cornett Hall at Oregon Tech’s Klamath Falls Campus.

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About the Oregon Tech Foundation

The Oregon Tech Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes and funds the educational, cultural, charitable, and service functions of the Oregon Institute of Technology.
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