Civil engineering honors distinguished graduates

Photo of civil engineering honoreesThe Zachry Department of Civil Engineering honored three former students with the Distinguished Graduate Award at the department’s Endowed Scholarship and Distinguished Graduate Banquet in November in College Station.

Recipients were William H. Hanson ’79, Mary Kay Jackson ’83 and Roy L. Wilshire ’62.

Pictured left to right: Dr. Robin Autenrieth, interim department head; Hanson; Jackson; Wilshire; and Steve Lucy, Civil Engineering Advisory Council

The recipients were selected on the criteria of having attained prominence and making significant contributions to the profession of civil engineering, improving the quality of the educational program in the department, demonstrating leadership in service to professional societies or the community, and exhibiting the highest standards of integrity and character.

William H. Hanson received his bachelor’s degree in ocean engineering from Texas A&M in 1979. He worked for the Corps of Engineers and then on to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. He is a member of the Ocean Engineering Industry Advisory Board and contributes to the Human Powered Submarine team. Hanson is recognized for “his unique abilities to serve his company in an extraordinary way, and to effectively serve the dredging industry in his many opportunities to interact with federal, state and local officials, as well as the professional engineering community.”

Mary Kay Jackson received her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M in 1983. Her past work experience includes Design Manager for the F. Wayne Hill Water Reclamation Facility in Atlanta. She currently lives and works in Ghana, West Africa, where she established the Methodist Development Relief Services’ water program that has supplied clean, abundant water for rural families. As stated in Jackson’s nomination, “she is doing something that most of us have never done...using her civil engineering skills to provide people-in-poverty with safe drinking water and improved living conditions.”

Roy L. Wilshire received his bachelor’s degree in 1962 and his master’s degree in 1963 from Texas A&M, both in civil engineering. Managing a parallel 32-year career in the U.S. Army Reserve, Wilshire retired as a colonel from the Corps of Engineers. He went on to join Kimley-Horn and Associates in 1987. Nominators describe him as “first and foremost a consensus builder and a man of the highest integrity. His ability to see a problem from various perspectives and find the ‘win-win’ solution is remarkable.”