The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) are sad to announce the passing of Larry Smith, respected lifetime member and Fellow of ASCE, T&DI member since its inception in 2002, former APM Standards Committee and ASCE 21 Chair, and T&DI Standards Council Chair.
Larry graduated from the NJ Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He went on to receive a M.S. in Management Science from Stevens Institute of Technology and began his career in the Aviation and Operations Department at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. On January 5, 1970, Larry was hired as the Director of Facilities at Tampa International Airport, just prior to the launch of the world’s first Automatic People Mover (APM). He led a team that was responsible for all airport facilities needs including the airfield and his tenure covered several airport projects including main terminal expansion, a parking garage monorail system, and two new APMs. On January 6, 2000, he was promoted to Senior Director of Construction Management, a position he held for two years before retiring on January 25, 2002. Five years later, Zagat rated TPA the best overall airport in the United States.
An active member of the Hillsborough County community, an adjunct professor for 15 years, a leader in T&DI, a licensed engineer in three states, and a passionate softball player who “was one hell of a pitcher,” according to friend Paul Ridgeway, Larry had an array of interests and a zest for life and learning. He was an innovative engineer with an impressive career; but more importantly, he was a beloved colleague and friend. “Larry was a friend and true professional who knew how to bring the best out of us all,” says Tom McGean. Longtime friend Gary Houts had this to say:
As a communicator, networker, boss, mentor, leader, manager, trusted friend, forward thinker, innovator and humanitarian, he was a Professional Engineer in the highest sense. He subscribed to total support of any project or activity in which he became involved. His insistence on safety and high‐quality maintenance for everything from runways to restrooms was, and continues to be, a primary factor in TPA’s ongoing selection as one of the nation’s best airports. A wonderful human being, he will be missed by all those he left behind.
Larry Smith passed on January 29, 2022.
To see how Larry Smith helped shape the Tampa International Airport we know today, take a look at this article from the Tampa Bay Times and this article from airporthistory.org commemorating the “new” airport’s 50th anniversary.