Charles I. Homan (‘65 BS)
Charles I. Homan a native of Keyser, W.Va., graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1965. In 1990, he completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School and the Management of Managers and Executive Management Training Programs at Pennsylvania State University.
Homan is president and chief executive officer of Michael Baker Corporation, a $500 million corporation that provides engineering, construction and operations and technical services worldwide.
Homan began his career as a junior municipal engineer with Baker in 1965. He learned at the local level that successful engineers need to know more than mathematics and physics, they need to understand the needs and objectives of their clients. Since then, he forged enduring relationships with clients like the Federal Emergency Management Agency, AT&T and the U.S. Navy. Homan rose through the ranks at Baker, with stops as a project manager on the construction of Three Rivers Stadium, principal in charge of the $750 million dollar Pittsburgh International Airport and head of the firm’s engineering division.
In October of 1994, Homan began his tenure as president and CEO. At the time, Baker was suffering losses tied to a money-losing subsidiary. Homan immediately restructured the company into five business units: buildings, civil, energy, environmental and transportation. He created these units to draw expertise together and better serve Baker’s clients. Homan also put an increased emphasis on project manager training and customer service. His training programs quickly became a model for the industry.
By the end of 1997, Baker had completed their turnaround and made large investments in their employees and internal infrastructure. Earnings rose to a record $5 million, up from $4.2 million in 1996, total contract revenues rose to a record $446 million and all of their business divisions were profitable. Today Baker employs more than 3,700 employees around the world.
Homan has received numerous awards and honors for his achievements including the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers’ State Engineer of the Year award for 1994 He serves as a director of several corporations and organizations including, the Greater Pittsburgh Council Boy Scouts of America, Passavant Memorial Homes, the Robert Morris College Board of Trustees, and is active in his church.
Homan and the Michael Baker Corporation have always been a resource to the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, especially the civil engineering program. WVU students have received comprehensive tours of Baker projects and offices; Baker is a faithful recruiter of WVU graduates; and Homan has returned to campus to speak at several college events.