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Clark R. Milne, PE



BS Industrial Engineering, Cornell ’73; then MS Engineering Management, UAF ’77 and also MS Civil Engineering, UAF ’77



Wife:  Karen Ann Milne; Tana Martin (33),

Abe Milne (29), and Sarah Milne (25)


Current Occupation:

Mining Practice Leader for DOWL HKM, the largest Engineering Consulting firm based in Alaska!  Have spent 38 years since 1976 as a Civil and Environmental Engineer working all over Alaska – having fun, doing construction and transportation work, involved with many projects that really benefit our citizens!


How many years with UAF Fire Department?

Just one year, from summer 1976 through to summer 1977 when I graduated and left town  for a while.  (had a great summer and year, and was only allowed in because Buck Whitaker thought I’d be useful to the Department.  So he told me.  Maybe he was right?)



What is your favorite memory, story, experience at UAF Fire Hall?

Several things come to mind, because being at the Firehall was different than anything I did ever again.  I came to Drill every week, and qualified as Engineer (drove the Ladder Truck), as well as takingclass to be able to serve as an EMT.  I remember rather clearly driving too fast along Chena Pump Road on the way to an ambulance response, and having to be “talked down” by others – “we need to get there alive!”, they said.  Held the nozzle for initial entry at a residential Collegetown fire, and was stopped briefly from moving in (by Leary) over a live electrical wire that had dropped in our path as we proceeded to enter the building. (you get so focused, I didn’t see it!)  Entered the townhouse and had to back out fairly quickly because it was absolutely totally involved, burning to beat the band. (there was an inhalation death in a back bedroom that night, which hurt to know, later)  Also remember the fun and pride of competing in the (then annual) local Fire Competition, participating in the ladder climb with UAF team, including Jerry Philips.  We didn’t win, but the professionals in town were worried about the youth and power on our team.  Worth mentioning that I also remember the “game” of “who will the four guys who stay in-house be tonight” during weekends, and evenings, when we had to cover the Firehall’s responsibilities, and assure sufficient response if/when a call came.   Sometimes I couldn’t leave, because I was one of the four on call.  But I was 25 and “grown up”, it was the capable, feisty but honorable 19 and 20-year olds that chose to stay available and meet their promises, despite the personal sacrifice involved, that impressed me then, and still does.  Lastly I’ll reminisce that I told a small group of Firehall guys about my efforts to force the Feds my filing of a homestead application for 150 acres of federal ground.  I didn’t tell anyone else, but close family.  I made it too – handled my own lawyering through a memorable session with a BLM Administrative Law Judge, and was finally allowed to settle on an entry site out south of Manley Hot Springs, in 1980. I completed the acts necessary (aided by the passage of ANILCA) and got my 150 acres.  I’m the last federal homesteader in the entire country – encouraged onward by the Firehall guys. 


Brief History/Biography: 

Born in Harvey, Illinois on April 17, 1951 and grew up there and LaGrange, graduated from high school in Illinois.  Went to college at prestigious Cornell University, and worked as an Industrial Engineer (essentially an “efficiency expert”) for Eaton Corporation for a couple of years, working at Eaton manufacturing plants at four different states and enjoying every minute.  But was drawn to Alaska in 1975 (while the Pipeline was still under construction) because I wanted to go on to graduate school, while I still “could”, I had no special constraints (marriage, kids, responsibilities) to tie me down.  Came north to UAF, survived the winter, and decided to spend the summer of 1976 at the Firehall; with Buck, Leary, Schechter + array of wild “kids”.  Great time, learned a lot, and came to highly admire the entire program.  There’s been nothing to change my mind about the value of UAF Firehall in the last several decades, just proof that it shaped me and hundreds of other willing youngsters for good purposes.  I’ve had various engineering roles here in Alaska through the years, and feel I’ve “made a difference” in particular with leadership of MathCounts and 13 years of work at Maintenance section for the NR DOT&PF.  Hooray for the UAF Firehall.