Montana State University

Ralph Prussing inducted into Montana Professional Engineers Hall of Fame

November 28, 2011 -- MSU News Service


Ralph L. "Roy" Prussing, a mechanical engineer who started his engineering career by hanging his shingle in Billings in 1946, was inducted into the Montana Professional Engineers Hall of Fame on Nov. 2.    High-Res Available

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Ralph L. "Roy" Prussing, a mechanical engineer who started his engineering career by hanging his shingle in Billings in 1946, was inducted into the Montana Professional Engineers Hall of Fame on Nov. 2.

Prussing's plaque now hangs alongside other hall-of-famers at the College of Engineering at Montana State University, an institution on which he left his mark. Prussing's mechanical engineering portfolio includes MSU's Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, Marsh Labs, Reid Hall, Hapner Hall, Hannon Hall, North Hedges Hall, South Hedges Hall, Roskie Hall, and the Heating Plant.

Prussing, an Illinois native, passed away in 1983.

Doug Brekke, past-president of the Montana Society of Engineers, said Prussing left a substantial legacy in Montana.

"He is one of those guys who, if you're in engineering, you've probably heard his name many times," Brekke said.

Prussing had a hand in projects of nearly every stripe, from nips and tucks to ground-up construction, from buildings housing Montana businesses and fraternal organizations to prominent public buildings across the state and beyond.

For nearly a quarter century Prussing ran his own engineering firm, R. L. Prussing Engineers in Billings. Then in 1970 he moved over to be vice president and manager of the building and general engineering division for Associated P&C Engineers. Prussing was a mentor to mechanical engineers who went on to form Associated Construction Engineering.

Prussing served as mechanical engineer for numerous new and remodel projects in Billings: Parmly Library, Hart Albin, J.C. Penney, Vaughn-Ragsdale, Kasper's Photo, AT&T Dial Exchange, KGHL Radio, KULR Television, The Billings Gazette, Colborn School Supply, Cushing and Terrell (CTA) Office, Midland National Bank, St. Vincent Hospital, Billings Clinic, Hotel General Custer, Northern Hotel, Esquire Motel, Dude Rancher Lodge, Eagles Lodge, Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, Shrine Temple, American Lutheran Church, First Congregational UCC Church, Billings Senior High School, Rocky Mountain College Library and Student Union, and Alterowitz Gymnasium at MSU-Billings.

Prussing's work had his hand in projects for public schools in 47 Montana communities; numerous medical facilities; and dial exchange telephone switching facilities in 31 locations across the state.

In addition to government projects in Montana - Custer National Battlefield Museum, Glasgow Air Force Base, Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility Administration Building in Miles City, University of Montana Heating Plant, Missoula County Courthouse, Montana State Capitol renovation, Montana State Hospital Heating Plant in Warm Springs - Prussing was also involved in projects in Wyoming and North Dakota.

The Montana Professional Engineers Hall of Fame, which is housed at MSU's College of Engineering, is sponsored by the Montana Society of Engineers to honor those who have made significant contributions to the development of Montana and the engineering profession.

Previous inductees into the Montana Professional Engineers Hall of Fame include John H. Morrison, Ben F. Hurlbut, W. Paul Schmechel, Leland J. Walker, Harold S. "Sonny" Hanson, Robert L. Sanks, Eldon R. Dodge, Joseph A. Maierle, Willis J. Wetstein, Daniel T. Berube, W. J. Bennington, and Fred F. Videon.

More information on the Montana Society of Engineers is available at www.mtengineers.org.

Doug Brekke, Montana Society of Engineers at 406-932-5400 ordlb@5400.tv