Title: Professional Engineer and Executive Vice President (Retired)
Company: Black & Veatch International
Location: Leawood, Kansas, United States
Willis Dean Skinner, Professional Engineer and Retired Executive Vice President at Black & Veatch International, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Engineers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in civil engineering.
Having developed an interest in engineering since coming of age, Mr. Skinner enrolled in a correspondence course to study architectural drafting at the Chicago Technical Institute while attending secondary school. He quickly received a drafting certificate, starting down his career path toward becoming a licensed engineer. After graduating, Mr. Skinner matriculated at Kansas State University, from which he earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 1955. Following this accomplishment, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Reserves and, shortly thereafter, served in active duty to the rank of a first lieutenant until his discharge in 1958.
Mr. Skinner joined Black & Veatch, one of the most significant engineering, construction and consulting firms in the United States, in 1955 as a civil engineer. Remaining active with the firm until the end of his career, he was promoted as the resident director in Bogotá, Colombia, where he completed a three-year assignment to design a new 320 million gallons per day direct filtration water treatment plant. Returning to the United States, he served in numerous positions of high leadership, including as a project manager in 1976, the vice president in 1978 and the partner at the company’s Boston office in 1981. He subsequently relocated to Cairo, Egypt, for two years to serve as the project director of the Greater Cairo Wastewater Project and, upon his arrival back in the United States, excelled as a senior partner of Black & Veatch from 1981 until 1997. During this time, he also excelled as the executive vice president between 1993 and 1997, whereupon he officially retired. Post-retirement, Mr. Skinner has provided pro bono advisory services to the public and private sectors.
Throughout the course of his career, Mr. Skinner has traveled to more than 40 countries and six continents to perform overseas work, including major sewage work in Izmir, Turkey; the Egyptian canal cities of Port Saied, Ismailia and Suez; Valparaiso, Chile; Monterrey, Mexico; Victoria, Republic of Seychelles; and Lusaka, Zambia. Within the United States, he worked on large water treatment plants in Kansas City, Missouri; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; St. Paul, Minnesota; Washington, D.C.; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Wichita, Kansas. Mr. Skinner has maintained his membership with the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation.
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