2002 Distinguished Service Award: Kenneth Wright

// Civil & Environmental Engineering

Tags: alumni, CEE E-Day, Engineers' Day, Kenneth Wright

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Kenneth R. WrightKenneth R. Wright
CFO and Chief Engineer
Wright Water Engineers, Inc.
MSCEE ’57, BSCEE ’51, BA Marketing ’51

Kenneth Wright’s professional interests have taken him from the depths of reservoirs to the heights of Peru’s Machu Picchu.

Wright serves as chief engineer and chief financial officer of Wright Water Engineers, Inc., of Denver, a company he founded in 1961.

His company does the engineering work in the design of water-related systems: water delivery, wastewater collection and treatment, drainage and flood control, pipelines, dams and reservoirs, and wetlands restoration.

It does it so well, and with such a strong sense of ethical business service, that Wright Water Engineers received one of the nation’s most distinguished business ethics honors in 1999. The company received the Society of Financial Service Professionals Ethics Award, one of only three such awards bestowed annually by the organization. The award came three years after the company was honored with the Colorado Business in Ethics Award.

Last year, the American Society of Civil Engineers honored Wright Water Engineers with its Civil Engineering History and Heritage Award.

Wright has long taken an interest in the history of civil engineering, and both he and his company have acquired an international reputation for their research into ancient Native American and South American water resources. Last year, Wright wrote a book published by the American Society of Civil Engineers titled, “Machu Picchu: A Civil Engineering Marvel.” He has published more than 100 articles for civil engineering publications and manuals during his career.

Wright graduated from UW-Madison with both a BS degree in civil and environmental engineering and a BA in marketing in 1951. He went on to receive a master’s degree in civil engineering in 1957 from UW-Madison.