Industry Remembers Avanti’s David Magill

March 2014, Vol. 69 No. 3

Long-time industry business owner and supporter Francis “David” Magill, Jr. of Houston, TX, lost his battle with cancer on Jan. 19.

Born on Oct. 7, 1943, Magill received an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, VA, and an MBA from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.

In 1978 when Avanti International was established in Webster, TX, Magill was hired as its first employee and the company’s first president. In 1988, he purchased controlling interest in the company, becoming chief executive officer. Under Magill’s direction, the company continued to prosper, remaining steadfast to the Avanti name.

Avanti started with only one product – acrylamide chemical grout – and over the last 35 years has grown by offering a wider variety of chemical and cement grout products. Avanti has become the predominant provider of chemical and cement grouts for North America. Today, under the leadership of his son, Daniel Magill, Avanti continues to research, develop and perfect new sustainable solutions to restore aging infrastructure.

Known as a dedicated business man and an early pioneer of the trenchless technology industry, Magill was instrumental in the growth of municipal, industrial and geotechnical grouting and played an active role in many trade associations through the years. He was an active member of the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) for more than 30 years, serving as a director and chairman of the grouting task force, and participated in specification preparation for the ASTM standards. Magill also served as a past Underground Construction Technology Association (UCTA) president and board member.

Avanti is also a founder of the Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology (CIGMAT) at the University of Houston, which is an industry-university consortium to develop improved grout materials and technologies.

Close friend and colleague, Dr. Cumaraswamy Vipulanandan (Vipu), P.E., professor of civil and environmental engineering-University of Houston, Houston, TX and CIGMAT director commented on Magill’s support throughout the years to the industry.

“David Magill was not only instrumental in getting the Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology (CIGMAT) started at the University of Houston in 1994,” stated Dr. Vipu, “but he also continuously supported the center in many other ways. He guided the CIGMAT in developing new test protocols for evaluating grouts used in infrastructure rehabilitation.”