Triangle Mourns the Loss of Dr. Echelberger

Sat Jan 19 2013


The entire brotherhood and staff of Triangle Fraternity and Triangle Education Foundation mourns the loss of a great man and true brother, Dr. Wayne F. Echelberger Jr., P.E., BCEE sdm54 who passed away the morning of January 19, 2013 at age 78. Brother Echelberger was initiated in the South Dakota Mines chapter on May 2, 1954 and has been one of the Fraternity’s strongest supporters.

Wayne was proud to be a Triangle and served the Fraternity well, most recently as a Director of the Triangle Education Foundation. Prior to his service with the Foundation he had served as the Chairman of the Fraternity’s Approved Courses Committee.

He was very proud to be a graduate of South Dakota Mines and a member of the SDM Chapter where he was a frequent visitor on his trips to Rapid City. One of his recent activities was to make sure that everyone in Triangle knew that the SDM Chapter of Triangle had been recognized by the South Dakota Board of Regents with the Award for Organizational Leadership.

Wayne, originally from Pierre, South Dakota, earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from SDSM&T in 1956. After graduation, he continued his education and earned his two masters and one doctoral degree from the University of Michigan. Dr. Echelberger’s teaching, research, and administrative career spanned three decades at five universities including the University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, the University of Texas at El Paso where he served as Chairman of Civil Engineering, and the University of South Florida serving as Chairman of Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Dr. Echelberger’s research and teaching experience and interests included environmental engineering, environmental quality planning and management, water quality engineering, environmental health and sanitation, solid and hazardous waste management and public works administration. In addition to his academic experience, Wayne had a wide variety of engineering consulting and public service involvements with government and industry in water and air quality control, solid and hazardous waste management, occupational safety and health, and environmental planning management and impact assessments.

During his professional career, Dr. Echelberger authored or co-authored more than 80 technical publications and presentations and presented over 30 invited lectures. Dr. Echelberger was a recipient of the Water Environment Federation’s Harrison Prescott Eddy Medal for noteworthy research, and a Diplomat in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.

Dr. Echelberger served as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the review of research and demonstration grant proposals. He also planned and offered training courses in Environmental Quality Management for local municipal and industrial officials in Venezuela, provided technical assistance to the Egyptian Ministry of Local Government and Cairo University on local government administration, and lectured on environmental engineering at the University of Oviedo in Spain.

He was a past member of the Technology Accreditation Commission, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology; Board of Directors, Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors; Board of Trustees, American Academy of Environmental Engineers, Civil and Environmental Engineering Advisory Board at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He was a Trustee of the SDSM&T Foundation.

He received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003 and in 2010 was awarded the Guy E. March Medal both from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. The Guy E. March Medal is the highest award given by the University to one of its graduates. He was also a SDSM&T Centennial 100 Alumni Awardee In 2007. Wayne was honored by Triangle Fraternity as a Man of the Century, honoring the Fraternity’s most outstanding engineers of its first 100 years of existence.

In addition to Triangle Fraternity, numerous community organizations, boards, and committees have benefited from Wayne’s generous giving of his time and expertise during his life. A strong supporter of higher education Wayne served on the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee and endowed scholarships at SDSM&T and University of South Florida. As a teacher and a mentor, he helped launch the careers of promising engineers while emphasizing the importance of balance between professional responsibilities and family life.

The mission of Triangle Fraternity is to develop well balanced engineers, architects and scientists who cultivate high moral character, foster lifelong friendships and live their lives with integrity. Triangle aims to teach our men valuable skills to build a better world. Brother Echelberger upheld the mission of his beloved Fraternity and built a better world for future generations. We are honored to have been able to call him Brother.

The brotherhood, staff and friends share our prayers and sympathies with Wayne’s family.

Triangle Education Foundation has established The Wayne Echelberger Fund. The fund will support Triangle's Leadership Training Weekend held annually in Indianapolis, IN. For more information, please call the Foundation at 317-837-9641.


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