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MWH Glenn Tarbox

Snapshots from Glenn’s more than 50 years of experience

For more than 50 years, Glenn Tarbox has dedicated his career to the engineering and construction of new dams – and upgrade & safety improvement of aging dams – of all types, both large and small. Since earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science from the University of Colorado, Glenn has focused his engineering career on the art and science of dam analysis and design. Along the way he has become a registered engineer in 12 U.S. states and the Canadian province of New Brunswick. He has served as design engineer, project manager or principal-in-charge on more than 25 major projects and has experience on literally hundreds of dams, including projects throughout the globe – in Argentina, Ethiopia, China, Sri Lanka, and Iceland.  Throughout his career he has volunteered his time and provided technical expertise by serving in leadership roles on more than 15 different committees and organizations, including serving as the past president of the United States Society on Dams which in 2011 honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Also in 2011, Glenn was recognized by International Water Power and Dam Construction as one of the top 20 people who have made the biggest difference to dam engineering over the past 20 years.

Glenn Tarbox MWH Global 2

Dams Senior Advisor Glenn Tarbox

These vast accomplishments have been recognized yet again. Glenn has been named the Legacy Award winner for 2016 by ENR Northwest. The publication wrote a feature piece on his career and impact, Glenn Tarbox:  A Living legacy of dam innovation and mentorship.

The author writes, “Tarbox sees his work as helping people, whether to protect a reserve of water for the folks in San Diego or to change someone’s world. “A lot of people don’t like dams because of what they hear, but when you see vast areas of the face of the earth become irrigated and people are able to grow crops and not have to scrabble out of the ground and electrical power is generated and people no longer live by candles or oil lamps and women don’t have to walk miles with clay pots on their head and herd goats and sheep to a watering hole, but have a community well less than a kilometer from where they live,” he says, “that is northern Ethiopia. That is a real life experience I had on the Tekeze Dam.”

MWH ENR Legacy Glenn & Howard Lee

Glenn Tarbox accepting the award

Glenn’s career was celebrated at an event held in Seattle in early December. Introducing him was Senior Advisor Howard Lee, who astutely stated: “A Legacy is not about what you have done for yourself but rather what you leave for those who are continuing. For those in the highly specialized field of dam engineering, Glenn has left a legacy of greatness. He has helped to instill in a younger generation of engineers a strong sense of responsibility – and pride – in the important work they do for the benefit of our society, and give them a solid foundation upon which to build their careers.  He has given a legacy of greatness that all engineers – no matter what field or discipline – can aspire to.”