02/04 President's Memo





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President's Memo February 2004

A Lifelong Example: Dr. Raymundo Rivera-Villarreal by José M. Izquierdo-Encarnación

Back in 1985 as a young engineer, I attended the Spring ACI Convention. Elena Martín (wife of Past President Ignacio Martín) was kind enough to introduce me to several ACI members. One of them was Dr. Raymundo Rivera-Villarreal. The image I recall-and one repeated many times over the years-was of a dedicated professor followed everywhere by a group of students. He was proud of starting them on their quest for engineering knowledge. Raymundo taught and assisted them, but more importantly, he gave them a chance to measure themselves among the best students in the world at the ACI student competitions. He prepared them so well that his students won many times over the years. At our last convention, official, 100-year-anniversary shirts were sold for the first time. I invited his students to the President's Reception so they could go with him, and they all showed up wearing the Centennial Shirt. That was the kind of leadership, friendship, and spirit he always promoted with his students. With great sadness, we learned Raymundo Rivera-Villarreal, Emeritus Professor and Dean of the School of Civil Engineering of the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, passed away on December 27, 2003. At the time, he was a distinguished member of our Board of Direction. Just two weeks before, I spoke at the Second International Conference of the ACI Peru Chapter and shared the podium with several speakers from around the world; Dr. Rivera-Villarreal was one of them. His presentation was outstanding and I was very lucky to receive two presents from him, as always being very generous and friendly-he brought pictures of the student competitions and events of several conventions and a bottle of tequila añejo. Many of us who attend conventions always looked forward to the margarita party Raymundo hosted for decades at lunchtime on Tuesdays. Dr. Raymundo Rivera-Villarreal was a legend in Mexico and in many other countries. He was a professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León for 56 years. He contributed to the creation of the university's materials science, soil mechanics/geotechnical, and environmental laboratories. He helped organize the Institute of Civil Engineers of the Department of Civil Engineering and directed it from 1955 to 1989. In addition, he headed the Sports Commission of the Civil Engineering Department for 20 years. Today, the university's stadium proudly bears the name of Raymundo "Chico" Rivera-Villarreal. He assisted several other universities in the creation of their laboratories and materials science programs. He was a member of dozens of technical societies in Mexico and internationally. Raymundo received many awards including the highest merit any ACI member can receive: he was named an Honorary Member in 1999. Among the others, the Technical Society of Monterrey awarded him for contributions to his country and the Federation of Civil Engineers Institute of Mexico gave him the Manuel Martinez Carranza Award as an outstanding professor and researcher. The space limitation of the President's Memo prevents me from discussing Raymundo's extraordinary life in full, but I can say from the bottom of my heart that Dr. Rivera-Villarreal was what ACI is all about. He strived for progress through knowledge all his life and, even better, he shared that knowledge, driven by an enormous generosity that guided his life. On behalf of the American Concrete Institute and the Board of Direction, we send our condolences to his family and the many generations of students he taught.

José M. Izquierdo-Encarnación, President American Concrete Institute [email protected] Back to Past-Presidents' Memo List  

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leadership, friendship, and spirit he always promoted with his students. ... we learned Raymundo Rivera-Villarreal, Emeritus Professor and Dean of the School of ...

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