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Tiberti Lecturer: Michael Loose

Thursday, December 11, 2014

KU Civil Engineering alumnus, Michael Loose delivered the 4th annual J.A. Tiberti Family Lecture on ethics, ingenuity, entrepreneurship and issues for education, personal growth and professional development on November 6, 2014. Mike Loose is a retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral and current Senior VP at Parsons Corporation. He has had an extraordinary career as a civil engineer, naval officer, and leader in the engineering profession. His topic was “Leadership.”

            “Before you lead others, you better know who you are” and “Empowerment comes from your passion” were important messages Loose gave to the full-house audience of faculty and students.

            The J.A. Tiberti Family Lecture series was established through the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering in 2011 with a gift to KU Endowment from the family of Jelindo Angelo Tiberti, who founded J.A. Tiberti Construction Co. in Las Vegas in 1950.

            Mike’s career started in the Naval Construction Force (Seabees) and progressed into acquisition, public works, and major staff positions. Over the years, Mike served at every level of responsibility available to a Navy civil engineer. His assignments included command of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FORTY, where he led an exhibitionary unit of 650 personnel on deployments to both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres in support of Naval Defense Operation Plans. Mike also served as the Facilities Officer for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, where he was instrumental in developing systems to determine the optimum investment levels to maintain facilities throughout the Pacific/Far Eastern Theatre. Later as Commanding Officer of the Navy Public Works Center and as the Navy Region Hawaii Program Manager for Regional Facilities, Environmental Programs, Safety, and Passenger Transportation, Mike Loose was a pioneer in combining the role of the area Public Works director with the area Regional Engineer function, creating powerful synergies that significantly improved planning, prioritization, and execution of engineering work.

            At the turn of the century, Mike Loose served as Vice Commander of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, where he demonstrated extraordinary leadership and initiative while leading 14,000 personnel and 22 subordinate commands and executing $8 billion in construction and facilities engineering work around the globe. He followed this assignment as Commander of the Atlantic Division of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, where he directed completion of nearly $3 billion worth of facilities, planning, design, construction, and support for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Joint commanders, and other Defense and U.S. Government agencies throughout the Atlantic, European, Mediterranean, Caribbean, African, and Arabian Gulf areas, in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Michael Loose spear-headed completion of critical construction and materials support in Southwest Asia valued at over $14 Million in a span of only five months. He also implemented a ground-breaking program to purchase construction materials in southern Iraq with U.S. dollars and provide crucial retro-grade facilities in Kuwait for the Seabees.

            In 2003, Mike Loose was assigned as Commander Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Chief of Civil Engineers, a position he filled for three years. He led over 16,500 men and women, providing a diverse array of engineering, planning, public works, construction management, environmental, real estate, and contracting serviced valued in excess of $8.5 billion to Navy installations around the world. He was also responsible for logistics and engineering support to the Naval Construction Force consisting of 22 Seabee battalions and four regiments actively engaged in the war on terrorism. As Chief of Civil Engineers, he led a community of over 1900 Civil Engineering Corps officers, both active and reserve. He was responsible for all aspects of the community’s training, development and employment in support of the Navy, Marine Corps, and other Department of Defense objectives. During his period as Commander of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mike Loose restructured 25 component field commands into 16 organizations completely aligned with the Navy’s new installation command structure, establishing a global matrix management structure that powerfully leveraged the use of world class, “best of breed” business practices that were exported to all elements of the organization.

            Michael Loose also played a critical role in the Navy’s response to the devastating hurricane season in 2005 and was instrumental in developing strategies to assess the extensive damage to numerous Navy and Federal installations resulting from hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. He led the planning effort to complete over $2 billion in repair work at Defense Installations on the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of the storms.

            At a point in his career when retirement appeared to be the next stage, his exceptional abilities prompted the Chief of Naval Operations to recommend his promotion to Vice Admiral and appointment as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, a post in which he served from 2007 to 2010. During this period he was responsible for the Navy’s energy, environment, and logistics programs and the maintenance of operational readiness of the Navy’s force structure, with expenditures totaling $32 billion a year. He also developed the investment strategy for 79 shore installations, valued at $159 billion, and directed the establishment of Task Force Energy and the Navy Energy Coordination Office.

            Following his retirement from the Navy, Mike Loose joined Parsons Corporation, as Senior Vice President and Manager of the Infrastructure and Environment Division, a post that he currently holds. In that position, he leads Parsons’ global infrastructure and environmental services, providing Federal Government clients with services including planning, design, engineering, construction management, programs/project management, commissioning, operations and maintenance, asset management, energy, disposal, demolition, and all aspects of environmental services.

            Throughout his career, Michael Loose has remained active in professional societies especially ASCE and the Society of American Military Engineers, where he is a Fellow and past National President. Mike was inducted in the National Academy of Construction in 2013 and as a Distinguished Member of ASCE in 2014. 

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