Jay Culbertson: Academy of Distinguished Engineers – 2019

Award Year
Graduation Year
Business Administration and Management
Nominating Department

Jay Culbertson has always been a Beaver through and through. His parents both graduated from Oregon State and, in 1972, he proudly followed suit with his bachelor’s degree in business administration. Following a four-year apprenticeship in the sheet metal trade, Culbertson joined, and later took the helm of, his father’s company, Temp Control Mechanical (TCM), an HVAC contractor in Portland.

For 30 years, Culbertson used strategic planning, engineering, and solid financial acumen to differentiate his company from the competition and grow it into one of the largest mechanical contractors in the Pacific Northwest, before it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Southland Industries in 2014. Today, Culbertson provides leadership for all functions of Southland, which is now one of the nation’s largest mechanical, electrical, and plumbing building systems contracting firms with an operating plan of $1 billion — but he never forgets his OSU roots. In fact, he credits the university for much of his personal and professional success.

As a longtime donor and advocate for the College of Engineering, Culbertson and his team have recruited generations of top-notch hires from the college, most of whom have continued with his companies for many years (TCM was recently named a top workplace of 2018 by the Oregonian newspaper). “I have always considered it an honor to give back to an institution that has given so much to me and my company,” Culbertson said. “I firmly believe in what OSU is doing — and it isn’t just football. It’s about the exceptional quality of the education the school provides and the tremendous impact the College of Engineering graduates are ultimately making in the community and across the state and country.”


  • B.S. Business Administration and Management, 1972