Hagos Ermias Andebrhan is our 2012 UMKC School of Computing and Engineering Alumni Achievement Award recipient In the early 1970s, Andebrhan escaped a bloody civil war in his native east African country of Eritrea. He came to the US to pursue a career as a pilot but soon discovered that airline positions were few and far between with a surplus of military pilots returning from the Vietnam War. So, he went to work. He joined Taliaferro & Browne, a local engineering firm, as a draftsman. He next chose civil engineering and attended classes at UMKC (part of a cooperative engineering program between the University of Missouri-Columbia and UMKC). “I entered into a mode of intense self-discipline and utter focus,” he said to Elemonline, an Eritrean lifestyle magazine. “In that period of time, I completed my BSc and master of science degrees as well as doctoral candidacy in civil engineering. At the same time, I also has a wife and young children to support and family in Eritrea to help – so I had to work fulltime.”
At UMKC, he formed a close relationship with fellow student Leonard Graham, who would eventually join him in purchasing Taliaferro & Browne, now in its 44th year. After Will Taliaferro’s death in 1990, the two jumped to the chance to own and operate their own firm . . . Today, the times are much better, as the firm enjoys a strong national reputation, numerous awards and participation in many high-profile construction projects. Recent Kansas City area projects include prime consultant for the Sprint Center, Troost MAX, IRS Service Center and the Power & Light District. For the full story, see UMKC Alumni Association News.