In Memoriam: Ogden Beeman
Ogden Beeman on a recent trip to Alaska.
He was born March 13, 1935, in Oak Park, Illinois, and grew up in Portland, Oregon. He graduated from Stanford University in 1956 with a degree in civil engineering.
Throughout his dredging career Ogden was a critical thinker who complemented his strong technical expertise with an ability to identify and address issues beyond the engineering realm.
He began his involvement in the dredging industry after receiving his degree from Stanford University. Beginning in 1960, he was chief, Waterways Navigation Branch of the Portland District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he oversaw the District's extensive dredge plant. In 1967, he joined the Port of Portland, Oregon and in the early 1970's was responsible there for marine terminal development and operations, including the hydraulic Dredge Portland.
During his tenure with the Corps, he attended the Technical University of Delft, Netherlands, where he earned his Master's Degree in Hydraulic Engineering. Here he began a friendship with classmate Jack Nichol and his brother Bob of Moffatt & Nichol. After leaving the Corps, he joined the Port of Portland, Oregon and in the early 1970's was responsible there for marine terminal development and operations, including the hydraulic Dredge Portland.
He formed Ogden Beeman & Associates in 1976, and over the next 25 years worked on hundreds of port and dredging projects nationally and internationally. Ogden used his exceptional organizational skills and leadership to apply computer technology to dredging project planning, design and construction. An early application of this new technology was his used in the Vancouver, Washington Lake Rehabilitation project, where he and colleague Greg Hartman developed dredge production software to aid in that project's design and construction. He traveled extensively to assignments in Asia and Africa involving dredging, navigation channel design and port development. When Parsons Brinckerhoff acquired his firm in 2001, he continued consulting on specific projects, including the ongoing expansion of the Panama Canal.
Ogden had overcome his diagnosis of multiple myeloma in 1997 but lost his most recent struggle with prostate cancer on Saturday, January 12. He leaves his wife of fifty years, Charlotte; daughters Harriet and Christie, son Peter, and four grandchildren.
The author: Peg Johnson was one of Mr. Beeman's original team members when he started Ogden Beeman & Associates, and continued to work with the company after its acquisition. She retired from the company in October 2005, and now works as an independent consultant.