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Department head tapped by two as accreditation board commissioner

April 30, 2014

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Two national organizations have tapped the head of civil engineering in the Bagley College for service on a commission for engineering accreditation.

Dennis D. Truax will represent the National Society of Professional Engineers and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying on the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission. He is a professor and head of the department of civil and environmental engineering in Mississippi State’s Bagley College of Engineering and holds the James T. White endowed chair.

One of four units that make up ABET, the Engineering Accreditation Commission is responsible for reviewing educational programs and making decisions about their accreditation status. Truax, who served five years as an ABET program evaluator, will provide a voice for the organizations he will represent on the commission.

“It’s an honor that both of these professional organizations have asked me to represent them this coming year,” Truax said. “There are a number of important changes being discussed regarding the accreditation process and its impact on engineering programs and their foundation as the gateway to professional licensure.”

Accreditation is a voluntary, peer-reviewed process. Successful completion signifies that a university’s program meets the standards for preparing its students for careers in that field.

ABET commissions cover engineering, engineering technology, computing and applied science. Each is made up of representatives from member organizations that have ties to that field, as well as a public commissioner with no technical affiliation. The commissions are tasked with providing continuous review and enhancement of criteria, policies and procedures that schools must meet in order to earn accreditation.

ABET consists of 33 professional and technical member societies. It accredits more than 3,300 programs in 24 countries at more than 680 institutions, including all 10 undergraduate programs offered by the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University.

More information about ABET can be found at www.abet.org.

Information about the Bagley College of Engineering can be found at www.bagley.msstate.edu.

By: Susan Lassetter