Robert J. Stamm, a successful local civil engineer and strong supporter of the University of New Mexico School of Engineering, the School of Architecture and Planning and UNM Athletics died Sunday, Dec. 14, in Albuquerque. He was 93.
Stamm was an Albuquerque native and received a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Civil Engineering in 1942. In 1946, he was hired by the construction contracting firm of O.G. Bradbury, just after he had completed a tour of duty as an engineering officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II. His active duty service included training at the U.S. Naval Academy in naval architecture. He retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve with the rank of commander.
Through the years, the firm of Bradbury Stamm Construction Company became a major force in New Mexico’s construction industry. Once called O.G. Bradbury Contractor, in 1958, the firm changed its name to Bradbury & Stamm Construction Co. Inc. (dropping the “&” in 1997), with Stamm as its vice president. In 1974, Stamm became president, chairman of the board and chief operating officer of the company. He retired in 1999 as chairman emeritus. Today, Bradbury Stamm is the largest general contractor in New Mexico, with nearly $120 million in New Mexico contract gross billings in 2013, according to the “Albuquerque Business First” list of general contractors.
Among other buildings at UNM, Bradbury Stamm built the Centennial Engineering Center, which opened in 2008. Centennial is the largest construction project ever on the UNM main campus. In addition, a room inside the building was named in Stamm’s honor. The Robert J. Stamm Commons, located on the first floor, is a major hub for engineering students, who use the space for study and collaboration. The room is also home to a variety of student-centered activities and School of Engineering community events.
Throughout his professional life, Stamm was actively involved in the School of Engineering, serving on the advisory council of the Department of Civil Engineering, the school’s Board of Visitors, the Regional Leadership Committee, and was instrumental in fund-raising for the Centennial Engineering Center.
In 2009, Stamm received an honorary doctorate in engineering from the University of New Mexico. School of Engineering Dean Joseph L. Cecchi wrote the following about Stamm in his letter to nominate Stamm for that award:
“Perhaps most significantly, Bob is an outstanding role model for students, particularly in his integrity and commitment to ethical practice. His career clearly demonstrates the value and importance of creative leadership in the engineering profession. … Bob’s contributions in this regard are greatly amplified by the positive effect he has on influencing others to help as well.”
Stamm received a Regents’ Medal from UNM and spearheaded the campaign for the passage of Senate Bill 14, which resulted in several million dollars in matching endowment funds for UNM. He served on the UNM Foundation board and chaired UNM’s first capital campaign. In addition to Centennial Engineering Center, he was also instrumental in raising funds for George Pearl Hall.
Stamm received many honors and awards for his civic, philanthropic and professional efforts. In 1991, he was selected as the “most admired executive” by the Private 100, an elite group of executives of the largest-privately owned companies in New Mexico. In 2001, he received the Albuquerque Samaritan Counseling Center award for Ethics in Business. He also chaired New Mexico’s Commission on Higher Education. Stamm was recognized locally and regionally for his contributions to the growth of the Albuquerque community in support of diverse interests in causes and organizations ranging from business, UNM sports, entrepreneurship, the arts, youth, healthcare and engineering.