Two decades ago, Richard Rodgers became the 12th employee at Treadwell & Rollo. When he was hired in November of 1990 as a Senior Engineer, Richard had almost 19 years’ experience in geotechnical engineering as well as solid aspirations to help lead the growth of the firm along with co-founder Frank L. Rollo and his team of distinguished engineers and scientists.
“Coming from a very small company with no room to grow, I was excited about starting something new (at Treadwell & Rollo) and having the opportunity to build upon the high-quality, sophisticated work the firm was doing,” Richard said.
As momentous growth occurred over the next few years, Richard began managing the geotechnical group while providing services on bridges, hospitals and medical centers, as well as notable high-rise buildings with deep foundations and excavations. He and the firm’s principals seized every opportunity and expanded their service base and market sectors beyond high rises to include higher education and K-12 schools, and marine oil terminals. They continued to hire additional professional staff as the firm gained even more credibility among its peers, many of which were much larger firms.
“If we took out a map of San Francisco and put a dot on every high rise that either Frank Rollo or I have worked on, there would likely be at least one project on every block downtown,” Richard said. “The Embarcadero Buildings, 888 Howard, Bridge View Towers, 300 Spear Street, 3rd & Mission—you name it, one of us probably did it.”
Of his earlier projects at Treadwell & Rollo, Richard most fondly remembers working on San Francisco’s Four Seasons Hotel in 2000. The Four Seasons required a 70-foot-deep excavation, which was one of the deepest excavations at that time. The excavation was made adjacent to an existing 32-story building and the Powell Street underground BART Station. He also worked on several refineries in the Sacramento Delta one of which included the installation of 7-foot diameter, 120-foot long steel pipe piles.
“We were really pushing the envelope,” Richard said. “You don’t know what to expect when it’s the first time you undertake a project like one of these. You have to think of every possibility. You have to trust your engineering ability, your team, and your own intuition. I have been fortunate to have worked with some extremely capable engineers on all of my major projects. When it’s done correctly, I find that very satisfying.”
Presently, Richard is a Senior Principal and Vice President. In regards to Treadwell & Rollo’s new partnership with Langan, he said, “I’m looking forward to the opportunities this brings, as Treadwell & Rollo staff now can look forward to bigger, more diverse projects, and expanding our reach geographically.”
Richard is someone who truly loves his profession and doesn’t think of it as work. He supports communication and collaboration on all levels, and he always finds time to mentor the younger geotechnical engineers on staff, including one of his sons and a nephew. Outside of the office, Richard said he has always enjoyed spending time with his family. He lives in Livermore with his wife, Rebecca, of 40 years. They have three kids and four grandchildren.