Civil Engineering Society Honors UT Dallas President with Lifetime Achievement Award in Education

University of Texas at Dallas President David E. Daniel has been awarded the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2010 Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) award for lifetime achievement in engineering education.

ASCE presented the award at the annual OPAL gala on March 25 in Washington, D.C. ASCE represents more than 144,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society.

OPAL awards recognize individuals for “life-long contributions, accomplishments and achievements that have made significant differences” in five areas of civil engineering: construction, design, education, government and management.

“Dr. Daniel is truly an outstanding civil engineering leader,” said Walter E. Skipwith, PE, vice president with Halff Associates and Section Director, Dallas Branch ASCE. “I personally have benefited from his leadership as chair of the Hurricane Katrina External Review Panel, as have all who are involved in flood safety. 

“Dr. Daniel is continually sharing his expertise and knowledge with civil engineers and others in the North Texas area, and we are extremely fortunate to have him at UT Dallas.”

Daniel’s professional work has long been recognized by ASCE and others.  The Society awarded him the Norman Medal, its highest honor for papers published in its journals, and on two separate occasions awarded him its second-highest honor, the Croes Medal. He was also given the Presidents’ Award in 2007.

In 2000, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the nation’s most prestigious organization recognizing engineering achievement. In December 2009, Daniel was named a finalist for “Texan of the Year” by The Dallas Morning News for his work on legislation which helps emerging research universities in Texas achieve Tier One status.

Daniel received his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and served on the faculty at UT Austin from 1980 to 1996. In 1996, he moved to the University of Illinois, finishing his service there as dean of engineering before beginning his appointment as UT Dallas’ fourth president in 2005.

During Daniel’s presidency, UT Dallas has doubled its research expenditures, initiated or completed $300 million of construction of new buildings, added 20 new degree programs, raised $125 million in private funds and won two national collegiate championships in chess.

Other 2010 OPAL award recipients include:

  • Construction – Terence E. Richardson, P.E., of Bechtel Corporation.
  • Design – Man-Chung Tang, Ph.D., P.E., Dist. M.ASCE, NAE, of T.Y. Lin International.
  • Government – John W. Morris II, Lt. Gen. (ret.), P.E., F.ASCE, NAE, of J.W. Morris Ltd.
  • Management – Robert D. Nichol, P.E., F.ASCE, of Moffatt & Nichol.

OPAL award nominations are made each fall. Awards are presented each spring.

President David Daniel’s work has been recognized by the ASCE, and in 2000, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].