ASME Past President Richard Robertson Dies


July 13, 2018


ASME Past President Richard Robertson

ASME Past President Richard Bentley Robertson, P.E., who served as president of the Society in 1974-1975, passed away June 27 in Gonzales, La. Robertson, who was also an ASME Fellow, was 98 years old.

Born on May 8, 1920, Robertson graduated from Purdue University in 1942 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He served in World War II in the U.S. Navy Reserve and later as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Field Artillery with the 77th Division and the 11th Airborne Division in the Philippines and Japan. After designing aircraft for Curtis-Wright in Columbus, Ohio, and working for United Airlines in various sites, Robertson spent 37 years at Bovay Engineers in Houston, Texas, in such roles as executive vice president and director overseeing the design and construction of electric power generation plants.

In addition to serving as the 93rd president of ASME, Robertson served the Society in a number of leadership roles, including member of the Committee of Past Presidents, chair and member of the Committee on Investment, vice president and secretary of ASME’s former International and Southwest Region from 1969 to 1971, chair of the South Texas Section, member of the Professional Affairs Policy Board, and a member of the Professional Practice Committee. He sponsored the first ASME student sections in Mexico and was one of the leaders of the 1970 ASME Goals Conference at Arden House in Harriman, N.Y.

Robertson was also a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers and the American Institute of Consulting Engineers as well as past president of the Houston Engineering and Scientific Society, past president of the Engineers Council of Houston, Honorary Member of Pi Tau Sigma and Tau Beta Pi of Texas A&M University, a Distinguished Engineering Alumnus and Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Graduate of Purdue University and the director of seven businesses. He was a registered Professional Engineer in five states.