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David E. Lourie, P.E., D.GE, is CEO and Founder of Lourie Consultants, a geoprofession firm based in Louisiana near New Orleans. He has been a practicing geotechnical engineering and geoenvironmental consulting for nearly 40 years. David was born in Chicago, Illinois, and growing up, he lived in Florida and Iowa before returning to Chicago. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago.
In college, David participated in IIT’s co-operative (co-op) education program that combined learning in the classroom with practical learning on the job. His major co-op experience occurred with the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago (MSDGC) and it gave him experience in project planning, maintenance and new construction of water reclamation plants, and underground construction on Chicago’s famous Deep Tunnel project.
Following completion of his bachelor’s degree in 1979, David started his engineering career with Soil Testing Services (STS) in Chicago as a soil and materials engineer. Working full-time at STS during day allowed him to combine research work with taking graduate classes in geotechnical engineering at night. An IIT fellowship enabled him to attend graduate school full time to pursue his master’s degree. After graduate school, he joined McClelland Engineers in Houston, Texas. Within a few years, management tapped him to relocate to Louisiana to reinvigorate and grow a branch office in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Technical and financial success in Lake Charles led to the opening of an office in Lafayette, Louisiana, and then becoming responsible for the firm’s New Orleans office. Following the 1987 merger of McClelland and Fugro, David rose to president of Fugro-McClelland (Southeast), Inc. During his time with STS, McClelland, and then Fugro-McClelland, he worked on a wide variety of onshore and offshore projects, interacted with many legendary geotechnical engineers, and formed long-lasting professional and personal relationships.
In 1992, he started Lourie Consultants to provide personalized, high-quality professional services focused on geotechnical engineering and geoenvironmental consulting. Since then, his role has encompassed all aspects of operating a professional practice – some “glamorous” and some not! Some of the most satisfying work has been associated with the post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding and growth of New Orleans, including independent external peer review services on some of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) most significant post-Katrina projects designed to protect the New Orleans area from future hurricane damage. Since 1992, he has had opportunities to teach graduate-level geotechnical courses as an adjunct professor at two universities in New Orleans, Tulane University and the University of New Orleans (UNO), volunteer in STEM education outreach at the high school level, and serve as a mentor to students at Tulane and UNO.
David is licensed professional engineer in Louisiana and Mississippi, and he became a Diplomate in Geotechnical Engineering in 2010. His professional service includes serving as president of The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA, formerly ASFE) and president of the local chapters of ASCE, the Louisiana Engineering Society (LES), the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), and American Council of Engineering Companies of Louisiana (ACEC/L). He also was a member of the 25‑person Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) committee assembled by the US EPA in 2003 for regulatory negotiation of the rule that defines “All Appropriate Inquiry” (AAI) for environmental due diligence studies.