In 1991, the Maryland Association of Engineers started a tradition of granting scholarships. The first scholarship was presented to the children of David Gordon of Whitman, Requardt & Associates, who was tragically killed during the holidays that year. The grant was in the form of bonds for his two children. Since then, MAE has granted scholarships each year to local high schools, that either select a student entering college for engineering, or provide a list of names to MAE’s scholarship committee for selection. In 1998, in memory of Richard H. Trainor, the Maryland Association of Engineers Dick Trainor Scholarship Fund was established.
In 1999, the fund became chartered and achieved 501(c)(3) status. The income from the fund finances the scholarships each year. Since the fund was started, MAE has awarded $158,500 to 55 students pursuing a career in an engineering field. Because of Dick Trainor’s contributions to the engineering profession, memorializing him with this fund continually reminds us all of our responsibility to give back some of the many benefits we have received. Other non-profit organizations that have received grants from the Fund include the rehabilitation of the B&O Railroad Museum and the MSHA Career Day.
Born and educated in Maryland, Dick Trainor earned a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and a certificate in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Dick was a 20-year veteran of the Maryland Air National Guard, achieving the rank of Captain.
His career in transportation spanned over 45 years and began in 1950 with the State Highway Administration (formerly State Roads Commission). His early experience included project engineer responsibilities on projects such as the Capital Beltway, Baltimore Beltway and the Jones Falls Expressway (JFX). In 1966, he became head of construction for the Interstate Division for Baltimore City (IDBC), a city/state agency responsible for planning, engineering and construction of the Interstate System in Baltimore City. In 1972, Dick became the Chief of IDBC, responsible for numerous projects such as the I-95 Fort McHenry Tunnel, I-395 and the Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard.
In 1978, Dick, at the request of then Mayor William Donald Schaefer, accepted the assignment as Deputy Director, Baltimore City Department of Public Works, where he was involved in a number of major projects such as the Convention Center Expansion, the National Aquarium, the Patapsco Waste Water Treatment Plant, and the modernization of Montebello Water Treatment Facility. In 1984, he became Commissioner of the City’s newly-formed Department of Transportation where he played a major role in the rehabilitation of the JFX.
Dick Trainor was sworn in as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation on June 11, 1987. At MDOT, Dick played a key role in the implementation of the Baltimore Central Light Rail project, along with major improvements at BWI, the Port of Baltimore and numerous major highway projects throughout Maryland.
Dick Trainor was a member and officer of a number of professional and philanthropic organizations, including the Maryland Association of Engineers, the America Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Highway Engineers, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Hot Line for Youth, Inc.
There's nothing I believe in more strongly than getting young people interested in science and engineering, for a better tomorrow, for all humankind. - Bill Nye