David F. Kibler honored with emeritus status

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 14, 2008 – David F. Kibler of Blacksburg, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, was conferred the "professor emeritus" title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board's quarterly meeting on Nov. 3.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

Kibler was recruited to Virginia Tech from the Pennsylvania State University to serve as the head of the department from 1990 until 1994. During his tenure as the department head, seven faculty were hired, including National Academy of Engineering member James Mitchell. In terms of faculty recognition during his four-year tenure, three received the prestigious National Science Foundation Young Investigator Awards, three were awarded named professorships by the university’s Board of Visitors, and one received the university’s W.E. Wine Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Kibler initiated a Young Faculty Forum to aid in the mentoring process of new faculty, and he invested heavily in renovation projects to improve the teaching and research capabilities of the department at that time. He built the department’s then state-of-the-art instructional computing lab with 20 personal computer stations and 10 work stations, renovated the graduate student area, turned Norris 310 into an environmental laboratory, completed work on a 4,400-square-foot addition to the structures/materials laboratory, began renovation of the hydrosystems instructional laboratories, and renovated the construction engineering area.

When Kibler stepped down, he remained on the faculty as a professor in the hydrosystems area that eventually merged with the environmental group, forming the environmental and water resources engineering program. He taught classes in hydrology, water resources engineering, and hydraulic structure design. His research focused on hydrologic modeling of developing watersheds, flood forecasting and flood control, and urban storm water management.

Kibler served as a faculty adviser to the Virginia Tech section of the American Water Resources Association, a group of interdisciplinary students from biological systems engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and agricultural and applied economics looking at diverse problems of water management. He also served as the faculty adviser to the Virginia Tech chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

At the state level, he was a member of the Virginia Transportation Research Council Advisory Committee on Environmental Resources, the Roanoke Valley Regional Storm Water Management Technical Committee, and the Virginia Dam Safety Program Technical Advisory Committee. He was the 2002 Technical Program Chair for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Environment and Water Resources Institute Conference.

Kibler has chaired several national committees, including the ASCE Surface Runoff committee, the American Geophysical Union Urban Hydrology committee, and the ASCE Urban Drainage Committee.

In 2008 he received the first G.V. Loganathan Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Civil Engineering Education. The award, presented by the Virginia Tech chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), was previously named the Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Achievement Award. This award is given annually based upon the voting of current students in the department.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Antioch College, a master’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. from Colorado State University.