Charles C. Schimpeler was born in Louisville, Kentucky on August 5, 1939. He lived with his father, mother and two sisters in Anchorage, Kentucky until age 9 when the family moved to Pewee Valley, Kentucky. He attended St. Aloysius Grade School in Pewee Valley (grades 1 through 7); St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Bardstown (grade 8); St. Xavier High School (grades 9 through 11); and, Eastern High School, Jefferson County, (grade 12). Dr. Schimpeler entered the Civil Engineering program at the University of Kentucky in the fall of 1956 as a Highway Scholarship student, and graduated in the spring of 1960. He continued at UK teaching a number of structural engineering courses while earning a Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 1962.
Dr. Schimpeler began his professional career with the Kentucky Department of Highways serving on the construction staff as assistant resident engineer and then resident engineer. In 1964, the DOH transferred him to the Louisville Metropolitan Comprehensive Transportation and Development Program. Inspired by this new discipline of Urban Transportation Planning, he enrolled at Purdue University in 1965 and earned his Ph.D. in Transportation and Urban Engineering from the School of Civil Engineering in 1967. He also served as technical director of the Louisville Transportation Study during this time.
In 1968, Dr. Schimpeler joined the Louisville and Jefferson County Air Board as director of planning, heading up a regional aviation systems planning effort for Greater Louisville and later serving as managing consultant for Aviation System Planning and Aviation Economics. Also in 1968, he opened his first consulting office (Schimpeler Associates and then Schimpeler/Schuette Associates). Early assignments included the Urban Corridor Demonstration Program (a federally funded transit and highway development study sponsored by FHWA and FTA). His firm worked on many large projects, including a Regional Water Quality Management Plan for Louisville, a regional rapid transit system for Miami, the Downtown People Mover System and a light rail system in Detroit, transportation system planning for Houston, and major planning associated with the $6.25 billion Los Angeles subway system.
As president and CEO of Mott McDonald Inc., he was project executive on a major section of the Central Artery and Tunnel Project in Boston, headed a feasibility study in Bangkok, Thailand for the National High Speed Railway System and for three major new towns to be developed in conjunction with the railway project. From 1993 to 1998 he served as the FTA Project Management Oversight Consultant for a number of major federal transit projects, including the $1 billion restoration of the New York Grand Central Terminal and the building and testing of the M-6 rail cars. He also headed up major planning for major rail transit projects on the Ohio River, and in San Antonio, Vancouver, BC, Louisville, Indianapolis, Chicago and Cincinnati.
Dr. Schimpeler has been a member of the University of Louisville’s graduate faculty, teaching in the Institute of Community Development and the Doctoral Program in Urban and Public Affairs. He has also taught mathematics at Bellarmine University. A loyal and highly dedicated supporter of the University of Kentucky, he has taught graduate courses in Civil Engineering and had given guest lectures for many classes, especially the senior design course. He was an original member of the Civil Engineering Industry Advisory Committee and served as its first chairman. He is an active member of many professional and technical organizations, and is a registered Professional Engineer in a number of states, including Kentucky, Indiana, California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Michigan and Georgia.
Dr. Schimpeler currently lives in an authentically restored 1854 home in Pewee Valley, Kentucky, the home purchased by his parents in 1948 and redesigned by his sister, Suzanne, in 1997. Charlie’s principal outside interests are UK basketball, horseback riding, and spending quality time (and travel) with family and friends.