Marquis Top Engineers

Ivar R. Paavola, PE, CDR

Title: Structural Engineer (Retired)
Company: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Location: Vancouver, Washington, United States

Ivan R. Paavola, PE, CDR, a retired structural engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Engineers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the field of structural engineering.

Mr. Paavola enjoyed a fulfilling career in his chosen field, which spanned more than three decades of service on behalf of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Having retired from his career endeavors in 1989, he previously worked as the chief structural engineer for his section in Portland, Oregon, for more than 15 years. In this capacity, he was responsible for reviewing civil and military engineering projects, as well as dictating new processes and procedures and sponsoring research at various laboratories and universities. Throughout the course of his professional journey, Mr. Paavola served as the commanding member of engineering operations around Lake Superior, as the director in charge of navigation locks at the Three Gorges Dam in China, and as a supervising engineer for the clearing of debris out of a dam and drainage tunnel near Mount St. Helens. 

Mr. Paavola sought an education at Oregon State University, from which he earned a Bachelor of Civil Engineering in 1962 and a Master of Science in structural engineering in 1963. Eminently qualified in his field, he was registered as a professional engineer in the state of Oregon, and maintained his affiliation with the American Association of Dams and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Well-regarded for his subsequent endeavors, he received a Merit Award after retiring from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – the second-highest civilian award that the government bestows. 

Mr. Paavola first became involved in his profession after enlisting with the military during the Korean War. Following this period, he went on to attend college off the GI bill and received a direct commission after graduating. Having always dreamed of becoming an engineer, he was thrilled to earn the opportunity to design bridges and dams. In accounting for his subsequent success, he largely credits his high degree of intelligence, as well as his loyalty and military background. Over the course of his career, Mr. Paavola is most proud to have attained a deep and intrinsic understanding of his workers, for whom he always tried to demonstrate patience and empathy. 

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