When Dr. David Richardson began his bachelor’s degree studies in civil engineering at Missouri S&T in the late 1960s, he says he never could have dreamed how exactly his career would progress — and how many high-profile awards and accolades he would earn along the way.
Now, Richardson, who also earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from S&T, has one more award he can add to his mantle, as he was recently inducted into the Missouri Asphalt Pavement Association (MAPA) Hall of Fame.
“I started teaching at Missouri S&T in 1984, and I have been involved with MAPA ever since it was founded in 1990,” he says. “We’ve had a great working relationship over the years, and I appreciate them presenting me with this honor.”
MAPA is an industry association that represents asphalt contractors across the state and promotes quality asphalt materials, quality work and accountability for the industry.
Richardson says he has been a Missouri S&T Miner in one form or another for most of his life. He earned his three degrees in civil engineering in 1971, 1973 and 1984.
After earning his Ph.D., he entered the classroom and research laboratories as a faculty member at the university, where he stayed until retiring in 2015. However, even in retirement, Richardson has still been active at the university, working with students and faculty and being involved in professional conferences and technical activities.
Throughout his career, Richardson has directed countless asphalt and concrete conferences and workshops — likely more than anyone else in the state. He has also worked with several thousands of students when counting his classes at Missouri S&T, as well as other short courses and training sessions he has facilitated.
He is a member of the university’s Academy of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute (ACI). He has also served in leadership roles for the ACI both as president of the state chapter and as a chair on national technical committees.
Richardson was honored with the Missouri S&T Alumni Merit Award in 2017, and he was presented with the James M. Robbins Excellence in Teaching Award from the Chi Epsilon national civil engineering honor society in 2018 — one of 20 teaching awards he received during his career.
His research interests have included asphalt pavement design, asphalt pavement preservation and management, pavement drainage, concrete durability, alternative sustainable materials for asphalt, concrete and masonry, concrete aggregate gradation optimization, and soil sub-grade properties. He also owned an engineering consulting firm for over 20 years.
“The longer you work in this field, the more the numbers keep growing, and the more you can see the influence you have made on future engineers and the field in general,” he says. “I am grateful to be inducted into the MAPA Hall of Fame, and it has been a pleasure for me to have such a meaningful career at Missouri S&T.”
Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System and located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 101 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top 10 universities for return on investment, according to Business Insider. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.