There’s a small city a couple hours north of Houston known as Crockett, Texas. With a population of just a few thousand people, this is where Professional Engineer and Harris County’s Precinct 3 Commissioner, Tom S. Ramsey, grew up. One brutally hot summer, Ramsey found himself working road construction – boots on the ground – toiling away to set blue tops and establish the road base, when a big truck pulled up to the job site and out hopped a man in a pair of khakis and a white hat.
While up to this point, Ramsey had simply been the hired TxDOT summer help doing as he was told, the superintendent proceeded to tell them everything they were doing wrong and needed to fix, then got back in his truck and drove away. Ramsey asked who that was, quickly told it was the Resident Engineer for TxDOT behind the entire project. Ramsey then said to himself, “Okay, that’s who I want to be.”
Embarking on the Journey of an Engineer
Since everything in our built environment comes from civil engineering, it was only a natural step that Tom Ramsey would pursue this as his central study at Texas A&M. Shuffling multiple jobs while attending classes, he soon found himself working in the environmental department at the university where one of his jobs was to sample the water in the Houston Ship Channel. In 1972, there was very little wildlife living in this water, because of significant pollution.