Joe D. Manous Jr., Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, F.EWRI, Dist.M.ASCE, widely recognized as a leader in water resources management, engineering ethics, and scholarship, has been honored with inclusion by ASCE in its 2021 class of Distinguished Members for his exemplary 40 years of service to the civil engineering profession and the nation.
Manous’ efforts as an educator and practitioner in examining the components of resilience within civil infrastructure and use of engineering analysis to influence infrastructure decision-making have been a positive influence on generations of students and engineers he has mentored as well as on project delivery. He is a key influencer for key decisions on water issues at the national level as a water resources engineer and director of the Institute for Water Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works think tank. His contributions to ASCE and the profession have truly made the proverbial difference and speak to his eminence in the engineering field.
As IWR director, he oversees a multidisciplinary field-operating activity that supports USACE’s water-related missions through development of models for water resources planning, policy, and decision support; hydraulic and hydrological engineering; dam and levee safety; training; and national/international interface with academia, professional societies, and nongovernmental organizations. He leads a diverse 271-person organization of civil engineers, biologists, ecologists, geographers, economists, social scientists, computer scientists, and program managers.
With ethical conduct being challenged daily, Manous has been a national force in developing quality ethics education and outreach. He served as a technical director for the film Ethicana (2008), a production of the Anti-Corruption Education and Training Initiative, made up of 12 cooperating organizations. He also served as technical director for Henry’s Daughters (2010), a production by the National Institute for Engineering Ethics on ethical challenges and project development. He has spoken extensively on engineering ethics and was selected to serve on the NIEE Board of Trustees, of which he is a past chair.
Manous served as academy professor and deputy department head in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. While at West Point, he oversaw an ABET-accredited environmental engineering curriculum and taught courses in environmental engineering as well as water resources and environmental security. Manous was active as a mentor for cadet academic and professional development and bolstered cadet skills and participation in the profession of engineering through ASCE. He worked enthusiastically with cadet outreach in a number of roles that included officer representative to the Army Track Team and officer-in-charge for the Episcopal student program, Canterbury Club.
Not to be overlooked among his contributions is his distinguished 28-year Army career, during which he saw service and practiced civil and military engineering in the United States, Europe, and Central America. Of note, he served tours with Army airborne units at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Area Commander for USACE operations in Central America, and Special Assistant for construction and renovation to the XVIII Airborne Corps Deputy Commanding General, in addition to several assignments on the West Point faculty.
Manous is currently an adjunct professor at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia, teaching courses in engineering economics, water resources, and civil engineering senor design. He is a past president of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers and president-elect of Civil Engineering Certification Inc., who focuses on post-licensure credentialing. He also served and chaired committees seeking to recognize and promote the careers of civil engineering technologists. In support of this latter effort, Manous chaired an ASCE committee that produced the first Body of Knowledge for civil engineering technologists. Manous has served and chaired numerous ASCE committees to include being a past chair of the ASCE Committee on Professional Practice.
Before becoming IWR’s director, he served as manager for IWR’s international activities, where he specialized in the areas of water resources and environmental security issues associated with water.