Truax becomes ASCE 2022 president

Industry News
Dennis D. Truax. Photography courtesy ASCE

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) chose Dennis D. Truax, P.E., DEE, D.WRE, F.NSPE, F.ASCE, as its 2022 president during the society’s annual business meeting on Oct. 7, as part of the ASCE 2021 Convention.

In truth though, Truax has been hard at work for a while, supporting his fellow presidential officers and planning for the future.

“Though you’re president for one year, the tasks at hand require more than 12 months of effort,” says Truax. “So, I started work pretty much from the moment I was made president-elect. Obviously, the duties and responsibilities as president ramp up. But the support of programs that are ongoing or started by 2021 President Jean-Louis Briaud, the ones that I’m launching, the ones that 2022 President-Elect Maria Lehman has an interest in—they’re all things that we three will work as a team to do.”

Truax accepted the presidential gavel from outgoing president Jean-Louis Briaud, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, Dist.M.ASCE, in a virtual ceremony.

Truax recently retired as the James T. White endowed chair, department head, and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Mississippi State University, and the director of the Mississippi Transportation Research Institute, to serve ASCE full-time. He was introduced to the ASCE membership during the ceremony by his daughters Courtney and Kelly.

“ASCE’s done an excellent job of developing member value and member resources and member community,” Truax says. “What I want to focus on in the coming year is member engagement.”

The ceremony also marked the induction of Maria Lehman, P.E., ENV SP, F.ASCE, into the role of 2022 president-elect. It marks her fifth stint on the ASCE Board of Direction.

She was joined in taking the oath of service by new board members Daniel F. Becker, M.ASCE, technical region director; Kenneth R. Mika, P.E., M.ASCE, Region 3 director; Findlay G. Edwards, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, BCEE, F.ASCE, Region 4 director; Lawrence M. Magura, P.E., D.WRE (Ret.), F.ASCE, Region 8 director; and Lou C. Aurigemma, P.E., F.ASCE, treasurer.

Truax set the tone for the year in his presidential acceptance speech: one of servant leadership and collaboration.

“I see individuals in this profession who need help, and ASCE is ready to provide that help,” Truax says. “This is about all of us. Every member of ASCE has an obligation professionally to be apostles if you want to think of it that way.

“It could be advancing their education, it could be advancing their management skills, it could be helping them answer ethical questions, it could be helping them to see a vision for tomorrow that is different from anything they’ve envisioned so far. It’s about helping each civil engineer to be part of a solution that we so desperately need in moving toward the future.

“That’s what makes me excited about this opportunity.”