College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2010
B.S. Civil Engineering, 1948
Paul Rechard’s career developed through federal, state, interstate, academic organizations
and finally, private enterprise.
M.S. Civil Engineering, 1949
Professional Degree of Civil Engineer 1955
Registered Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor
Certified Professional Hydrologist
In 1949, he began as an employee of the Bureau of Reclamation as a water resource
engineer, moved on to become director of Water Resources for the Wyoming Natural Resource
Board and Interstate Streams Commissioner for the State in 1954, and after working
for the passage of legislation authorizing the Upper Colorado River Storage Projects,
became principal hydraulic engineer for the Upper Colorado River Commission in 1958.
When Congress passed legislation in 1963, to establish water research programs in
each state, UW called upon Paul to establish and direct the Wyoming Water Resource
Research Institute (WRRI) and to be professor of civil engineering. While at UW, WRRI
support grew to nearly two million dollars of grant money annually from the federal
government and private industry.
As a professor, Paul taught hydrology and established a graduate interdisciplinary
degree program in water resources to foster dialogue among engineers, biologists,
geologists, and environmentalists, such that each discipline would have knowledge
of the others and thus discussions could grow from a common base of knowledge.
In 1980, Paul resigned from UW and co-founded the engineering consulting firm Western
Water Consultants (WWC). During Paul’s tenure as president of WWC, the organization
grew to an engineering and environmental consulting firm employing approximately 60
people in Wyoming.
At the time of Paul’s retirement in 2001, WWC was the largest Wyoming based engineering
consulting firm with offices in Laramie, Sheridan, and Casper. To the extent possible,
the firm employed graduates of UW with degrees in civil, agricultural, chemical, and
electrical engineering as well as geology, range management, and accounting.
In 2007, Paul established the Mary Lou and Paul A. Rechard Endowed Fellowship in Civil
Engineering for Water Resources to support a student seeking a graduate degree in
civil engineering water resources in memory of his wife Mary Lou Rechard. Along with
Mary Lou, Paul has been an active alumnus, donor, and friend of the college since