Terry M. Donovan Sr., an active and inspiring leader in his transportation career and in his professional activism with ASCE and other associations, died Aug. 11. He was 74.
Donovan, P.E., F.ASCE, was for 28-plus years a top-level executive and director at Arcadis U.S. Inc. (formerly Finkbeiner, Pettis & Strout) in the Cleveland area as well as Virginia, and president of his own transportation engineering consultancy.
He had a clear sense of not just working as a civil engineer but evolving the field. His pledge to newcomers was direct and welcoming: “If you work here, you’re going to be involved with the profession.”
Donovan served in the U.S. Air Force and then became a civil engineer specializing in transportation engineering for nearly 50 years, his responsibilities ranging from engineering to marketing and more. In 2012 he founded Terry M. Donovan, PE, LLC.
He was an ASCE life member, rising to become president of the Cleveland Section and being awarded engineer of the year. He also was president of the ASCE Transportation & Development Institute, capping his volunteer positions of 2008-2012, and was also involved with ASCE’s Committee on Diversity & Inclusion. Besides ASCE, he was active in ASHE, ITE, ACEC, and NPHQ.
Randall S. “Randy” Over, P.E., F.ASCE, Pres.14.ASCE, recalls Donovan pointing him the direction of professional involvement after Donovan had hired him on at a newly formed transportation engineering department at FPS’s Akron office:
“Terry was the Cleveland Section ASCE president about the time I was looking to change employers. … I recall early on him saying, ‘If you work here, you’re going to be involved with the profession; there is an opening on the Cleveland Section's Transportation and Urban Planning Committee.’ How do you say no? The rest of course is history. Terry supported me, and many others for the decades that followed.”
Donovan spent successful years with Michael Benza & Associates Inc., John David Jones & Associates Inc., and the Ohio Department of Transportation prior to his career with Arcadis.
He was an avid boater and a member of Lakeside Yacht Club, where he served as commodore. He enjoyed golfing and was an active member of Forest Glen Golf & Country Club in Naples, Florida, where he achieved a hole-in-one. More enjoyable than that was his time spent with his wife and extended family.