Elected in 1985
“For outstanding contributions in academic leadership, and for creative research and management accomplishments contributing to the advancement of U.S. transportation.”
BY PHILIP D. CADY
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
THOMAS D. LARSON, educator, administrator of transportation agencies at the state and federal levels, leader in transportation associations, and consultant to the transportation industry, died on July 20, 2006, at the age of 77. Larson was born on September 28, 1928, in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, and grew up on a farm in nearby Grassflat, Pennsylvania. He received his primary education in Philipsburg and earned his B.S. (1952), M.S. (1959), and Ph.D. (1962) from Pennsylvania State University. He also completed postdoctoral studies at Oklahoma State University (1966) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1982).
Dr. Larson began his career as a plant engineer at Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Bethlehem and Steelton, Pennsylvania. From 1954 to 1957, he served in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineers Corps, where he was officer-in-charge of construction at Grand Turk and Nantucket, Rhode Island, and public works officer at Camp Lejune, North Carolina. Also, in 1957, he was a designer in the Flood Control Division of the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters.
From 1957 to 1962, while working on his M.S. and Ph.D., he was an instructor in civil engineering at Penn State. By 1979, he had advanced to the rank of full professor, researcher, and