Lawrence H. Roth
Principal Engineer, Subsurface Consultants, Inc.
MSCEE ’74, BSCEE ’70
A nationally recognized leader in civil and geotechnical engineering, Lawrence H. Roth has contributed to high-profile projects as varied as the seismic retrofit of the Golden Gate Bridge, the environmental review of a major Chilean copper mine, and the preliminary design of new offshore runways for the San Francisco International Airport.
Roth earned BS and MS degrees in civil and environmental engineering from UW-Madison in 1970 and 1974, respectively. The Madison, Wisconsin, native chose to specialize in geotechnical engineering because he enjoys the real-world application of civil engineering principles coupled with the high level of judgment and intuitive thinking needed to understand the behavior of soil and rock.
After a career that included leadership positions at an international design firm and two major geotechnical consulting firms, Roth recently became assistant executive director and chief operating officer of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He says he is excited about supporting ASCE’s mission to serve civil engineers and society, and to give something back to the profession.
Among his professional affiliations, Roth is a Fellow of ASCE, a member of ASFE/Professional Firms Practicing in the Geosciences, a member of the U.S. Committee on Large Dams, and has served on the visiting committee of the UW-Madison civil and environmental engineering department.
He is a registered professional engineer in six states and a registered geotechnical engineer in California. He served as President of ASFE, as the first president of the Geo-Institute of ASCE, and as president of the San Francisco section of ASCE. For his accomplishments and contributions to the society and profession, Roth received the 1998 ASCE President’s Medal.
UW-Madison engineering runs in Roth’s family. His father, Sam, his uncle, Gib Ormson, and his brother, Jim, are UW-Madison engineering graduates. Roth’s 17-year-old son, Eric, is leaning toward a career in engineering. Besides Eric, Roth and his wife, Gail, have sons Jason, 26, and Karl, 24, and daughter Marta, 15. Together, they enjoy skiing, backpacking and hiking. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Roth takes pride in his years of coaching youth soccer.