MEET R&M: Airport Engineering Group Manager Evan Griffith, PE

January 23, 2019

Meet Evan Griffith, PE! Evan serves as R&M’s Airport Engineering Group Manager, and has been with the firm for seven years. He has 27 years of Alaska engineering experience, with the last 22 years focused primarily on aviation-related projects. Evan’s experience ranges from single-phase, multi-year rural airport relocation projects to multi-phase or fast track single/multi-year reconstruction projects at Anchorage (ANC) and Fairbanks (FAI) International Airports. He has provided civil design services at more than 20 of Alaska’s airports, and has a thorough understanding of FAA standards and requirements for project delivery. Evan has also prepared more than 25 Airport Layout Plans (ALPs) for airports around the state, including larger, more complex ALPs for FAI, Nome and Cordova Airports.

Currently, Evan is leading the R&M team in the design of runway, taxiway, and apron improvements at Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Nanwalek/Port Graham, Newtok, and Togiak. He is also working with KPB Architects to support Alaska Airlines Terminal Improvements in Kotzebue and Deadhorse and with DOT&PF Southcoast Region to replace old, manual gates with hydraulic pivot gates at the King Salmon Airport.


How or when did you know you wanted to be an engineer?
I always knew I wanted to be an engineer. I spent many hours during high school and college restoring a 1970 Chevrolet pickup (I later wrecked it). My original plan was to get a degree in mechanical engineering. That changed in college when I learned there were more job opportunities for civil engineers, and that mechanical engineers residing in Alaska mainly did HVAC-related work. I had no interest in HVAC and decided to pursue a civil engineering degree.

Most challenging project? How did you overcome the challenges?
AWWU’s Ship Creek Water Treatment Facility Heat Exchanger project by far. I had to take this project over when design was about 50% complete and get it designed and into construction. Being skilled in heavy civil earthwork projects didn’t prepare me for such a technical utility project. I overcame this challenge by putting in a lot of hours to learn potable water utility and related systems design, and with the help of other R&M staff, completed the project and saw it through construction.

What kind of problems have you solved on recent project(s)?
On R&M’s Nome Airport Operating Settlement Repair project, we designed repairs to recurring and new pavement depressions. Once constructed this summer, aircrafts can again use the full length of the crosswind runway and land on the main runway without jarring the passengers.

What do you look forward to discovering next in the work you do?
Generally speaking, I look forward to solving a problem or performing a design creatively (i.e. coming up with a solution that no one has thought of or tried).

One piece of professional wisdom?
Check your work, then check it again.

What’s your midnight snack food?
Is beer a food?

Community Involvement:
Most of my community involvement at this point in life revolves around youth. Currently I’m Cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 227 and I coach baseball.

What’s your special talent?
I’m good with machinery – especially figuring out why equipment doesn’t work and how to fix it.

What movie made you cry?
Avengers: Infinity War – Seeing Spidey turn to dust still gets me choked up.

Family Life:
My family enjoys camping, fishing, riding ATVs, snowmachining, and skiing (cross country and downhill). We tend to spend a good amount of time running kids around to baseball, football, and scouts.