Karl, thanks for your remembrance of Web Brown last Sunday.
Web was an exceptional Nevadan and leader in the Nevada engineering profession during trans-formative years immediately following World War II. Web was one of the first to organize an engineering firm specializing in structural engineering. Prior to 1953 when Web founded his Reno firm, structural engineering was considered to be a subsidiary branch of civil engineering and was practiced only intermittently by some civil engineers.
Web was one of the first engineers in Nevada to incorporate an understanding of seismic and wind forces into structural design of buildings. That was not part of the civil engineering curriculum at the University of Nevada, and Web learned through his early employment at Kaiser Engineers and self directed study. In 1953 building codes were just beginning to be concerned about earthquakes and high winds, and Web was ahead of his profession in being able to respond to those concerns.
During my early years in the engineering profession, I was fortunate to be employed by Web Brown from 1958 to 1966. He taught me and coached me to be an engineer. Everything I ever knew about seismic and wind design, began with the basics that I learned from Web. He was my mentor and a special friend for the ages.
Web Brown was a talented, even brilliant engineer, but more than that, he was a gentleman, a family patriarch and an exceptional citizen of the State of Nevada.
Editor’s note: Milt Sharp is a Reno Civil Engineer of long standing and a driving force in the Sigma Nu fraternity alumni chapter. I’m grateful for his kind words about Web, and for his allowing me to post this letter to me, that others may enjoy it.