The civil & environmental engineering and engineering studies professor mentored many students and held numerous leadership positions at the College
By Dave Block ’93
David Veshosky, associate professor of engineering studies and civil & environmental engineering, died on Sunday at age 69.
Veshosky was a member of the Lafayette faculty since 1991. His academic interests included engineering economics; project, construction, and operations management; and management of innovation in engineering and construction.
“He was a wonderful person,” says Scott Hummel, William Jeffers Director of the Engineering Division. “His primary concern at Lafayette was always the students. Whether discussing curriculum, research opportunities, or facilities, the students were his priority. Dave was highly respected by faculty across the College and was elected to serve as chair of the Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee.”
Veshosky’s other leadership roles at Lafayette included serving as chair of the engineering studies program, from 1998 to 2005 and 2012 to 2013; coordinator of the architectural studies program from its founding in 2003; and director of research services from 2001 to 2006. He also chaired the Academic Research Committee and was the College’s representative to the National Council on Undergraduate Research. He served as a faculty mentor for the Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project (EEGLP), student Community Fellows, and Lafayette participants in the United States Green Building Council’s Natural Talent Design Competition. Most recently, he traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, as the Dyer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s representative for the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers. He also served as faculty adviser to the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
His EEGLP students worked on projects such as exploring the feasibility of waste-to-energy power plants as an alternative to imported diesel fuel; improving stormwater drainage in the village of Lomitas, Honduras; envisioning a mobile banking system for Jamaica; and helping a hurricane-devastated neighborhood in New Orleans rebuild as a green community.
“One of Dave’s great strengths was his ability to build relationships with his students and maintain those long after students graduated,” says Hummel. “Many alumni seek him out when they are on campus for Career Fair and other alumni events. I know the alumni will miss seeing Dave when they return to College Hill, and we will surely miss Dave’s sincere kindness.”
Veshosky involved many Lafayette students in his research through projects ranging from analysis of communication involved in construction of Boston’s massive “Big Dig” highway project to development of roofed stadiums and those with retractable roofs.
“Professor Veshosky is great. He’s very flexible and encouraging and open to my ideas,” Janille Smith ’03 said during her work with him as an EXCEL Scholar.
He also mentored many students as they pursued their own research interests.
“Professor Veshosky has been great to work with,” Ansley Cox ’03 said while conducting a senior honors thesis on gender differences between male and female architects. “He is very supportive, and I think he is just as interested in this project as I am. He has helped me narrow my thoughts and has connected me to people who can answer my questions.”
Bucknell Prof. Michelle Oswald Beiler ’07, recipient of the 2019 Transportation & Development Institute Outstanding Younger Member Award, said last year that Veshosky and Prof. Art Kney were instrumental in preparing her for teaching at the undergraduate level.
Veshosky shared his research through articles in scientific journals, book chapters, and papers presented at conferences in the United States and Canada. He was a member of the research faculty at the Engineering Research Center for Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems at Lehigh for a dozen years, a research associate at the Center for Innovation Management Studies, and a researcher at the NATO Oceanographic Research Center in La Spezia, Italy.
He worked as a senior analyst at Louis Berger International from 1982 to 1984, a senior civil engineer at CE Maguire from 1978 to 1982, and a civil engineer for the Coastal Branch, U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office from 1972 to 1978.
His community involvement included board positions with Third Street Alliance for Women and Children and the Easton Suburban Water Authority as well as service with the American Society of Civil Engineering, the National Canal Museum, and WDIY Community Public Radio.
Veshosky’s honors at Lafayette included the Marquis Distinguished Teaching Award, the Delta Upsilon Distinguished Mentoring and Teaching Award, and the Daniel L. Golden ’34 Faculty Service Award.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering at Catholic University in 1972; a master’s in science, technology, and public policy at George Washington University in 1978; and a Ph.D. in business and economics at Lehigh in 1992.