|By Lori O'Brien, Correspondent|
WESTFIELD By the time Holyoke resident Phil Sheridan was 14, he knew he would some day pursue the engineering field as a career.
"I worked in my dad's steel fabrication plant in New Hampshire every summer," reminisced Sheridan during a recent interview with Reminder Publications.
That love of drafting in the steel plant when Sheridan was a teen would stay with him a lifetime.
Fast forward 70 years and now in retirement, Sheridan still enjoys sharing stories of his early days in the engineering field and, in particular, at Tighe & Bond. Tighe & Bond was founded in 1911 and has offices in Westfield, Worcester and Pocasset, all in Massachusetts, as well as in Danbury, Middletown and Shelton, all in Conn. The firm provides engineering and environmental services to public and private clients in government, industry, health care, education and real estate markets.
Tighe & Bond President David E. Pinsky, P.E., recently announced the creation of the Philip W. Sheridan Scholarship in honor of Sheridan who served as the firm's first president. The scholarship, administered through the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, is open to a high school senior in either Hampden County or Hampshire County who has been accepted to a four-year college with plans to major in civil engineering or a related engineering field.
"Tighe & Bond established this scholarship to recognize and honor the significant contributions that Phil Sheridan made to Tighe & Bond," said Pinsky during an interview with Reminder Publications. "Mr. Sheridan helped establish many of our clients who remain as long-time clients of the firm today."
Pinsky emphasized that during Sheridan's career, he planned and designed many of the area's municipal water systems and was recognized throughout the Connecticut Valley as an expert in water supply.
Sheridan was born in Manchester, N.H., and served in the Army Air Corp during World War II. He graduated from Manhattan College in 1949 with a B.S. in civil engineering.
In the same year, Sheridan joined Tighe & Bond as a graduate engineer, became a Registered Professional Enginee, and worked his way through a variety of management roles to become the firm's president and Chairman of the Board.
Under his leadership, the firm grew from 10 employees in the 1960's to more than 130 in the 1990's, according to Pinsky.
Sheridan recalls working 15-hour days but never missed a beat when it came to planning, designing and overseeing the construction of many public water supply wells, reservoirs and storage tanks, water distribution systems, sewer systems and pump stations and water and wastewater treatment plants.
In addition to his family commitments, he also found time to volunteer as a firefighter in South Hadley, was active in the Rotary Club and was an active member of numerous professional organizations including the American Water Works Association, the New England Water Works Association, the Massachusetts Water Works Association, and the New England Water Pollution Control Association.
He was named a Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers and influenced the professional careers of many engineers with whom he worked throughout his long and distinguished career, added Pinsky.
With all of the noted accomplishments, Sheridan said one of his favorite projects was overseeing the water and sewage construction at a base and airfield in Saudi Arabia in the early 70's. There were ongoing meetings in either Rome or Riyadh for almost 10 years with all the architects and engineers involved in the program, and now when Sheridan looks back, he said he doesn't miss all those long work days.
"I don't miss it," he said. "I like retirement."
Students interested in the approximate $2,000 scholarship must complete the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts common scholarship application form in the coming weeks to be eligible for consideration. The Community Foundation will select the winner.
For more information, visit www.communityfoundation.org/scholarships.