Thomas D. Rust, P.E., M.ASCE, who has worked tirelessly to improve education in Virginia at both the K-12 and higher education levels, and at the same time been a champion of infrastructure improvements for the public good, especially in the area of transportation, is the recipient of ASCE’s 2015 Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Lifetime Achievement award for government. A member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 86th District since 2002, and previously mayor of Herndon (in Fairfax County) for 19 years (1976-1984, 1990-2001), Rust’s record of public service is unmatched in the Commonwealth of Virginia; he is recognized as one of the most effective legislators in the Virginia General Assembly, consistently gaining high marks from the nonpartisan Virginia Foundation of Research and Economic Education. In 2011, Rust was named Legislator of the Year by the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association for his work on behalf of the citizens of the state. Presently sitting on 4 committees in the House of Delegates, those being Labor, Education, Transportation, and Science and Technology, he chairs the Joint Commission on Technology and Science, a permanent legislative commission developed to promote the advancement of technology and science in Virginia. Among his most notable accomplishments, Rust was recently instrumental in the adoption of a long-overdue restructuring in transportation funding and planning in Virginia, which was not without political controversy and risk for him as an elected official. The first member of his family to graduate from college, Rust is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, George Washington University with a master’s degree in public works engineering, and the University of Virginia with a master’s degree in urban and environmental planning. Currently vice chairman of Pennoni Associates, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania–based engineering and design consulting firm, Rust was vice chairman of the Board of Directors of Patton, Harris, Rust and Associates, P.C., from 1969 to 2011, before it merged with Pennoni. During that time, he has spent more than 45 years as a civil engineer and planner, working on complex infrastructure projects ranging from transportation and road projects for the Virginia Department of Transportation, to land development projects, to pump station and water/wastewater projects across Virginia. In 1996 Rust received a gubernatorial appointment to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors and was elected vice-rector 3 years later. He was reappointed to the board by then-Governor James Gilmore in 2000.
ASCE Honors Rust with Its OPAL Lifetime Achievement Award for Government
August 6, 2014