Jerry R. Bayless, a longtime civil, architectural and environmental engineering professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology who was such an institution there, he was known as “Mr. S&T,” has died at 81.
Bayless, P.E., F.ASCE, earned his bachelor of science in 1959 from what was then known as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, and essentially never left, hired the day of commencement as an instructor in civil engineering. As the school’s name changed to Missouri S&T, Bayless remained to teach civil engineering for 57 years.
Known as an inveterate optimist, with high integrity and herculean stamina, Bayless became part of the campus community lifeblood. Whether as educator, administrator or community member, he helped wherever he could and promoted a high standard of caring among colleagues, students and friends. It’s said he attended 1,150 evening meetings with student organizations. For five decades he was faculty adviser to Chi Epsilon. In 2011 he was named one of Missouri S&T’s inaugural class of Alumni of Influence and was awarded the University of Missouri Presidential Citation for Outstanding Alumni Service.
Over his career, Bayless taught 21 different civil engineering courses, his favorites being fluid mechanics, reinforced concrete design and structural analysis. He served as freshman adviser and transfer adviser, and was involved in student recruiting and many campus committee activities. For years he was assistant chair of civil engineering and did stints as interim chair of civil engineering and assistant and associate dean of engineering. He retired in 2017 as associate professor emeritus of civil, architectural and environmental engineering.
A registered professional engineer in Missouri, Bayless held offices in several professional organizations, including the Rolla Chapter of the National and Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, ASCE and the American Society for Engineering Education. In 1968, he was named MSPE’s Young Engineer of the Year for both the Rolla and state chapters. In 2017, he was given the Outstanding Link Coordinator Award from the Order of the Engineer. He became an ASCE Life member in 2002.
Bayless was a huge fan of Missouri S&T Miner sports, a charter member of the Optimist Club of Rolla and spent countless hours in service to the Rolla community.