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Robert Harold Anderson

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September 13, 1931 - December 15, 2013 Age 82, of Great Falls, VA, passed away peacefully on December 15, 2013. He was born in Chicago on September 13, 1931, to Harold Oscar Anderson and Mary Alice Sreenan Anderson. He held a bachelor's degree in general engineering and master's and doctoral degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois. He also served for two years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, receiving the Army Commendation Medal and rising to the rank of captain before serving for another eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve. In 1963, he cofounded Mechanics Research Inc. (MRI), a Los Angeles-based engineering consulting firm, becoming its president and chairman in 1968. As a leading technical support contractor to government and industry in engineering mechanics and energy system engineering, MRI won the U.S. Department of the Interior's prime technical support contract to provide third-party environmental surveillance of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline's design and construction. MRI also played key roles in product development for the Apollo space program; development of classified photographic satellite technology; and technical support of ocean engineering projects, including the Glomar Explorer project, financed by Howard Hughes. Among Mr. Anderson's many organizational affiliations, he was active in the international Young Presidents Organization and served on the advisory boards of the University of Illinois College of Engineering and the National Energy Resources Organization; as chairman of the advisory board of the Engineering Research Center at California State University, Long Beach; and on subcommittees of the American Society of Civil Engineers, of which he was a life member. He moved in 1976 to Northern Virginia, where he provided technical consulting, particularly on the siting of MX missile silos, to U.S. government agencies including the Defense Nuclear Agency and the Department of Defense, as well as management consulting to engineering firms. He retired in 1992. He enjoyed golfing, swimming, traveling the world, and following sports, especially Chicago's professional teams and the "Fighting Illini." He is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Donna Green Anderson; daughters Mary, Linda, Shirley, and Robin; and granddaughter Una. Services are private. Memorial donations are suggested to Disabled American Veterans, www.dav.org. Condolence messages can be sent to www.adamsgreen.com
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 22, 2013
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