WJE Remembers the Life of Theron Z. (T.Z.) Chastain (1920-2010)

June 23, 2010
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., (WJE) is deeply saddened to announce that Theron Z. "T.Z." Chastain passed away June 18, 2010, at the age of eighty-nine. T.Z. was a recognized leader in the design of reinforced concrete structures and in the investigation of structural collapses. Over a span of fifty years, he earned a reputation as a practical engineer with a great passion for his work and was instrumental to the success of WJE.

T.Z. received his bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1943 and his master's degree in civil engineering in 1947, all from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He served as a naval architect during World War II, afterwards providing his expertise for the U.S. Navy Construction Battalion. From 1947 to 1954, he worked for I.E. Morris and Associates, a structural consulting firm, and Abreu and Robeson, Inc., an architectural and engineering firm, both based in Atlanta.

In 1959, he established Chastain & Tindel, a structural design firm in Atlanta. He practiced with the company until it merged with Rosser, White, Hobbs, Davidson, McClellan, Kelly, Inc., (now Rosser International) in 1981. Interested in continuing his long-term work in forensic engineering, Chastain formed a new firm shortly thereafter, Chastain Forensic Corporation.

Through his involvement in the American Concrete Institute (ACI), Chastain formed a close relationship with WJE's former president and current board member, John Hanson, and eventually established the Chastain Division of WJE in Atlanta in 1990. He remained as the office manager of the division until 1991 and continued as an affiliated consultant until his retirement in 2001. The Chastain Division was the foundation of WJE's current Atlanta branch operations.

T.Z. was recognized as "Engineer of the Year" by the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers and the "Consulting Engineer of the Year" by the Consulting Engineers Council of Georgia. He was a member and past president of ACI (1981). He served on various committees and spoke at a variety of international ACI-sponsored seminars throughout Asia and South and Central America.

He was a fellow and life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and served as president of the Georgia chapter in 1963. He was a fellow and member of the American Consulting Engineers Council, the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, and the American Society for Testing and Materials.

T.Z. was also an active member in the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Post-Tensioning Institute, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and the International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineering.

Throughout his career, he mentored many young structural engineers and was dedicated to serving others. He received the Order of Merit in 1982 from his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, for his dedicated service to the Georgia Institute of Technology chapter. He was also a proud member of the Georgia Institute of Technology's Golden Giver program, which recognizes donors with fifty years or more of consecutive contributions to the university.

T.Z. was a true visionary and will be sadly missed. He valued teamwork and acted with great kindness, strength, and dignity. WJE mourns his loss, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Joyce, and his entire family.

A memorial service celebrating T.Z.'s life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, at Petite Auberge Restaurant, 2935 North Druid Hills Road in Atlanta. A reception will soon follow. Memorial donations may be made to Visiting Nurse Hospice of Atlanta, 5775 Glenridge Drive, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30328.

About WJE
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE), is an interdisciplinary firm of architects, structural engineers, and materials scientists that specializes in the investigation, analysis, testing, and design of repairs for historic and contemporary structures. WJE focuses on delivering practical, innovative, and technically sound solutions across all areas of construction technology. Since the firm's founding more than fifty years ago, WJE specialists bring the collective experience gained from conducting more than seventy-five thousand investigations worldwide to every construction challenge. WJE combines state-of-the-art laboratory and testing facilities, nationwide offices, and knowledge sharing systems to provide solutions for the built world. For more information, please visit wje.com.

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