Robert Higgins is President and Chief Executive Officer for Barge Design Solutions, Inc., and has been with the firm since 1996 when he started as an intern following graduation from the School of Engineering at Vanderbilt University with a degree in Civil Engineering. Higgins is a licensed Professional Engineer.
Since becoming President and CEO in 2009, Higgins has led the firm through a successful re- organization into core business units and has directed the development and implementation of key technical, project management, and leadership programs. He has collaborated with Lipscomb University to create the BWSC Leadership Institute, a customized training program for current and future leaders of the firm.
In addition to the Ascension Saint Thomas Board of Directors, Higgins sits on the board for the American Council of Engineering Companies, Nashville Chapter, as well as on Vanderbilt University’s Engineering Alumni Council and School of Engineering (VUSE) Board of Visitors. He is a member of the National and Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE) as well as the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 2014, the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE) recognized him as the Nashville Chapter Engineer of the Year.
He is heavily involved in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee community. He sits on the board for the Downtown Partnership and Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, where he currently serves as Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee. Higgins is a graduate of Leadership Tennessee (Class of 2015), Leadership Nashville (Class of 2012, Program Co-Chair 2013), and Leadership Franklin (TN, Class of 2010), and Leadership Franklin (KY, Class of 2006).
Higgins served in the United States Air Force 5th Mobile Combat Communications Group with Desert Shield / Storm deployment for seven months. He was responsible for maintaining theatre of operations communications relative to weather maps, target maps, maintenance circuits and all communications at his particular air base. In 2015, The Nashville Business Journal recognized him as a 2014 Veterans Award Winner for his military service and impact on Nashville’s business community.