Wen-Jo "Walter" Chiang: His Celebrated Legacy
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Walter Chiang, Founder of CP&Y and nationally known leader in civil engineering, passed away on Friday, August 7 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 76 years old.
Walter was an extraordinary man who lived a life devoted to the improvement of environmental services and the civil engineering discipline. He had a passion for teaching and mentoring others and helped to inspire countless individuals throughout his distinguished 50-plus year career. His area of expertise was in water and wastewater treatment plants, specializing in water quality assessments, process design, treatability studies, pilot plant studies, and alternative treatment technologies.
Walter received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1967 from Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan. He came to Texas in 1968 where he was an Engineering Research Assistant at the University of Texas at Austin and went on to receive his Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering in 1970. He also served as a long-time adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Arlington and was a member of its Civil Engineering Advisory Board.
On October 1, 1980, Walter started his own firm, Chiang and Associates, Inc., where it would later become known as CP&Y, Inc., located in Dallas, Texas. Under Walter’s leadership, CP&Y flourished and has grown to nearly 400 employees across 15 different locations. He also previously served as the former Chairman of the Board of CP&Y, Inc. He will best be remembered by his colleagues for his kindness, his warmth, his humility, his dedication, and his passion for teaching others. He had the ability to light up the room with his presence, put people at ease with his unique sense of humor, and he constantly showed a deep interest and enthusiasm for all employees. Up until recently, he would still go into the office nearly every day and take the time to connect to employees and mentor countless others. He touched so many lives at CP&Y, and the incredible joy he brought to so many with his presence will be cherished for a lifetime. Walter’s legacy will forever remain a tremendous example of someone who continued to make exemplary progress and find purpose in meaningful and passionate work.
The impact he had on the engineering community was also immeasurable. For Walter, business was personal, and he had a unique ability to connect with people through his genuine compassion for others and profound commitment to the mission of helping communities. Walter was a highly esteemed leader in the engineering community and well-regarded across many professional circles. He was an active member of many professional associations and continued to play a significant role in client development. A well-known global leader and lecturer, he also published dozens of technical papers and co-authored several books. He won numerous awards and accolades, including the Hall of Achievement Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Texas; a Lifetime Achievement award from the Water Environment Association of Texas; the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Texas; and the US Immigrant Entrepreneur Award from North Texas.
Walter is survived by his wife, Sylvia; his son Darrell and wife Tricia; and his grandson, Ethan. A virtual memorial service will be planned in the future to celebrate Walter and his extraordinary life.