ASCE has honored Clifford J. Schexnayder, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, with the 2020 Construction Management Award for innovation and research aimed at improving construction around the globe.
Schexnayder is an international construction equipment, methods and techniques authority. He has blended a career of practical heavy construction knowledge with academic teaching and research. A registered professional engineer in five states, Schexnayder has extensive military engineering experience, having served in the active Army building roads in Thailand and as a research engineer at the Waterways Experiment Station; also as a member of the Louisiana National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve. He authored the “Earthmoving Operations” Field Manual (FM 5-434) for the Department of the Army while teaching on a reserve assignment at the Engineer School, Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. He retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
An Emeritus Eminent Scholar of the Del E. Webb School of Construction at Arizona State University, Schexnayder brought hands-on learning experiences to his students, with visits to the Pentagon Renovation and the Ronald Reagan Building projects in Washington, D.C., and multiple West Coast heavy civil projects. He developed a practicum at the Reagan Building, and the results alerted the owner and general contractor to an undersized tower crane situation.
Schexnadyer is dedicated to mentoring young faculty as they find their way through the realm of academia. He has encouraged countless numbers of new faculty members to be engaged in collaborations, professional activities and services to industry that were seemingly outside the immediate necessity of “publish or perish” but which widened their professional breadth and eventually accrued tangible career benefits.
He has actively participated in the development of the profession in South America. He was directly involved in teaching the new generations of civil engineers at well-recognized academic institutions – the Universidad de Piura, in Peru, and the Universidad Téchnica Particular de Loja, in Ecuador. His two Fulbright Fellowships to Peru and a Lady Davis to Israel are expressions of his international reputation, but also the vehicle through which he pushed forward his strong beliefs in the importance of global professional communication. These fellowships were not simply private professional visits, but rather intensive, multipurpose engagements, during which he taught, wrote joint papers and interacted with professional society representatives.
Schexnayder has been the lead author for four editions of the textbook “Construction Planning, Equipment, and Methods” and two editions of “Construction Management Fundamentals.” These books are widely used in construction courses around the world. The “Equipment” book was translated into Chinese. He also has a keen interest in documenting the history of civil engineering. He continues to make numerous trips to the Dibner Library of the Smithsonian Institute and Library of Congress as well as to Western Massachusetts to research the development, design and construction of the Hoosac Tunnel. His interests include the entire story of that construction project from the 1800s. It was at the Hoosac that civil engineers saw the world’s first tunnel boring machine, the effective use of air-driven piston rock drills, and nitroglycerin (without blowing yourself up!). The project was the laboratory course for two generations of engineers trained under Loammi Baldwin, the Father of American Civil Engineering.
Schexnayder has also been very active in other professional societies, especially the Transportation Research Board, where he played a major leadership role for the Construction Division. He has received many awards, including two John O. Bickel Awards from ASCE and the Tasker H. Bliss Medal from the Society of American Military Engineers for his contributions to civil engineering education in the military.
The Construction Management Award is presented to a member of the Society who has made a definite contribution to the field of construction management in general and, more particularly, in the application of theoretical aspects of engineering economics, statistics, probability theory, operations research and related mathematical-oriented disciplines to problems of construction management, estimating, costs accounting, planning, scheduling and financing.