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Engineer’s discoveries live on

Remembrance: Valencia man’s changes to state building codes are still implemented today

Posted: June 1, 2010 10:00 p.m.
Updated: June 2, 2010 6:00 a.m.

Richard Tibbetts Frankian, a groundbreaking engineer whose calculations and discoveries shaped much of the state building code for decades to come, died May 22 of a heart ailment in Port Alberni, British Columbia. He was 81.

Many Los Angeles County residents — including everyone in Valencia — live in a development, drive over bridges or work in a setting that had Frankian’s engineering touch.

A world-class leader in the area of slope stability, Frankian was the primary geotechnical consultant for three of the largest development projects in the history of Los Angeles County: Newhall Land Development Inc.’s Valencia and Newhall Ranch, and Calabasas’ Albertson Ranch.

Frankian was known as an innovator in his field. His work in slope stability, drainage pipes and expansive soils brought higher levels of safety, speed and cost savings to construction projects while also modernizing the state codes.

Frankian was preceded in death by Joeann, his wife of 35 years, who died in 1985. He is survived by Rosemary, his wife of 17 years, his six children and four stepchildren.

A service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the First Presbyterian Church of Burbank, 521 East Olive Ave., Burbank, with a reception immediately following.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the R.T. Frankian Memorial Scholarship Fund can be mailed c/o R. T. Frankian & Associates, 1329 Scott Road, Burbank 91504.


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