Donald G. Mills’ engineering career is anything but ordinary. With more than 50 years of engineering and design experience, he has worked on over 650 highway, railway and timber bridges, buildings, hydraulics and special structures. Although Mr. Mills has received national awards for seven different bridges between 1966 and 2011, he has designed almost every structure imaginable, including dormitories, university research facilities, a National Guard armory building, state police headquarters, parking structures, and wastewater treatment facilities. He has served on several committees and been an active member of Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers and American Society of Civil Engineers.
Mr. Mills attended the University of Kentucky where he graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor’s Degree in civil engineering. Soon after graduating, he was hired at Kroboth Engineers, Inc., where he received the first assignment of his engineering career: to hand draft the handrail post spacing on the Western Kentucky Parkway Bridge over the Green River. Mr. Mills continued his education at UK and in 1965 graduated with a Master’s Degree in civil engineering.
In 1966, Mr. Mills designed his first award-winning structure: the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge in Lawrenceburg, Ky. The American Institute of Steel Construction presented Mr. Mills’ twin 5-span bridges an Award of Merit in the Medium Span, High Clearance Category. Then in 1967, he became Chief Bridge Engineer at Kroboth.
During Mills’ 33-year career with Kroboth, he designed many firsts for the Commonwealth of Kentucky including the first curved girder bridge, one of the first 3-span steel slant-leg rigid frame bridges, and a bridge with the first hybrid girders. In 1994, after 38 years in business, the primary bridge specialty firm, Kroboth, closed. This led Mr. Mills to Stantec, a firm where he landed what is said to be the “largest and most diverse” design project in the firm’s history – the Kentucky Lock and Dam project for the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Whether it’s designing prizewinning structures, showing the younger generation the ropes, serving as an active member of numerous organizations, or teaching P.E. preparation courses at his alma mater, Mr. Mills has done it all during his engineering career.
Mr. Mills retired from Stantec in December 2012. Now, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Helen, their two children, Greg and Christian, and two grandchildren, Eli and Amos.