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Robert Franklin (Frank) Carmichael III, PE

2021 TSPE Travis Chapter Engineer of the Year

Frank Carmichael has led an impressive career of 46 years in the Engineering industry. As the Austin Branch Manager for HVJ Associates’ since 2000, Frank has become a legacy for professional, technical and operational expertise in his field. He is no stranger to recognitions for his professional contributions, which include Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Distinguished Alumni of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering (CAEE) Departmnet at the University of Texas at Austin, and graduate of the Leadership Austin Program.

With beginnings in Brady, Texas, Frank graduated in the top 10 of his class, where he developed a strong foundation for success with his participation in the National Honor Society, golf team, band, and Boy Scout Troop 402 as an Eagle Scout. Frank’s interest in building things and understanding how things worked facilitated a strong desire to improve the quality of life for his community, which led him to the field of engineering.

With his earliest engineering work in 1969 at the Center for Highway Research at University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his BSCE with honors in 1973 and his MSCE in 1974, Frank also worked at the Brady Residency of the Brownwood District of Texas Highway Department. This gave him a strong foundation in the theoretical and practical aspects of highway engineering. He completed his thesis on “Modification and Implementation of the Rigid Pavement Design System.” He was a member of the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and organized a student trip to witness initial construction of the new Dallas - Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). He also served as President to Chi Epsilon Honorary Civil Engineering fraternity. 

Upon graduation he went to work at Austin Research Engineers, Inc where he rose to the rank of President of the firm, having started working on several notable research projects. These included the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Cooperative Research Program (NCHRP) and the World Bank. He completed and co-authored numerous research projects including work on the 1993 AASHTO Pavement Design Guide, NCHRP Report 300 “Bridge Management Systems”, and NCHRP Report 285 “Evaluating Deferred Maintenance Strategies”. He also implemented pavement management systems and studies for State and local governments nationwide. He worked internationally on projects in The Netherlands, Bolivia, Argentina, Nigeria, and Malaysia.

Frank has spent his career focused on transportation engineering having completed pavement design projects for street, road, highway, toll road, airport, and port projects. He has also completed project designs for mass transit authorities in the area of alternative fuels for compressed natural gas refueling stations. He has continued to develop pavement evaluation and design systems with several award winning projects.

He has been an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Texas Society of Professional Engineers, and the American Public Works Association. He has also been active with the Capital Area Boy Scouts of America as a Boy Scout Leader and Scoutmaster of Troop 5 and volunteer at 3 National Jamborees. He is a 30yr member and Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club of Austin, and is a graduate of the Leadership Austin program.

Frank has been married for 44 years to Vicki Cain Carmichael of Houston, Texas (BS Department of Natural Sciences, the University of Texas at Austin, 1977), and he is father to James Brady Carmichael (BS Joe Jackson School of Geophysics, the University of Texas at Austin, 2000).  

The TSPE Travis Chapter Engineer of the Year Award is the highest honor given to an individual TSPE member. Eligibility is restricted to engineers whose sustained and unusual contributions have improved the public welfare and the advancement of his/her profession. The candidate should be an engineer of recognized standing, preferably registered, and a citizen of Texas. Do you have someone in mind? Nominate them today!