Thomas G. Krzewinski (1949-2023)

Tom Krzewinski passed away unexpectedly on April 12, 2023, while in Toronto, ON, Canada, pursuing his passion for solving ground engineering problems related to cold regions and permafrost engineering. Mr. Krzewinski was an internationally recognized expert in the field of Cold Regions Geotechnical Engineering, with experience across North America, including work on large infrastructure and industrial development projects such as the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), the Red Dog Mine in Northwestern Alaska, multiple bridges and realignments of the Alaska Railway, and a new railway to the Ring of Fire mining area in Ontario, Canada. Other projects are too numerous to list but included transportation projects for local, state, and federal entities, railroad facilities, and foundations for hundreds of bridges, buildings, and earth embankments. He is survived by his wife Carol, three children and many grandchildren.

Tom started his long and prestigious engineering career on the design of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) almost immediately after graduating the University of Minnesota, Duluth (BSCE 1972), before being whisked away to Alaska for final design and construction of TAPS. After TAPS, he managed Dames and Moore’s operation in AK, beginning a career long engagement with the Red Dog Mine, which he continued to work on until his passing. While at Dames and Moore he was also very active with development of the infrastructure supporting oil development on Alaska’s North Slope and other development projects across the state. He left Alaska between 1987 and 2002 to return to Duluth to manage an office of American Engineering Testing, Inc.  before returning in 2002 to join Golder Associates, which later became part of WSP. 

Throughout his distinguished career he was an active contributor to furthering the profession of cold regions engineering through active involvement in professional organizations such as the American Society of Engineers (ASCE) and their Technical Council for Cold Regions Engineering (TCCRE) and the successor Cold Regions Engineering Division (CRED),  the United States Permafrost Association (USPA), the International Permafrost Association (IPA), and the International Association for Cold Regions Development Studies (IACORDS), the Arctic Technology Conference,  as well as being active on organizing committees for multiple international conferences.  Tom as also an associate editor for the ASCE Journal of Cold Regions Engineering, as well as editor of multiple monographs by the ASCE Cold Regions Engineering Division, and frequent contributor to international conferences.

Tom was the 1998 recipient of the American Society of Civil Engineer’s “Harold R. Peyton Award” for significant contributions to Cold Regions Geotechnical Engineering. He was also the 1999 recipient of the Construction Specifications Institute’s “Technical Certificate of Merit”, for devoted and selfless contributions of time and talent to advancing technology through research in Cold Regions Engineering. In 2009 he was announced the recipient of the Academy of Geo-Professionals Board of Trustees “Diplomate, Geotechnical Engineering (D.GE)” credential. Also in 2009, Mr. Krzewinski was named the “Alaska Engineer of the Year”.  In 2010 he was the recipient of the American Society of Civil Engineers “Can-Am Amity Award” for a significant body of Cold Regions Engineering Work on both sides of the border in North America. He was a current and long-term Commissioner on the Municipality of Anchorage’s Geotechnical Advisory Commission (GAC) and served as a Board level Director of the Resource Development Council of Alaska. Mr. Krzewinski is a past President of the United States Permafrost Association and has served as the official US Representative to the International Permafrost Association.  He was also a Past Region 8 Governor (representing Alaska) of the American Society of Civil Engineers and served on the ASCE Codes and Standards Committee.

In his free time Tom was an avid fisherman and fan of American football, commonly signing of his emails with: “Hey, how about those Vikings!”

Key permafrost publications:

  • Krzewinski, T.G. and Tart, R.G. (1985). Thermal Design Considerations in Frozen Ground Engineering. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 277 p.
  • Krzewinski, T.G. et al. (2006). ARRC Rail Alignment Improvements Birchwood, Alaska – Railroad Design – Construction in Marginally Frozen Relic Ice and Soil.  Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Cold Regions Engineering (ICCRE), Orono, Maine, USA, 23-26 July 2006. DOI: 10.1061/40836(210)27.

Prepared by Tom’s colleagues, Mark Musial and John Thornley at WSP.