Detroit, MI (August 4, 2008) – – On May 3, 2008, Frank DeDecker, PE, PS, Co-Founder of Spalding DeDecker Associates, Inc. (SDA), received the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University’s College of Engineering. Recipients of this award, first presented in 2003, must be: graduates of the department; national leaders in their profession; contributors to the department, the college, or the university in some meaningful way; and community leaders whose actions reflect favorably on Michigan State University. Nominations are made by faculty, alumni, and other supporters of the department. The department’s professional advisory board selects the winner.
SDA has designed highway bridges; subdivision and condominium projects; and sewer, watermain, and paving projects for the State of Michigan, Michigan counties and municipalities, various land developers, schools, and healthcare facilities. Frank’s final project before retiring in 1994 was designing the truck exit ramp for the Ambassador Bridge, with the Detroit International Bridge Company as client. A man who cares about his community, Frank was elected as trustee for the Village of Warren in 1955 and served until the Village was absorbed into the newly created City of Warren in 1957.
When Frank graduated from De La Salle High School in 1944, he enlisted in the Navy for service in World War II. The Navy assigned him to its V-5 Pilots’ Training Program at Western Michigan College and, one year later, transferred him to it V-12 Officers’ Training Program at Iowa State College. After his discharge in 1946, he enrolled at Michigan State College, where he slept on one of many 3-tiered bunk beds set up in Jenison Gymnasium to accommodate the influx of returning veterans. As a student, he worked for Agnes McCann, secretary to the engineering dean. Since MSU established the Agnes McCann Memorial Student Endowment Fund in her honor a few years ago, Frank has supported it annually. At Michigan State, Frank belonged to the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He met his future wife, Jean Halmich, in a surveying class; she was a landscape architecture student. They were married in 1949, soon after graduating from MSC. Since then, they have supported MSU with annual contributions, and are now members of the Hannah Society.
Early in his career, Frank worked for an underground construction contractor, Sugden & Sivier, on sewer and watermain relocations at the beginning of the John Lodge Freeway’s construction in downtown Detroit. He later joined a Detroit firm that was designing sewer and watermain relocations for the John Lodge Freeway extension. There, he worked with Vernon Spalding, with whom he founded Spalding, DeDecker & Associates, Inc. in 1954. Today the firm has about 100 employees and is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan.
Frank has been a member of the American Consulting Engineers Council, the American Water Works Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors.
Frank and Jean are life members of the MSU Alumni Association, and they have participated in many MSU sponsored travel programs. Frank’s hobbies include woodworking and trading stocks and options on the Internet. They have nine children and nineteen grandchildren.
“Most people recognize Frank DeDecker as one of the founders of SDA and a leader in the Civil Engineering Industry for more than 50 years. This recognition from MSU also distinguishes Frank as a person who gave back to others through his service to his country, to his Alma Mater, and to the many communities in southeast Michigan that Frank helped to build,” said David A. Lakin, PE, President of SDA.
About Spalding DeDecker
Established in 1954, Spalding DeDecker Associates, Inc. is an engineering consulting firm specializing in infrastructure, land development, and surveying. With offices in Brighton, Detroit, Rochester Hills, and Trenton, Michigan, SDA is an employee-owned and ISO certified organization that provides design and engineering solutions for municipal, land development, transportation, and water/wastewater projects. The firm also offers complete pavement management, construction engineering, and land surveying & mapping services.