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Wichita, Kansas

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Photos of the First Street Bridge over the Arkansas River

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R.S. Delamater

Welcome to the ASCE-Wichita Branch.

Have you ever wondered about the namesake for our branch scholarship? John Oswald, the branch scholarship chair and past president of the branch, conducted some investigative work to remind us just who was R.S. Delamater.

Ray Spencer (Del) Delamater was born in Wichita on Dec. 9, 1910

and attended Wichita University for two years before transferring to

Kansas State College (currently Kansas State University). He

graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1933. Del was a licensed

Professional Engineer in Kansas, worked for the U.S. Army Corps of

Engineers, then worked for the Kansas Turnpike Authority on bridge

overpass designs. In 1947, at the age of 37, he started an engineering

consulting firm in Wichita focusing on bridge designs throughout

Central and Western Kansas and for the Kansas Department of

Transportation. The firm added other professional services that

included water resources, surveying, wastewater treatment, dams and


Del, known as “Mr. Bridge” for his innovative bridge design expertise, was ahead of his time in bridge engineering. Inverted T-Beam composite design, precast/pre-stressed concrete flat slabs, single T-pre-stressed beams, hybrid steel plate girder bridge design, and cable stayed telephone utility bridge are examples of his innovations in Kansas. He had an outstanding understanding in the design of stream flow, erosion, and scour in bridges over waterways. He designed bridges in over 40 counties in Kansas. Many of his works were featured in Engineering News Record, US Steel, and ACI journals.

In addition to his commitment to ASCE, Mr. Delamater was very active with industry organizations like Kansas Consulting Engineers, Wichita Engineering Society (now the Wichita Council of Engineering Societies), and the National Society of Professional Engineers. Del was the chairman of the Wichita Interim Branch Section Committee in 1962 as the Branch was being established. On January 3, 1963 he was elected to be the first president of the Wichita Branch of ASCE. In November 1963, the Kansas Section President, at the branch’s monthly meeting, informed the attendees the Kansas Section Board of Directors had officially approved the formation of the Wichita Branch.

His marks of achievements can still be seen in many bridges such as the Santa Fe overpass in Hutchinson, the I-135 overpasses in Harvey County, and the First Street Bridge over the Arkansas River in Wichita. In all, Del knew the Arkansas River well, having designed 13 bridges and two dams on the system.

The Wichita Branch selected Mr. Delamater as the honorary of its scholarship program because of the innovation, standards, values, ideals and respect that he represented and brought to our profession.



Our Next Event

April 8, 2015

—Joint Meeting with WSPE—


Captain Steve Schowalter, Wichita Fire Department


Fire Training Facility Site Tour


12 Noon—1:30pm


Regional Fire Training Facility

4780 East 31st Street South

Wichita, KS 67210 (map)




Click here to read the meeting notice

Click here to RSVP.