In Memory: Walt LeFevre, P.E.

Jan/Feb 2010

NSPE Today
In Memory: Walt LeFevre, P.E.

E. Walter LeFevre, P.E., F.NSPE, 1989–1990 NSPE presidentE. Walter LeFevre, P.E., F.NSPE, 1989–1990 NSPE president, died November 23 in Arkansas. He was 77.

LeFevre was born July 29, 1932, in Eden, Texas. He earned bachelor's and master's of science degrees in civil engineering from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Oklahoma State University.

For more than 35 years, LeFevre worked as senior vice president of ESI, a Springdale, Arkansas, engineering firm. In addition, for 40 years he was a professor at the University of Arkansas, where he also served as dean and civil engineering department head.

LeFevre founded the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering at the university, an alumni group that has provided hundreds of scholarships for civil engineering students and served as a model for other engineering academies launched within the College of Engineering. And in 1971, he was honored with the school's highest distinction: "University Professor."

During his tenure as president of NSPE, LeFevre led the establishment of the U.S. Council on International Engineering Practice, creation of the National Institute of Engineering Ethics, production of the nationally recognized Gilbane Gold video on ethics, and formation of a special committee comprising leaders within NSPE and the American Institute of Architects.

Over the years, LeFevre also served on NSPE's Licensure and Qualifications for Practice Committee, the Past Presidents Advisory Council, and the Educational Foundation's Steinman Council. He won the society's highest honor, the NSPE Award, in 1996. The award is presented to an engineer who has made outstanding contributions to the engineering profession, the public welfare, and/or humankind.

LeFevre's other major leadership roles within the profession included past national vice president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, past president of the Arkansas State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers, and member of the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. In addition, he served as a delegate to the World Federation of Engineering Organizations.

Donations in LeFevre's name may be made to the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering Scholarship Fund, the American Diabetes Association, the First United Methodist Church of Springdale, Arkansas, or any library.