Richard Weeks is chair of Weeks Marine Inc., a leading marine construction, dredging, and tunneling firm in North America. He follows in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who founded the New Jersey-based company in 1919. At that time, Weeks Stevedoring loaded and unloaded coal from cargo ships in the Port of New York, using just two floating cranes.

After serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, Weeks earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rutgers in 1950. He then returned to the family business, where he initiated expansion of the company into construction, salvage, and dredging work. In 1960 he became president of Weeks Marine and led the acquisition of related businesses and a global fleet of modern equipment.

Today, Weeks Marine’s business involves dredging, marine construction, and tunneling. It has confronted some of the most difficult challenges in its industry, including hauling two million tons of debris from the World Trade Center after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, salvaging the downed US Airways Flight 1549 from the Hudson River, and carrying the space shuttle Enterprise to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

At Weeks Marine, environmental stewardship is highly valued. Having recycled surplus vessels for use in its barge rental business, the company also hauled and intentionally sank hundreds of old New York City subway cars during the late 2000s, creating artificial reefs to boost fish populations. Its environmental division restores beaches, remediates pollution in rivers and ports, and retrofits facilities to mitigate contamination.

Weeks is a proud member of the Moles, an organization made up of heavy construction and tunneling professionals. In 2001 Weeks received the prestigious Moles Member Award. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey.

Richard Weeks’s dedication to his alma mater is inspiring. In 2011 he was awarded the Medal of Excellence by the Rutgers School of Engineering in recognition of his support for the Soil and Sediment Management Laboratory, where students assess environmentally responsible port dredging options.

In 2015 he made a $6 million gift to Rutgers for a state-of-the art facility that will house the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Scheduled for completion in 2017, the LEED-certified Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering is designed to strengthen the relationship between the university and New Jersey’s technology-based businesses while enhancing research and the education of future engineers.