Edward J. “Ed” Schmeltz, a civil engineer from Greenwich and Branford, Connecticut, with more than 45 years of experience in the planning and design of ports and harbors, marine facilities, breakwaters, and other coastal structures, has died. A Distinguished Member and major supporter of ASCE certification, he was 72.
Schmeltz, P.E., D.CE, D.NE, D.OE, D.PE, Dist.M.ASCE, had the skill to do nearly anything. His experience and expertise over a large range made him one of AECOM's most valuable professionals in the global marine market.
His impressive achievements earned him the ASCE Outstanding Projects and Leaders award for design in 2015. But he could also be found engineering any number of improvement projects, in his home or his children's, and they, his colleagues, and the young engineers he helped all considered him "the nicest guy you ever met."
He was a founding member of the Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute and his support of ASCE certification included serving as a founding member and past president of the Academy of Coastal, Ocean, Port and Navigation Engineering. He spent the majority of his lengthy career with AECOM as its senior vice president and director in charge of maritime and special projects.
He was most recently the ASCE presidential appointee to the COPRI governing board, serving two terms from 2019 to 2021. He sat on the sustainability technical committee as well. Schmeltz was an instructor of ASCE’s Introduction to Port Engineering guided online course, an ASCE life member, and the only diplomate in all four ACOPNE disciplines: coastal, ocean, port, and navigation engineering.
His work took him to 21 states, 37 countries, and six continents. His most notable projects included, for the U.S. Navy, designing berth and support facilities for the battleships USS Iowa in New York Harbor and USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor; channel improvements for CVN nuclear aircraft carriers in San Diego; and berth and support facilities for Trident nuclear submarines in Kings Bay, Georgia. Other landmark designs were restoration of Whiskey Island, a barrier island that protects New Orleans, and the tender design of the third set of locks for the Panama Canal.
Schmeltz authored more than 25 technical publications related to maritime projects and issues. He was a fellow of the Society of American Military Engineers (and past president of the New York City post), a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers and the New York Society of Professional Engineers, and a co-chair of PIANC's CoCom. His support of young engineers was evident through service on the board of New Jersey Institute of Technology, which awarded him its lifetime alumni leadership and alumni of the year awards. He was a graduate of Texas A&M University.
Schmeltz spent many hours flying his Cessna up and down both coasts and was a tortured fan of Texas A&M football. He also loved golfing with friends and sharing wine and a sunset on the front porch with his wife.