Walter R. Wilcox, P.E.
President of L.A. Fuess Partners 2004-2020
Born and raised in Bryan, Texas, Walter Wilcox graduated from Texas A&M University with Bachelors (1981) and Masters (1982) degrees in Civil Engineering. After a brief stint designing wood trusses for Alpine Co., Walter began a 36-year career as a structural engineer with L.A. Fuess Partners, where he designed hundreds of major structures including airports, schools, churches, hospitals, office and residential towers, and historic building renovations.
He succeeded the firm’s founder, Larry Fuess, as LAFP’s President and CEO in 2004. As President, Walter oversaw steady growth and expansion of the firm, from 30 employees in 2004 to more than 80 when he retired, with offices in both Dallas and Boston. After transitioning out of his role as President in 2019, he continued to serve as CEO until he retired in April of the following year. Walter’s contributions to the success of L.A. Fuess Partners cannot be overstated. He was a standout at managing computer systems, leading the firm through multiple technology advances in engineering design, drawing, and management software. He was a master of both complex structural design and the demands of running a successful engineering practice. His devotion to mentoring of up-and-coming firm leaders was instrumental in the firm’s continued success and enviable position in the structural engineering marketplace.
Walter’s most notable engineering achievements included major, award-winning aviation structures, and high-rise office towers. He was the lead structural engineer on DFW Airport’s International Terminal D, and the project manager for Sacramento Airport’s new Central Terminal B in California. His later work included twin high-rise office towers for Liberty Mutual in Plano, Texas, and guiding the design of a multi-tower mixed use development for KDC in Dallas.
Walter deeply loved his family, his profession, learning new things, traveling, dominoes, country music, playing with his grandchildren, and supporting his church. He was eager to help others by sharing advice or lending a hand with any and all types of projects, was dedicated to achieving elegant solutions in all challenges, and had a keen eye for detail. His thoughtfulness in helping others was equal to the dedication and boldness with which he approached every endeavor. His generosity and faithfulness to his friends was greatly admired.
At the age of 61, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and following a nearly two-month battle against COVID-19, Walter’s life came to a tragic end in August 2020.
Memorial donations may be sent to: the Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas 77840, designated for the general memorial scholarship fund in memory of Walter Wilcox ’81. A permanent scholarship in Engineering will be established in Walter’s name.