May 12, 2021
Mississippi State faculty member Dennis D. Truax has added a pair of awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers to his impressive collection of honors and accolades.
Truax, the director of the Richard A. Rula School of Civil & Environmental Engineering in MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering, has been recognized at both the national and regional level by ASCE. At the national level, he was chosen as the 2020 winner of the prestigious Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award. He has also been selected to ASCE’s Region 5 Wall of Fame.
“I am honored and humbled by both awards,” Truax said. “One works to promote the profession in each way presented to them. To be recognized for leadership in advancing the profession and service to ASCE was never a goal, but certainly a nice outcome of the decades of service. It may even be some consolation for all the days and weeks I had to be away from my family working on behalf of others. Then again, being a professional means putting service before self, as the Rotary would say.”
The Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award honors an ASCE member for their work in advancing the profession and promoting ethical practice. The award winner is selected by the Society’s Committee on Professional Advancement.
The Region 5 Wall of Fame was created to honor civil engineers that have made a substantial contribution to ASCE, Region 5 and the civil engineering community. Nominees for the Region 5 Wall of Fame must be a Fellow or Life Member of ASCE, at least 55 years or older and have made significant contributions to the civil engineering profession.
In addition to his role as director of the newly named Rula School at Mississippi State, Truax holds the James T. White Endowed Chair and is the director of the Mississippi Transportation Research Center.
He was recently elected as president of the American Society of Civil Engineers and will lead the organization during its 2022-2023 term. He has served multiple stints on the ASCE Board of Directors and was twice selected as the organization’s treasurer. Truax is currently the chair of the ASCE’s Committee on Technical Advancement and a member of the Committee on Licensure. He also holds positions on the Engineer Tomorrow Review Task Committee and Student Competitions Task Force. Truax also served as president of the ASCE Mississippi Section from 1991-1992.
Truax holds national certifications as an environmental engineer with the American Academy of Environmental Engineering and Scientists and as a water resources engineer with the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. He was elected a Fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers in 1999 and Fellow of the National Society of Professional Engineers in 2016. He earned the Distinguished Service Award from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) in 2018.
Truax completed a master’s degree in civil engineering from Mississippi State in 1978 before finishing his Ph.D. at MSU in 1986. He earned his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech in 1976 and was recently named to that school’s civil and environmental engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni.
The American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. The organization works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation’s infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency.
The Bagley College of Engineering offers a variety of degree programs across eight different academic departments while also ranking among the nation’s leaders in research and development expenditures according to the National Science Foundation.
Mississippi State University is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.
By: Philip Allison