Roll of Honor - Bernard E. Gray

Bernard Elbert Gray

Bernard E. Gray, one of the world’s foremost highway engineers, had a long and distinguished career with the Asphalt Institute, culminating in his election as President in 1947. As such, he led the International organization through a period of considerable growth until his retirement in 1954.

Mr. Gray was one of asphalt’s most effective publicists. He contributed many important informative articles to the highway engineering trade press and gave many addresses to most of that industry’s major conventions. He led in the establishment of comprehensive asphalt literature for both the engineer in the field and for the engineering student in the classroom.

He was also active in many other highway and engineering groups. He was a Director of the American Road Builders’ Association, A Trustee of the Automotive Safety Foundation and a Member of the Highway Research Board, the Vermont Engineering Society and the American Society of Engineers.

Mr. Gray’s outstanding work in highway construction began in his college days at Tufts when he worked during summer vacations for the Massachusetts Highway Commission. One summer he became interested in the use of asphalt for road construction after seeing an experiment in building dustless macadam roads with asphalt oil. After graduation, he joined the Commission full time as an Assistant Division Engineer engaged in building roads and bridges.

From 1916 to 1918 he was employed by the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads. After serving one year as an artillery officer in World War I, he rejoined the Bureau as Senior Highway Engineer in charge of several Federal Aid projects.

In 1921 Mr. Gray joined the West Virginia State Roads Commission, serving first as a division engineer and then as Chief Engineer of Maintenance. While with the Commission he contributed greatly to asphalt technology through his constant experimentation with macadam pavements.

He joined the Asphalt Institute in 1930 as Highway Engineer. Before becoming President he served in various other capacities, including Chief Highway Engineer, Chief Engineer, and General Manager.

Mr. Gray earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Tufts College in 1911. In  1935 he received an honorary degree from the same school.

Elected: 1965