Two civil engineering alums named to firms’ top spots

Two civil engineering graduates have been appointed to leadership roles in their companies.

E. Surface

Elizabeth “Ibba” Surface (B.E.’78) is the new president of Ross Bryan Associates Inc. and the first woman to lead the 67-year-old Nashville-based structural engineering firm.

Bryan Tharpe (B.E.’94) has been named division vice president of Gresham, Smith and Partners’ building engineering division.

An experienced engineer, Surface has worked in all service lines of the firm since joining Ross Bryan Associates in 1979 as an engineering intern. She has served on the company’s board of directors since 2004.

Surface is a registered professional engineer in Tennessee, 19 additional states and the District of Columbia. She sits on the board of directors for the Tennessee and Middle Tennessee chapters of the American Council of Engineering Companies. She also serves on the external advisory committee for Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt.

B. Tharpe

Tharpe most recently managed GS&P’s structural department where he focused on quality assurance/quality control, manpower assignments and deadline management. He has more than 20 years of experience in design and analysis of structural systems with a specialty in health care and aviation projects.

In his new role, Tharpe, P.E., will focus on providing efficiencies to design approach and operational leadership for GS&P’s structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical engineering disciplines.

Tharpe is a member of the Tennessee Structural Engineers Association and the American Institute of Steel Construction.

At Vanderbilt, he currently teaches a graduate-level course in building information modeling. The course involves generation and management of building data during its life cycle. It includes three-dimensional, real-time and dynamic modeling to increase productivity in building design and construction.

Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Twitter @VUEngineering