Howard Colburn, Design and Quality Control

(Return to Engineering Home Page)

 September 1980 to June 1985


I was hired as a Staff Civil Engineer for Jack G. Raub Co., an engineering company performing development and infrastructure design exclusively for The Mission Viejo Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Phillip Morris Company. This area comprised of thousands of acres ultimately became Mission Viejo and Aliso Viejo, cities in southern Orange County, California.


My duties as a staff engineer covered the entire scope of engineering design for residential, industrial, commercial, infrastructure and institutional development projects.


Transportation facility design included arterial highway layout, design and grading programs to balance the roadways with adjacent development areas. Roadwork and transportation engineering to industry standard and specific local conditions were a vital part of my work in this area of design. I was also called upon to resolve issues in the field created by conflicts between plan design and field conditions. 


I learned hydraulic, hydrologic and facilities design while employed as a staff engineer.  The development of creative devices to drain joint use facilities won the respect of my peers as an avant-garde design professional.  The design of unique energy dissipation methods and devices provided some insight into the creative approaches I would later employ in many difficult situations.


My responsibility in utility design included the study of service areas for sewer, water, storm drainage, and joint utility requirements. The scope of service performed by me and under my direction supported the entire range of professional engineering including facilities construction design, production of construction specifications and management of the installations to assure compliance with design plans and specifications.


I performed grading design that spanned the entire scope of foundation and surface configurations encountered in the development of large tracts of land.  Grading design included the development of "super pads" and the finish design for all types of building lots.


Design of foundation and grading programs for the construction of earthen Department of Dams and the Corp of Engineers jurisdictional dams is part of my professional experience provided by this employer. Grading design performed by me included millions of yards of earthwork including every imaginable configuration of hillside and sump design associated with mass earth moving.

My last six months with Jack G. Raub Co. were spent as a superintendent for offsite construction. I had the privilege of providing hands-on construction management of various designs I produced in the office. This provided the distinct advantage of seeing first hand the result of any issues detrimental to construction built into my designs. The resolution of design problems during construction gave me tremendous insight into proper design to minimize cost and delay caused by unforeseen problems

(Return to Engineering Home Page)