I have had a full and productive career as a civil engineer – first as a highway engineer
with the Federal Highway Administration, then as a civil engineering graduate student
and researcher, and, finally, as a college faculty member at The University of Alabama
(3 years), at my undergraduate alma mater Louisiana Tech (29 years), and now at OBU,
where I started teaching in August 2022. Between my teaching stints at Louisiana Tech
and OBU, I enjoyed three years of retirement before being lured back into teaching
by the opportunity to help start the Engineering Program at OBU.
I have enjoyed many varied activities over the years, some that I knew that I was
going to enjoy and some that pulled me out of my comfort zone and helped me to learn
more about myself and the world around me. I have coached my sons’ soccer and baseball
teams, served as president of the band and soccer booster clubs at my sons’ high school,
refereed high school soccer, written children’s Sunday School and Discipleship literature
for Lifeway and for a nondenominational group, taught children and youth classes at
various churches where I was a member, acted in Ruston Community Theatre plays and
musicals (I was mediocre, at best!) in Louisiana, helped to build my dad’s house in
the Teton Valley of Idaho with my dad and brothers, hiked many trails with my wife
and boys, learned to snow ski at age 45 (again, mediocre, at best), and traveled as
much as I possibly could both nationally and internationally – mostly with my family.
My wife and I have been married for the better part of a half-century, and we have
a grandson who calls me Pops... oh, and two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two granddogs.
Did I mention that we have a grandson?
Why did you enter the teaching profession?
When I was a student at Louisiana Tech, I had two professors who were excellent. They
cared about me as a person, they enjoyed advising and mentoring, and they were passionate
about teaching us. I remember thinking about how rewarding that must be to help guide
students during their college education and seeing them succeed in their studies and
in their careers. After working for just over four years for the Federal Highway Administration,
I returned to school to do what I needed to get ready to teach at the college level.
I have loved it!
What is your go-to book?
I enjoy reading. I will occasionally read non-fiction, historical novels, or mystery
novels, but my go-to genres ever since adolescence are fantasy and science fiction.
I have read Asimov’s robot and foundation series, Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and
Tolkein’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books multiple times.
If you were anything other than a professor, what would you be and why?
I could probably have been happy doing something in the travel industry. My wife and
I love to travel and see new and different things, having been to 49 of the 50 states
(not Alaska, which I hope to remedy one summer soon) and several other countries and
principalities, and I could enjoy helping others to appreciate what other places have
to offer in culture, architecture, and cuisine. I would also go to Walt Disney World
at least a week every year if my wife would agree to it!
Areas of Expertise
During my career I have researched mostly in the areas of pavement design and analysis,
civil and construction materials, infrastructure management, and engineering education.
However, I spent almost 10 years in Enrollment Management at Louisiana Tech, where
I was Director of Advising and Retention and Director of the Bulldog Achievement Resource
Center (BARC), where I studied retention and advising research literature and used
it to assess how to improve retention and graduation rates and to select BARC services
at Louisiana Tech.
Featured Courses Taught:
- First-year experience
- First-year engineering problem solving
- Strength of materials
- Highway and traffic engineering
- Geotechnical (soils) engineering
- Foundation design
- Pavement design
- Civil and construction materials
- Engineering ethics
- Civil engineering capstone
I have published and presented in many of the areas listed in the Research Interests
section above, and I can provide a listing of these items to those who might be interested.
I have also done proprietary research for industry clients and have written numerous
reports for those clients.
- Next Level Assessment Task Force, School of Natural Sciences
- Engineering Program Development Committee, School of Natural Sciences