Modern Tuscaloosa Pioneer, Founder of TTL Engineering Firm, Dies at 74
An engineer who had a hand in building some of Tuscaloosa's most iconic places died Sunday, his family has confirmed to the Tuscaloosa Thread.
After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in civil engineering, Jim Bambarger became the founder and sole employee of a construction material testing company now known as TTL, Inc. -- one of the city's largest and most influential engineering firms.
Bambarger's daughter, Leslie Abernathy, wrote a biography of the Tuscaloosa pioneer when he was admitted into the state of Alabama's Engineering Hall of Fame almost 20 ago, highlighting just some of his many accomplishments.
"Serving in his role as a geotechnical engineer, Bambarger helped Tuscaloosa secure the JVC facility, one of West Alabama’s first international manufacturing plants," Abernathy wrote. "In the mid-1990s, the decision by Mercedes-Benz to locate an automotive plant in Tuscaloosa County was a major economic achievement for Alabama. Bambarger served the project as TTL’s principal-in-charge of geotechnical and construction materials engineering for the million-square-foot plant and eventual expansions doubling its size. Other well-known Bambarger projects include the DCH Educational Tower, UA’s Angelo Bruno Business Library, UA’s Sewell-Thomas Stadium (baseball), UA’s interdisciplinary science building, and the expansions to the landmark Bryant-Denny Stadium."
Bambarger also did plenty of work outside the Tuscaloosa area -- Abernathy said Bambarger and TTL provided geotechnical engineering consulting and construction materials testing services for theTTL provided geotechnical engineering consulting and construction materials testing services for the celebrated Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium, the home of Minor League Baseball's Montgomery Biscuits.
Under Bambarger's leadership, TTL also grew into the firm it is today, with around 200 employees in three states and tens of millions of dollars in revenue each year.
Bambarger retired as the chairman of TTL's board of directors in 2006 and invested time and money into the development of future engineers, especially at the University of Alabama.
A service to memorialize Bambarger will be held Thursday at 12:00 p.m. at Magnolia Chapel South with visitation from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The family will have a private burial following his service.
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