Robert Walter “Bob” Bein, ASCE 2001 president who was an extremely active Society leader at all levels for many years, culminating in his presidency, has died. He was 90.

During his ASCE presidency, he oversaw the release of the 2001 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure and played a pivotal role in creating a similar report card in Orange County, California, for the section there.

Bein, P.E., L.S., Pres.01.ASCE,, was Orange County Section president, vice president of the former Zone 4, member of the Board of Direction, and a chair and member of many committees including finance, membership, technical activities, strategic planning, and others.

Bein did all this while heading RBF Consulting in Irvine, California, which grew to become one of Engineering News-Record’s top 100 firms and is now part of Michael Baker International. He was RBF’s founder, chairman, and CEO, and retired as emeritus chairman. He also worked for the county of Los Angeles and The Irvine Company, and was licensed in 13 states.

For decades, addressing Southern California’s water issues was another of Bein’s passions. While part of the Southern California Water Coalition, he advocated for public education on essential infrastructure projects like the Delta Conveyance. 

A stint in the U.S. Navy’s hydrographic survey unit in the Mediterranean sparked Bein’s pursuit of civil engineering. He and his wife Ruth settled in Corona del Mar, Orange County, where he launched the small survey firm that became RBF. He oversaw all engineering projects, in 1964 ascended to president, then chief executive officer in 1991. RBF expanded from a team of 12 in 1962 to in time 1,100 across 15 offices, establishing itself as a leading civil engineering, land planning, and surveying firm in Southern California.

Bein also served as president of Consulting Engineers & Land Surveyors of California, and was active in southern California civil engineering academia. He chaired the civil and environmental engineering advisory committee at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, was a founding member of the civil engineering and environmental affiliates at the University of California, Irvine, and served on Concordia University’s president’s advisory board. 

Bein belonged to Chi Epsilon and Tau Beta Pi and contributed to the Orange County Business Council.