Gordon R. Archibald

Gordon R. Archibald
MSCE 1953
Gordon R. Archibald Inc.

Gordon Archibald was born in Providence, R.I. He graduated from Classical High School in 1948, earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Rhode Island in 1952, and then came directly to Purdue to start work on his master's degree.

He very shortly met the late and much admired Professor John Marion Hayes - his advisor in structural engineering. He then met the late, highly respected Professor Gerald Leonards, his advisor in geotechnical engineering. Archibald worked very hard under these two outstanding teachers and their associates.

While at Purdue, he was elected to the Tau Beta Pi Honorary Society.

After graduation, he was off to New York City for his first real engineering job at Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendoff, now called HNTB. Archibald started out as a structural draftsman widening bridges on Long Island's Southern State Parkway. He was then promoted to the design section, where he checked the designs of about 12 engineers working on the Hudson County Extension of the New Jersey Turnpike.

After spending a year in New York City, he returned home to Rhode Island.

He joined the firm of Charles A. Maguire and Associates, where he designed bridges on both Interstate 95 and I-195 in Providence.

He was promoted to the Special Projects Unit at Maguire, where he worked on such projects as the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier in Providence, a nuclear blast-resistant (5 psi) record storage facility for the largest bank in Rhode Island and an offshore approach lighting system for the U.S. Navy at their Base in Argentia, Newfoundland.

Archibald left Maguire and went to work for Peter V. Cipolla and Associates. It was during this employment that he learned the business side of consulting engineering: cash flow, client relationships, personnel management, cost accounting, contract audits, etc. With this experience in hand, on March 16, 1970, Archibald hung out his shingle. There were just two employees - he and his friend and associate Edward B. MacRae. They had $2,500 of startup money and four jobs.

On March 16, 2014, the firm celebrated 44 years in business. It now has 28 full-time employees. Its major clients are the departments of Transportation of both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The firm does extensive work with major national firms such as HNTB and Jacobs Engineering and offers a wide range of civil and environmental engineering services.

Archibald is a life member of both the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Providence Engineering Society. He served 12 years on the Rhode Island Board of Registration for Professional Engineers. He is also an unabashed history buff.

He was married 46 years to the late Joan Rose Archibald and has four children, six grandchildren and a brand-new great-granddaughter. He is now married to Marilyn Anne Archibald.