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James H. Kleinfelder honored by University of California, Berkeley

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

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Founder of global engineering firm to be inducted into Academy of Distinguished Alumni

BERKELEY, Calif. —  Kleinfelder, a global architecture, engineering and science consulting firm, is pleased to announce that company founder, James (Jim) H. Kleinfelder, is being honored by the Academy of Distinguished Alumni (Academy) of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) department at the University of California (U.C.), Berkeley. The first annual inaugural event will take place on November 8, 2012 at the U.C. Berkeley Memorial Stadium.

The Academy, of which Mr. Kleinfelder is a founding member, will recognize distinguished alumni on an annual basis with regard to personal/professional achievements, advancements to the engineering industry and ongoing commitment to the university.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by my alma mater. I owe much of what I have accomplished to the wonderful education I received at U.C. Berkeley,” said Mr. Kleinfelder.

Education and early career
Mr. Kleinfelder received his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 1956 and his Master of Science in civil engineering in 1964 — both from U.C. Berkeley. In 1961, while working as a resident engineer for the city of Stockton, he recognized a need for a local materials testing firm, and with little more than $1,500 to his name, founded a small testing firm. He utilized the testing equipment at the University of the Pacific, and in 1962, the firm came to be known as Stockton Testing and Controls, Inc.

Company growth
In the first several years, Mr. Kleinfelder secured some large local contracts, which allowed him to invest in his own laboratory equipment and eventually open three additional offices in California, including Merced, Fresno and Sacramento. In 1966, the firm’s name was amended to J.H. Kleinfelder and Associates (Kleinfelder).

Throughout the late 1960s, 70s and 80s, Mr. Kleinfelder pursued acquisitions and global ventures throughout North America and the Middle East while expanding the company’s capabilities into a diverse set of engineering services. By the end of the 1980s, Kleinfelder had grown to more than 600 employees and $37 million in annual revenue. Mr. Kleinfelder retired as president and CEO of the company in 1993.

Industry involvement
Throughout his career, Mr. Kleinfelder remained very active in the industry. He is a member of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), a lifetime member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and has served terms as president of both the Hazardous Waste National Coalition and the Associated Soils and Foundation Engineers (now known as ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association).

Commitment to U.C. Berkeley
In 2010, Kleinfelder developed the James H. Kleinfelder Fellowship in Geotechnical Engineering — a monetary award in the amount of $10,000, which is given annually to a graduate student in the civil engineering masters program at U.C. Berkeley. Faculty at the university selects one student to receive the award each year based on a number of academic and financial factors. In the fellowship’s fourth year, Kleinfelder has committed to increasing the monetary amount to $15,000 on an annual basis.

Jim Kleinfelder today
Today, Mr. Kleinfelder lives with his wife, Carole Kleinfelder, in Carefree, Ariz. They have three children — Brad, Don and Brenda — and they enjoy spending time with their six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

For more information on the Academy’s inaugural event, please visit

Kleinfelder. Bright People. Right Solutions.
Founded in 1961, Kleinfelder is a leading engineering, construction management, design, and environmental professional services firm. Kleinfelder operates from over 65 office locations in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California. Kleinfelder is poised to grow and continue to provide solutions for our diverse client base. Visit or follow us on LinkedIn/Kleinfelder.