June 4, 2020
The head of Mississippi State University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has been elected to serve as the president of the nation’s leading civil engineering organization.
Dennis Truax will be inaugurated as president-elect of the American Society of Civil Engineers at the organization’s annual meeting this fall. He will serve as president-elect of ASCE in 2021 before becoming president in 2022.
“I am honored to be chosen as the Society’s next president, and I look forward to leading and advocating for the next generation of civil engineers,” said Truax. “Having been involved in ASCE for over five decades—starting as a student— it is time for ASCE to re-evaluate the needs of the new generation of engineers. I am eager to partner with other leaders within ASCE to ensure we are serving members of all generations and broadening the definition of success within our profession, as we work to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.”
In addition to his role as the civil and environmental engineering department head, Truax holds the James T. White Endowed Chair. He is director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s Transportation Research Center, located at Mississippi State, and was responsible for launching the Mississippi State Engineering Without Borders student chapter.
“Dr. Truax has been a leader to his department, to his college, to his university and to his profession,” said Jason Keith, dean of Mississippi State’s Bagley College of Engineering. “We are proud of Dr. Truax for his successful election and wish him the best as ASCE president-elect.”
Truax is no stranger to leadership roles within the ASCE. He has served multiple stints on the ASCE Board of Directors and was twice selected as the organization’s treasurer. He 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 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.
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