Bill’s engineering career began at 19 years old. Bill surveyed in oil fields, staking oil locations for former President George Bush Sr. He honed his engineering skills building roads in the 38th Parallel in the Korean War from 1950 to 1954 and was in the Army Reserves from 1954 to 1981. He retired as full colonel.
After his military career, he studied at Texas Tech University, where he met Tex Kidwell. They shared an engineering class, eventually meeting up again as co-workers at PSC. Tex, who later became a firm principal, was hired in fall 1954; Bill went to work in the Lubbock office in January 1955.
Bill transferred to El Paso in 1965 for his first project which was to move property of Fort Bliss out of the way of the freeway for the installation of water, sewer, gas, and electric cables to White Sands. Among other well-known projects was the 16-mile Mesa Drain improvements, which involved converting agricultural drains to storm drains. This is the El Paso office’s longest project. Another project Bill also was part of involved a 12-mile pipeline from a Northeast 1 MG ground storage tank to the El Paso Electric Power Plant in Newman, Texas. This project furnished 1 million gallons of tertiary treated wastewater per day to the power plant. In his four decades at PSC, he worked on all of PSC’s water and wastewater reclamation plant projects, including designing pipelines, storm drainage paving and water tanks.
Bill was involved in the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies and for approximately 10 years was on the National Board of Engineer Governors. He has been a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers as well as the National Society of Professional Engineers since 1974. He was a member of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers for 37 years as well.
Apart from being an engineer, Bill is also an artist. Bill, a life member and a past president of the El Paso Art Association, is also a signature member of the Rio Bravo Watercolorists and the Southwestern Watercolor Society. He was welcomed into the Artist Hall of Fame by the El Paso International Museum of Art in 1997. Five of Bill’s paintings hang in the reception area of the El Paso office today.
*Feature Image: Bill Bissell pictured in right corner working at the Lubbock office.