Robert Perkins

Robert Perkins


Contribute to the public health and welfare by accurately evaluating risks and communicating them to the public: health risks to persons, risks to the environment, and financial risks of construction contracting methods and projects. Adapt information and methods from warmer climates to cold regions.


  • 1994, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Curriculum in Toxicology. Ph.D. Dissertation title: The Toxicokinetics of Inhaled Methanol.
  • 1983, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Master of Science in Engineering Management.
  • 1977, University of Alaska, Anchorage. Master of Civil Engineering.
  • 1972, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida. Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering.

Service and Awards

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Advisor Award, Masters-level Mentoring (2003)
  • President of the Fairbanks Chapter, Alaska Society of Professional Engineers (ASPE),(1998)
  • Fairbanks Chapter, ASPE, Engineer of the Year Award.(1989)
  • Fairbanks Rotary Club, President's Award.(1988)
  • Alaska Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers, Land Surveyors, Member. (1984-1989)

Professional Experience

  • 2009 -present University of Alaska Fairbanks, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • 1999-2009 University of Alaska Fairbanks, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Teaching and research in environmental engineering and engineering management. Coordinator of the Engineering and Science Management Program. Current research work includes risks in Alaskan construction projects, alternate contracting strategies for governments, and evaluation of the sustainability of rural utility systems. Recent research includes an evaluation of the toxicity of oil dispersants to Alaska marine organisms and public involvement in engineering and science decisions.
  • 1995-1998 Fairbanks Resident Office, U. S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Industrial Hygienist. Health and Safety Officer for the Corps' hazardous, toxic and radioactive waste (HTRW) operations in interior, and north and west coastal, Alaska. HTRW projects averaged about 15 per year with a total dollar value of about 20 million. Duties included writing and implementing the Safety and Health Plan for the office, training, overseeing the medical examination program, and review of contractor's work plans, safety plans and chemical sampling and analysis plans. Work required travel to rural Alaska and some interaction with public interest groups in those locations. Collateral duties included being the Environmental Compliance Coordinator
  • 1990-1995 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine, Curriculum in Toxicology, student/research assistant.
  • 1990-1995 Arctic Slope Consulting Group (ASCG), Manager of Environmental Services, and,
  • 1983-1989 ASCG, Manager of Fairbanks, Alaska, Office. Administrative manager of a branch office of an A/E firm. Technical manager of civil and environmental engineering work. Contract project manager for the local borough, managed 20 projects, including parks and building renovations. Civil engineering included utilities, roads and airfield work. A/E work included buildings and aircraft hangers. Construction manager for a 10 million dollar expansion of the refinery at North Pole, Ak. State-wide manager of environmental work, including site evaluations and design of remediations, and construction management including inspection and industrial hygiene evaluations of hazardous material demolitions.
  • 1982-1983 Self-employed engineering consultant, Fairbanks, Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation on-site water and wastewater inspections. Construction management and inspection work.
  • 1979-1981 Gulf Interstate Engineering Corp. (GIEC). Alaska representative of Joint Venture (JV with Michael Baker Corp.) to design the Alaska portion of the Northwest Alaska Gas Pipeline. Cost and Schedule engineering for JV, manager of Alaskan pipeline engineering field programs for GIEC. Responsibilities included budgeting and reporting with simultaneous responsibilities to several levels of both the client's and JV's organizations.
  • 1972-1979 Various engineering assignments: Texas, Alaska, California, and Nigeria (West Africa). Work included management, design engineering, cost and schedule, and planning for pipeline, environmental, industrial and marine projects.

Research Interests

  • Economic risks of construction contracting.
  • Practical project management applied to construction projects.
  • Risk assessments, human health effects and ecological effects, in extreme environments.
  • Risk management and risk analysis of environmental remediation projects including benefit-cost analysis.
  • Risk communications and public acceptance of environmental and engineering projects.

Professional Affiliations

  • Registered Civil Engineer, Alaska (1977).
  • Registered Civil Engineer, California (1976).
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (1996).
  • Alaska Society of Professional Engineers (1979).
  • Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers (M-1972, F - 2000).
  • Certified Industrial Hygienist 1988-2006 (Retired status).


  • Sources of Changes in Design-Build Contracts for a Governmental Owner, Robert A. Perkins, PICMET 2007 Conference Proceedings, August 2007.
  • Comparative Marine Toxicity Testing: A Cold-water Species and Standard Warm-water Test Species Exposed to Crude Oil and Dispersant. Perkins R.A., Rhoton, S., and Behr-Andres, C. Cold Regions Science and Technology, Volume 42, Number 3 (November 2005), pp. 226-236.
  • "Survey Seeks to Identify Construction Industry Research Needs." Robert A. Perkins. Alaska Designs, 27(7), July 2004.
  • Creating and Interpreting Alaska's Highway Construction Cost Index. Krause, F.; Perkins. R. Proceedings of the Cold Regions Engineering & Construction Conference, Edmonton, May 2004.
  • Strategies to Minimize Cost and Time Overruns in Alaska's Highway Construction Field: an analytical Approach. Krause, F.; Perkins. R. (2004) Proceedings of the Cold Regions Engineering & Construction Conference, Edmonton, May. 2004
  • How to decrease Construction Cost Overruns in Environments Where Conditions Keep Changing. Krause, F.; Perkins. R. (2004) Proceedings of the PICMET '04 Conference (Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology), Seoul, Korea, Aug. 2004
  • Introduction of Web-based Collaborative Project Management in Alaska. Krause, F.; Perkins. R. (2003) Proceedings of the PICMET '03 Conference (Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology), Portland, Jul. 2003.
  • Five Year Engineering Degree Gains Momentum. (2003) Robert A. Perkins, PE, Alaska Designs, 25(8) September 2002.
  • Demolition of Gypsum Wallboard with Asbestos-containing Mastic. Perkins, R.A., and Hargesheimer J. (2002). ASCE, Practice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste. 6 (4) 235-243.
  • "Ground Temperatures Across the Old and New Roads at Mile 130, Richardson Highway during 1954-1962." Jin, H., M. Brewer, and R. Perkins. (2002) Proc. 11th Int'l Conf. on Cold Regions Engineering.
  • "Professor Explores Modes, Future of "Distance Education."" Perkins, R.A., (2001) Alaska Designs, Vol 24, No. 8, September 2001.
  • "A Cold-Weather Species' Response to Chemically Dispersed Fresh and Weathered Alaska North Slope Crude Oil." Rhoton, S.L., Perkins, R.A., Braddock, J.F., and Behr-Andres, C. (2001) Proceedings of the 2001 International Oil Spill Conference, Tampa, Florida.
  • "Acoustic Monitoring of Airfield Operations" (2001) Robert A. Perkins and Frank J. Toth, a report to the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, Northern Regions Planning Department, May 2001
  • "EQE 693, Environmental Risk Assessment, Teaching an Engineering Graduate Course Using Web-based Pedagogy: Methods, Results, and Costs." R. A. Perkins (2001).
  • "Selection of Potential Cold Water Marine Species for Toxicity Testing of Oil, Dispersants, and Chemically Dispersed Oil." R. A. Perkins (2000) Proceedings of the 23 Arctic and Marine Oilspill Program, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  • Risk Assessment of Vapors in Cold Regions. Perkins, R. A. (1996). Proceedings of the Eight International conference on Cold regions Engineering. American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, N.Y.