The National Academy of Construction has lost one of its senior members with the passing of David B, Luckenbill on July 18, 2014. Upon earning a degree in Applied Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1938, Dave began a 35-year career with Shell Chemical Company. At Shell Dave’s career included a diverse range of positions from plant manager to head synthetic rubber division to labor relations. Upon retiring from Shell in 1976, Dave became a consultant for Brown & Root, Inc traveling extensively throughout Asia for 10 years before becoming a consultant to the Business Roundtable.
In the early 1960’s the cost of construction in the United States started to rise dramatically. From 1965 and later, soaring construction costs were out of control. David Luckenbill was a pioneer in helping to reshape the practices of the industry for greater cost effectiveness. Luckenbill represented Shell Chemical Company on a task force organized by the National Chamber of Commerce in 1968. The recommendations of his task force resulted in the creation of the Construction Users Anti-Inflation Roundtable. Luckenbill’s impact in The Construction Users Anti-Inflation Roundtable worked to highlight the important role that owners could play in controlling construction costs. Luckenbill continued to represent Shell in a new group created in 1972, The Construction Roundtable. The Construction roundtables merger with two other management associations in 1973 formed the Business Roundtable made up of CEOs of some 200 major companies with a focus on a wide range of issues. Luckenbill was a charter member of the BRT Construction Committee.
Dave was one of the first people in the country to be assigned to work full time on improving the capital and major maintenance processes at his company and within the industry at large. During the Construction Industry Cost Effectiveness (CICE) effort, Dave was Chairman of the task force on Improvement of Construction Bargaining and the task force on Common Situs Picketing. In addition, he was a member of several other CICE task Forces. He provided leadership in those committees and taskforces and he was an active supporter for the Roundtable initiatives both within Shell and in the industry as a whole. Dave’s efforts have led to significant safety and productivity improvements in the U.S. Construction Industry since 1970.
Dave was an outspoken participant in construction committee discussions and received the highest personal and professional regard from his peers. He rarely missed an obligation or responsibility in hundreds of calls to duty during 20 years of industry leadership. Dave was inducted into the National Academy of Construction in 2001. We are all the beneficiary of Dave’s passions. Those that knew him and worked with him consider themselves fortunate and better for knowing him.