December 10, 2007

In April 2007, at the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) banquet ceremony, Larry A. McKee and Kenneth L. McManis were inducted into the CEE Hall of Distinction. Criteria for this prestigious honor consist of distinguished professional achievement and service, and significant contributions to both the CEE field and to the CEE Department. In recognizing these individuals, the Department hopes to also honor all those who contributed to excellence in engineering.

McKee received a BS in Civil Engineering from LSU in 1958. He worked for private engineering consulting firms in the Baton Rouge area for 12 years, at which point he gained complete ownership of Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC). With the leadership of McKee, PEC thrived and was recognized throughout the Southeast for its expertise in public works planning and development.

McKee has served as president and national director of the Louisiana Council of Engineering Companies as well as president of the Louisiana Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. In addition, he is one of only two Louisianan engineers to be the national vice president of the American Council of Engineering Companies. McKee has served as an adjunct professor of Civil Engineering at LSU, where he is an honorary member of Chi Epsilon and a member of the CEE External Advisory Committee. He has also served as a board member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce and chaired the Education Division of that organization. He has been active in the Rotary Club for 30 years, evidenced by his receiving their “Service Above Self” Award for his efforts in Rotary’s Group Study Exchange Program. He has even taught economics to second graders at Wildwood Elementary as a Junior Achievement Instructor. McKee believes that the most rewarding aspect of being a civil engineer is the capacity to design public works that will help people long past his lifetime.

McManis received his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette (ULL) in 1963. He then went on to earn his MS and PhD from LSU's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in 1966 and 1975 respectively. Upon completion of his graduate research at LSU, he was awarded the Michael Claus Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Research.

After years of practice and teaching, Dr. McManis joined the University of New Orleans (UNO) as an Associate Professor and was then selected as chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He remained in this position for 26 years until his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 2004, when he accepted a position as professor and department head of the Civil Engineering Department at ULL where he presently serves. In 2000, he was appointed to serve a six year term on the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board by the Governor. 

Some of Dr. McManis’s awards and honors include the College of Engineering Distinguished Service Award, UNO (2004); Contractors Educational Trust Fund Professorship (1994-2004); Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (1994); LEF Engineering Faculty Professionalism Award, Louisiana Engineering Foundation; and Who’s Who in Engineering (1980). He is also a member of Chi Epsilon, Sigma Chi, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. McManis is a registered Professional Engineer and a Professional Land Surveyor in the state of Louisiana. McManis continues to provide service to the Civil Engineering profession, while his leadership and enthusiasm make him respected by all. 

Article excerpted from the CEE Newsletter by Colette Burke for the College of Engineering, 225-578-5706,

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