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Feb 17 2021

ASCE Legends hosting John Fornek on Feb. 17

ASCE Legends

February 17, 2021

7:30 PM - 8:30 PM


Online via Zoom


Chicago, IL 60612

The UIC student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers is hosting its monthly ASCE Legends event with John Fornek on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom.

Fornek was born and raised on the southwest side of Chicago, and received a B.S. in civil engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1973. After receiving his BSCE, he accepted a position with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County as a field/construction engineer. While working on the construction of a pedestrian overpass, he became interested in foundations and left the district to pursue a master of science in civil engineering from Northwestern University, specializing in geotechnical engineering.

Following the completion of his graduate studies in 1976, Fornek worked briefly for the Federal Aviation Administration. During this time, he took the civil service exam for an engineering position at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD). He began working at the MWRD in the Engineering Department and was later promoted to a position in the Research and Development Department. In 1984, Fornek accepted a position with Wang Engineering, a small Geotechnical/Environmental consulting firm in the western suburbs of Chicago. While there, he gained experience working alongside drill rigs, logging samples, performing lab analysis, and writing reports.

The demands of starting a family caused him to leave the consulting business and seek employment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District. Fornek remained with the Chicago District for 18 years where he advanced to a senior geotechnical design engineer. Significant project design work included the Chicago Shoreline Protection project, Little Calumet River Flood Control project, and Chicago Underflow O’Hare Reservoir. In 2006, Fornek transferred to the Chicago regional office of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) where he advanced to the position of senior project manager in the Division of Dam Safety and Inspections. Throughout his career he was a registered professional engineer in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Fornek retired from the FERC in 2016 after nearly 40 years of public service. During this time, he received a number of recognitions including nominations for Federal Employee of the Year in 1993 and Federal Engineer of the Year in 1996. In 2015 he was awarded Life Member status by the American Society of Engineers Illinois Section.

Please direct any questions to

Additional meeting information:
Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 814 5630 7500
Passcode: 4YrSr1N8



Date posted

Apr 27, 2021

Date updated

Apr 27, 2021