Former Engineered Systems columnist Scott Campbell passed away on Jan. 20, following a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family.
Campbell was a lifelong proponent for the engineering industry and skilled trades. His academic journey started at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a bachelor's degree. Subsequently, he earned his Ph.D. in structural engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
He started his professional career as a professor at the American University of Armenia (AUA), in Yerevan, Armenia, before serving as an assistant professor at Ohio State University. He was then employed as chief structural engineer at Kinetics Noise Control before starting his own company, Structural Analysis Consulting Group. In 2016, he became director of code technology for the Portland Cement Association and, most recently, was the senior vice president of structures and codes for the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.
Campbell joined the Engineered Systems staff in early 2021, penning the publication's “Security & Resiliency” column. I didn’t know Scott well. In fact, I’d only chatted with him a handful of times. I do recall his stellar sense of humor and that his submissions were always in on time.
In October 2022, I received an email from Scott in which he requested a leave of absence from his column due to some health issues. I obliged, without question. I didn’t dig deeper into his ailment, as I figured he’d fill me in on the details once he felt better. That conversation never came. Three short months after receiving that email, he was gone.
Campbell's love for the skilled trades was evident through his work in the civil engineering sector, the cement industry, and through his monthly column. He certainly left a mark on the industry, and his contributions and leadership will be missed.
Leaving a Legacy
Campbell's legacy looms large. A registered professional engineer in six states, he published numerous articles in the areas of nonlinear analysis and blast design of buildings. He served as a mentor on various committees of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), ASHRAE, and the American Concrete Institute (ACI). He was also a member of the board of directors and past-president of the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) of ASCE.
His untimely passing, and indelible influence on society, left me pondering my own legacy. If I were to die today, what landmark events would be noted in my obituary? I’ve been a professional journalist for 16 years, having covered the HVACR industry for the last 11-plus years. This industry houses some great stories, including those from individuals such as Weldon Long, Lauren Roberts, Jon Hirsch, Howard McKew, and so many more. I’ve enjoyed sharing the successes of those who’ve committed their lives to making others comfortable.
This editor’s note thus concludes my tenure as editor-in-chief of this publication. Through numerous contests, feature articles, breaking news, product features, and more, I hope, in some form or fashion, my efforts have left a mark on your success. Because, undoubtedly, your firms and intuition have greatly influenced me.
Death is a constant reminder that life is too short. Our time on this planet is precious. What is your legacy? How have you impacted society? If you haven't accomplished great things yet, now's the time to go for it. Dive in head first, and give it all you've got. Our time here is limited. Go out and boldly write your words on the face of today while you still can.
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