Since 1970, native Hoosier Randy Barr has been active on the Purdue campus. Growing up in Winamac, Indiana, Barr set his sights on attending Purdue, graduating in 1974 with a bachelor's in building construction management. He was the first graduate to be recruited by Hensel Phelps Construction Co. east of the Mississippi River.
In summer 1980, while working on the Tulsa, Oklahoma Airport, he met Debra Jenkins. They were married in 1981, and were transferred to Austin, Texas, to join the newly formed building division of Hensel Phelps' Southwest District. Tasked with constructing work in the Houston area, Barr is currently directing the massive $290 million design-build Ambulatory Clinical Building for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
He also has constructed several complex, high-profile projects for the departments of Defense and Energy, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Navy. In the mountains of New Mexico at super-secret Los Alamos, Barr served as project director on a fast-track project designed to house "Q", the world's fastest computer, and the scientists who are charged with simulating testing of nuclear weapons.
Currently an operations manager in his 29th year with Hensel Phelps, Barr provides leadership and vision crucial to the success of each project assigned. He assures that all client budgetary and quality goals are met through financial planning and cost evaluation, aggressive schedule management, comprehensive resource planning, and employment of wusliyty assurance monitoring systems. Such a comprehensive career has enabled him to be well-versed in all areas of estimating, purchasing, engineering, superintendency, and project management on both new construction programs and renovation projects. Says Barr, "The projects have ben numerous and varied, from hospitals to casinos, office buildings to airports, and the solid foundation built at Purdue deserves the credit for their success."
Despite his career success, Barr is most proud of his three children, Justin, Heather, and Angela.
Barr is a member of the Advisory Council for the Building Construction Department at Purdue. He returns twice annually to recruit Boilermaker graduates for Hensel Phelps. Other activities include golf, traveling, and sporting events, especially rooting for Purdue.
This was originally written for the Distinguished Technology Alumni Awards in 2003.