2002 Distinguished Service Award: Robert Pofahl

// Civil & Environmental Engineering

Tags: alumni, CEE E-Day, Engineers' Day, Robert Pofahl

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Robert J. PofahlRobert J. Pofahl
Resource Engineering Associates, Inc.
MSCEE ’73, BSCEE ’71

These days, citizens watch soil and ground-water quality more closely as farmland is developed into parking lots and farmers attempt to alleviate agricultural runoff. But for the past 29 years, Robert J. Pofahl has improved the environment via soil and water engineering, waste-water reclamation, land-use planning and remediating sites contaminated by agrichemical and petroleum.

He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural engineering in 1971 and 1973 and began his career reviewing water resources for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. After four years, he moved to Fresno, California, where he joined Harza Engineering and later Boyle Engineering Corporation. There, he solved environmental problems associated with irrigation and water quality on large farms in the area.

Returning to Wisconsin in 1985, Pofahl focused on soil and ground-water remediation as a senior engineer with national environmental consulting firm RMT, headquartered in Madison. Two years later, he formed Resource Engineering Associates in Middleton. The company focuses on environmental considerations of development, including site selection, water resources and waste management. Its primary service areas are agricultural and land redevelopment.

A member of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, Pofahl is involved in the community as well. He is a member of the Middleton Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Committee, is a regular voice at city council meetings, and is a volunteer in school and recreational activities.

Pofahl and his wife, Julie, have hosted exchange students from Austria and Brazil, and have three children. Nathan is a UW-Madison graduate; Jennifer is a senior here and Katie is a freshman. Pofahl and Julie enjoy taking walks or bicycle rides, traveling throughout the country, gardening, and repairing a campus-area house where their children live while attending UW-Madison.