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Marburger wins engineering leadership award

Release Date: July 1, 2008

Southfield, Mich. Richard E. Marburger, president emeritus of Lawrence Technological University, is the winner of the inaugural Harold Slaight Ellington Leadership Award presented by the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) and national design firm Harley Ellis DevereaNamed after the national design firm’s founder, the award honors an individual who has demonstrated a continuum of outstanding leadership on behalf of ESD and its communities. Marburger, a past president of ESD, was honored at the organization’s annual awards banquet June 12.

Marburger has served over 42 years at Lawrence Tech and was president from 1977 to 1993. He continues to volunteer as an academic advisor and tutor. His scientific career spans 50 years and includes tenures at General Motors Research Laboratories and the Air Force.

Marburger initiated the return of graduate programs to Lawrence Tech and led the change of status from an institute of technology to a university in 1989. During his 17 years with the General Motors Research Laboratories, he made many contributions to technology, including the development of X-ray diffraction techniques.

“Like Harold Slaight Ellington, Dr. Marburger’s contributions to the industry, the Engineering Society of Detroit, and the community are many. He is a gifted teacher and mentor, and we celebrate his leadership throughout the decades,” said Dennis King, FAIA, chairman and CEO of Harley Ellis Devereaux. 

Elected president of ESD in 1934, Ellington is remembered for saving the society from collapse during the Great Depression. With over half of the society’s members out of work, Ellington led restructuring and fundraising efforts that resulted in the financial support of the Rackham Engineering Fund and explosive growth from 523 active members in 1930 to 2,396 in 1938.

Marburger is the first recipient of this award. He will receive an honorary plaque, and Harley Ellis Devereaux will make a contribution to Lawrence Tech’s College of Engineering in his name.

Harley Ellis Devereaux is an award-winning, full-service organization offering a complete range of planning, architecture, engineering, interior architecture, landscape architecture and construction services. The firm works extensively throughout the Midwest and southern California with offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Riverside and San Diego. The 500-person organization also offers a series of specialty services through its partner companies: Spectrum Strategies – strategic planning, operational consulting, program management, technology and asset management; GreenWorks Studio – sustainable design and building commissioning; Crime Lab Design – forensic facilities design; and HED Build – construction and design/build services. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the firm’s excellence in architectural design and engineering that dates back to 1908. 

Founded in 1895, the Engineering Society of Detroit is a multi-disciplinary society uniting engineering, scientific and allied professions to enhance professional development and foster excitement in math and science to produce our next generation of leaders. Serving this generation of engineers and fostering the next. For more information, visit

Lawrence Technological University,, offers over 80 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes 75 years ago, and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus is in Southfield, with education centers in Lansing, Livonia, Clinton Township, Traverse City and Petoskey. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.