Richards Earns DFI’s Highest Honor


Thomas D. Richards, Jr., PE, D. GE, former chief engineer for Nicholson Construction Company, is the recipient of DFI’s highest award to an individual, the Distinguished Service Award (DSA). This award recognizes individuals who have made exceptionally valuable contributions to the advancement of the deep foundations industry. The award is being presented at the Awards Banquet during DFI’s 44th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations in Chicago, Oct. 14-18, 2019.

“Tom is a consummate volunteer,” says Theresa Engler, executive director of DFI. “He has generously lent his expertise to advance the deep foundations industry, and dedicated his time and efforts to the education of future generations of civil engineers and the improvement of guidelines and standards for quality in deep foundation construction. On behalf of DFI, I am pleased to see Tom receive this honor.”

Richards worked in the geotechnical construction industry for over 30 years and is widely acknowledged as an expert in the field of micropiles and in the use of anchors for dam and earth support. He participated in the design and construction of hundreds of technically challenging and innovative geotechnical projects throughout the United States.

Richards has dedicated himself to the advancement of the state of practice in the geotechnical construction industry through the generation of publications and involvement with professional organizations including DFI, ADSC and FHWA. He serves on the DFI Board of Trustees and is a past chair of DFI’s Micropile Committee and the Anchored Earth Retention Committee. He is a past chair of the ADSC Advancement Fund Task Force for Micropiles and its Geo-Support Committee, and served on the Post Tensioning Institute’s Rock and Anchor Committee and the ASCE Grouting Committee.

A licensed Professional Engineer in the states of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, Richards earned his B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

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