Alex D. Oak
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman
For his established success as a premier civil engineer in the State of Indiana and lifelong dedication to expanding, improving and revitalizing dozens of communities.
Alex “Al” Oak took no shortcuts on his climb to prominence in his field. His first assignment for Cripe was as a rodman staking a shopping center. From there, he worked in every facet of the business’s professional practice including running errands and blueprints, drafting and repairing equipment. During his early career, he earned registrations in engineering and land surveying, and taught real estate to adults in the evening.
Before long, Oak’s hard work was noticed and within just five years of his hiring, he became a partner at Cripe. Established in 1937, Cripe is one of Indiana’s oldest design firms and provides professional engineering, architectural, planning and land surveying services throughout the U.S.
In 2000, Oak co-founded Eco Oxygen Technologies, LLC, featuring patented technology in the treatment of water and wastewater with pure oxygen. The company has significant projects throughout the United States. Oak serves as chairman
Oak’s professional highlights include design development of a number of recreation based mixed use projects. Among them, over 20 golf course projects including Crooked Stick, Bridgewater, Sagamore and Sultan’s Run. Lake projects include Geist and Morse reservoirs, Tipton Lakes and Shorewood Forest — together accounting for several thousand home sites and significant related uses.
Oak credits Purdue with teaching him how to think logically and critically: “As I moved into the professional world, I realized that knowledge about engineering was not provided solely by formal technical education, but also by a logical thought process to reach understandings and conclusions about science and its application.”
Oak feels strongly about community service and the responsibility to give back. In addition to serving on a number of community boards, both profit and non-profit, he was a founder of the Cripe Foundation, which awards grants for programs and opportunities that emphasize higher education. The foundation has generously supported initiatives at Purdue.
Passionate about what he does, Oak has been recognized by a number of organizations for his life’s work. In addition to being named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, he has received legacy awards from both the Kelley School of Business and the IU Center for Real Estate, Indiana University. Oak and his wife, Shary, also a Purdue grad, recently received the Spirit of Philanthropy Award from IUPUI. Oak was also awarded the Community Mentor Award from Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Indiana.
Oak takes great pride in his son, Adam, who is a land surveyor at Cripe, and his grandson, Miles, who wishes to become a Purdue engineer.
Oak says he learned at Purdue that enjoying one’s work is perhaps the most important criterion to success. He acknowledges that achieving that level of enjoyment at work requires a bit of wisdom, and he advises ambitious students to pace themselves: “Life, and growth in your profession, is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
If it is to be, it is up to me.”
William H. Johnsen
|2005-present||Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Cripe|
|2000-present||Co-Founder and Chairman, Eco Oxygen Technologies, LLC|
|1992-2005||President and Chief Executive Officer, Cripe|
|1977-1992||Principal Engineer Services and Vice President, Cripe|
|1972-1977||Project Engineer and Land Surveyor, Cripe|
|1968-1970||Reservoir Engineer, Humble Oil and Refining Co. (now ExxonMobil Corp.)|
|1968||BSCE, Purdue University|
|1972||MBA, Indiana University|