The American Lighthouse Foundation’s “Distinguished Lighthouse Community Service Award” is designed to honor one individual each year who has contributed in significant fashion to the mission of the American Lighthouse Foundation as a professional or in a volunteer capacity. The 2017 recipient is Duncan Mellor, P.E.
Duncan Mellor, P.E., has been a true friend to Whaleback Lighthouse and a valued partner to the American Lighthouse Foundation (ALF) and its local chapter – Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses (FPHL), since his first involvement with our organization in 2011.
Presently, ALF/FPHL is working to raise funds for a $300,000 dock project at Whaleback Lighthouse that will eventually prove to be a unique achievement at a wave-swept site – but one that would not be possible without the dedicated help of Duncan.
Duncan Mellor leads Tighe & Bond’s coastal engineering services with more than 30 years of experience in the profession. Clients throughout New England know him well for his role in complex coastal projects, and all types of shoreline and waterfront challenges.
Duncan’s exclusive waterfront experience includes a solid technical background in civil and ocean engineering, as well as structural and geotechnical engineering. He provides design, permitting and construction of structures built along shorelines, waterways, ports and harbors. He has engineered piers, wharves, seawalls, bulkheads, quay walls, revetments, breakwaters, groins, dams, bridges, parks, marinas, dredging & dredge material beneficial reuse, beach nourishment. He has also overseen unique projects – that have required highly creative solutions – such as tidal turbines, offshore structures, lighthouses, and historic structures.
His engineering prowess with offshore structures and breakwaters has made his involvement at Whaleback Lighthouse, which is owned by ALF and managed by FPHL, a natural fit. In 2011, ALF was seeking technical guidance for developing plans to repair the two granite breakwaters at Whaleback and for a design of a docking system – complete with walkways/gangway that would achieve both the approval of the Federal Government and our organizational goals for safe public access.
The individual that came the most highly recommended for the project was Duncan Mellor, P.E. His professional talents and demeanor were quite evident from the outset, but what has set Duncan apart from many other professionals is his uncommon commitment to a lighthouse like Whaleback that extends well beyond services rendered.
Over the years, Duncan has made numerous site visits to Whaleback, assessing the layout and condition of the breakwaters, observing how sea conditions impact the area around the lighthouse and compiling vital measurements and data that would lead to the creation of engineering drawings and a scope of work for a complex three-phase project. He has also made multiple inquiries to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection on behalf of ALF to ensure that when the time comes for the project to begin, the proper approvals / permits are in place.
In addition, Duncan has exhibited a tremendous amount of patience in a project that often times can only be described as “hurry up and wait.” Despite a number of bureaucratic delays during the review and approval process, Duncan has “stayed the course.”
From 2011 through the present, Duncan has not only provided unparalleled professional engineering experience to ALF/FPHL at Whaleback Lighthouse, he has done so in the most generous way possible – donating his expertise throughout the entire process!
This amazing contribution of professional services combined with his unwavering dedication over the past seven years exemplifies what the American Lighthouse Foundation’s “Distinguished Community Service Award” represents. Congratulations to Duncan Mellor, P.E., and thank you for your amazing efforts!