C. Paul Heins, III established the Professor Conrad P. Heins, Jr. Endowed Scholarship in Structural Engineering in memory of his father in June 2000 to support upper-class civil engineering students interested in pursuing careers in structural engineering.
Presentation to the Engineering School Scholarship Awards Luncheon
Wednesday, April 28, 2004, 11:30 AM
"Four years ago, while completing my graduate studies in music education at the University of Maryland, I established the Prof. Conrad P. Heins, Jr. Scholarship in Structural Engineering, in memory of my father, who earned his Ph.D. here in 1967 and taught at the University until his untimely death in 1982. This scholarship was created to further the field in which my father worked, thereby serving as a living memorial to him.
Much of what I know about my father's professional life comes from my research through his papers and books. He was a brilliant engineer, and I believe it would be a fair assessment to say that he was at the top of his field in the last decade of his life.
Conrad Heins was incredibly prolific, authoring or co-authoring 14 books, over 100 journal articles, and numerous specialized publications and reports. Throughout his career, he was a regular presenter at conferences for organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Steel Construction, and he was a highly-sought speaker at meetings of the Highway Research Board and the US Department of Transportation. His expertise took him around the country and the world to present papers and speak about bridge design, especially designing bridges to withstand earthquakes.
My father's professional activities included active memberships in ten engineering organizations and honor societies, in addition to serving as an advisor to the National Science Foundation, the Embassy of India, and the United Nations Fellowship program. His work at the University of Maryland included a decade of teaching undergraduate and graduate classes, for which the University honored my father with its Distinguished Engineering Professor Award in 1977.
My father was truly dedicated to his profession, and the time and energy he devoted to it benefited people around the world. I think my father's only regret was the amount of time his work kept him from his family. In a sense, his colleagues in the engineering community became his extended family. His colleagues spent the most time with him, have the most memories of him, and have continued the work he started. Because of this special relationship with my father, the engineering community is in a unique position to keep Conrad Heins' memory alive among succeeding generations of engineers. Fifty or one hundred years from now, few will take an interest in the stories I leave behind about the father-son activities I shared with Conrad Heins, but many will be interested in and will continue to learn from the work he advanced in your field. I established the Heins scholarship in recognition of and in gratitude for your unique capabilities in preserving my father's legacy.
My father was truly a remarkable man, and it is with a mix of humbleness and pride that I read about his many accomplishments. I didn't know about all of his accomplishments as I grew up, nor did I know about all of the awards and citations his work earned. To me, he was just "Dad," the man who helped me build model ships, took me fishing, and cooked the best steaks you've ever had. By the time I turned 10, his physical presence was gone forever from my life, as a result of an airplane accident in China, where he was on a lecture tour.
For all the honorifics he earned in his lifetime, the one I think my father was most proud of was "Dad." It's up to me and my family to sustain the memories of that part of Conrad Heins' identity. But we can rest assured that the professional identity of Conrad Heins will be preserved by you, his extended family, every time you read his name in textbooks, every time you study theories that he developed, and every time you gather to celebrate another recipient of the Prof. Conrad P. Heins, Jr. Endowed Scholarship in Structural Engineering."
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