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Kitch Named Chair of New Civil Engineering Department

June 04, 2015

Dr. William A. Kitch, professor of engineering at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona (CPP), has been named the first chair of Angelo State University’s new Department of Civil Engineering, which will begin offering engineering classes this fall.

Dr. William KitchDr. William KitchAlso a registered professional engineer in California and Colorado, Kitch has taught civil engineering at CPP since 2006, including undergraduate and graduate courses in geotechnical engineering, materials engineering, foundation design, engineering management and professional engineering practices. His primary research areas are engineering education, technical writing instruction, low-impact development, and design in geotechnics and pavements. He is currently in the midst of a four-year project titled “Preparing Students for Writing in Civil Engineering Practice,” which is funded by a $91,369 grant from the National Science Foundation. 

Prior to joining CPP, Kitch spent 21 years as a civil engineering officer in the U.S. Air Force, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel, and two years as principal engineer at MACTEC Engineering and Consulting in Los Angeles. His Air Force assignments included two separate stints at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, where he directed the geotechnical engineering program and the civil engineering faculty training program. He also served as commander of the 718th Civil Engineering Squadron at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa and as a base civil engineer at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. 

At MACTEC, Kitch led an 11-person staff in providing consulting services for facility engineering, asset management and geotechnical, foundation and pavement engineering. He also managed gross annual revenue of $1.2 million and annual sales of about $3 million. 

In addition to his academic and professional credentials, Kitch has been widely published. He is the co-author of two engineering textbooks and a lab manual, as well as numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and conference publications, reports and presentations. He is also a peer reviewer for the Journal of ASTM International and the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference. 

Kitch is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and its Geo-Institute, the America Society for Engineering Education, the Geoprofessional Business Association and the California Geotechnical Engineering Association, and he is a life-member of the American Society of Military Engineers. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. 

ASU was officially approved in April to begin offering a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (B.S.C.E.) degree for the fall 2015 semester. In addition to a $4.5 million anonymous gift to fund ongoing construction of the Hunter Strain Civil Engineering Laboratories on campus, ASU has also received further anonymous gifts of $100,000 to purchase laboratory equipment and $20,000 to fund the program’s first endowed scholarship. 

For more information, call Dr. Don Topliff, ASU provost and vice president for academic affairs, at 325-942-2165.