John A. “Jack” Talbott, a structural and mechanical engineer whose Talbott Associates Inc., was responsible for dozens of bridges and hundreds of buildings, as well as dams, streets, highways and more in and around the McMinnville-Portland, Oregon region, has died. The ASCE life member was 97.
Talbott, P.E., L.S., F.ASCE, began his career with U.S. Army assignments during World War II and Korea. After earning a degree from Oregon State University, he was assigned to an engineer aviation battalion that built airfields in England. Upon his release in 1952, he worked as city engineer for Albany, Oregon, then for a consulting engineering firm before becoming assistant chief engineer of a steel mill.
He left to form Talbott Associates, and over the years helped build 60 bridges, 450 buildings, five dams, 20 miles of streets and highways, a steel mill, and a variety of other projects. In 1962, Talbott came to the rescue following a massive storm that toppled a Portland TV television station’s tower. He identified a defect that helped the station get back on the air. The notoriety led to many investigations of accident and failure analysis across 36 states.
Talbott wrote 39 papers and lectured at OSU, Portland Community College, and Portland State University for nearly 30 years. In addition to ASCE, Talbott was a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers.
He served as ASME vice president, member of its national executive committee, and Oregon Section chair. He was past president of the Professional Engineers of Oregon and served as delegate to NSPE. He received several awards from these societies and was elected to the Oregon State University Engineering Hall of Fame in 2000.