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From left, Department Head Dr. Robin Autenrieth with Sandy and Calvin T. Ladner | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Calvin T. Ladner, P.E., ‘80, who served on the advisory council for the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University, passed away Aug. 18 due to complications related to the coronavirus. He was 62.

Ladner was the president, CEO and chairman of the board of directors of LJA Engineering, Inc. — one of the largest and most successful employee-owned, multi-discipline, civil engineering firms in the United States.

After graduating from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Ladner began his engineering career as an intern for the Texas Department of Transportation. In 1982, he joined Winslow & Associates, and one of his first projects was a new master planned community called The Woodlands. After a merger between Winslow & Associates and Lichliter Jameson & Associates in 1987, and then a later corporate integration with RUST Engineering in 1994, Ladner led a spin-off of LJA Engineering & Surveying, Inc. to keep the name in perpetuity and honor the original founders.

At 39 years of age in 1997, Ladner took the reins of LJA Engineering as president. Over the next 23 years, LJA grew from 40 to 1,200 employees and expanded from one office to 36 offices across the south. They added multiple new engineering and consulting service lines and rose in the national engineering rankings from 381 to 65 on the Engineering News-Record Top 500.

Ladner loomed large throughout the industry by reputation and LJA’s amazing achievements while under his leadership. He was an example for everyone he met, especially to other leaders, on how to grow future and up-and-coming employees, how to selflessly serve clients and how to operate a best place to work, fast growth engineering firm.

Ladner is survived by his wife, Sandy; his son, Stuart, daughter-in-law, Dana and grandson, Lucas; his daughter, Caroline and her partner, Andrew; as well as many dearly loved family members, treasured friends and respected colleagues.

LJA posted a tribute to Ladner online.

The funeral service will be live streamed on Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home's Facebook page at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3.