Sidney O. Dewberry, PE, LS

Chairman Emeritus and Founder

Sidney O. Dewberry had overseen the operations and growth of Dewberry since he co-founded the firm in 1956 until his passing on Saturday, July 16, 2022. As chairman emeritus and member of the board of directors, he was involved in the day-to-day management of the organization, while also devoting much of his time to advancing the practice of the planning, engineering, and surveying professions. Mr. Dewberry was involved in a number of civic, charitable, and academic endeavors and is widely known as an industry leader in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Long recognized for his commitment to professional leadership, Mr. Dewberry was a founding member and former chairman of the highly acclaimed Engineers & Surveyors Institute. This breakthrough organization was established to foster increased collaboration and cooperation between private-sector engineers and local review agencies, through joint training sessions and a rigorous certification program designed to enhance the plan preparation, review, and approval process. The program is a model for government-industry partnerships and has contributed extensively to projects for public benefit.

Mr. Dewberry was also a founding member of the George Mason University Urban Systems Engineering Institute, now known as the Civil Engineering Institute, which supports the university’s specialized programs in advanced urban systems planning and design. He served as chairman-emeritus of the institute helping guide the development of this unique educational program. The Civil Engineering Department at George Mason University is named the Sid & Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering Department to reflect the role Mr. Dewberry played in establishing and supporting the department. George Mason University is the largest public research university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and ranks near the top in student enrollment.

His commitment to higher education was also reflected in his former position as rector emeritus of the George Mason University Board of Visitors and his past appointment to the Governor’s Commission for the Future of Higher Education in Virginia. Mr. Dewberry was also a member of the Virginia Business-Higher Education Council and previously served as a trustee of the George Mason University Foundation.

Leadership activities also include having served on the board of The Greater Washington Board of Trade, as chairman of the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Advisory Council for District 6 (Northern Virginia), as a director of the Air & Space Heritage Council, and as a member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance. Mr. Dewberry was the former chairman of the Arlington County, Virginia, Planning Commission and the former chairman of the Fairfax County, Virginia, Engineering Standards Review Committee.

Mr. Dewberry’s interest in community development led him to co-author the Land Development Handbook—describing technical, legal, social, and regulatory requirements for community development. The first edition of this conventional and widely used handbook was published by McGraw-Hill in 1995, followed by the second in 2002 and the third, the “Green” edition, in 2008. Released in 2019, the fourth edition expanded the resource from one book to three, focusing on design, business, and construction. Mr. Dewberry again served as editor-in-chief.

After attending two years at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Mr. Dewberry transferred to George Washington University, where he held a BS in civil engineering. He was presented with GWU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1991 and was inducted into the university’s School of Engineering Hall of Fame in 2009. In May 2014, he was presented with an honorary doctorate from Old Dominion University. Mr. Dewberry was the recipient of the Virginia Economic Bridge Initiative’s Leadership Award, both the Captain of Industry Award and the James Reese Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, the Founders Award from the Northern Virginia Community Foundation and was inducted into the Washington Business Hall of Fame in 2007. He was named “Northern Virginian of the Year” by New Dominion magazine and honored as a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was presented with the Northern Virginia Family Service Legends of Northern Virginia Award in 2014. He was inducted into the Arlington (Chamber of Commerce) Business Hall of Fame in 2015. He considers one of his highest achievements to be a recipient of the George Mason University Mason Medal.

View Mr. Dewberry's obituary


Read about the company's history in The Dewberry Way