Sometimes an opportunity comes along that you just can’t pass up. Such was the case for VAA. Trenton Clark, VAA’s Executive Vice President, became aware that a certain District Materials Engineer was thinking of retiring from the DOT. “We weren’t actively looking for another team member,” said Clark, “but when you hear that someone with outstanding qualifications might be available, you start reassessing your needs.” Upon reflection, VAA’s Board of Directors realized that great things might be accomplished if they could add another engineer to the staff and voilà — David T. Lee, P.E. was hired.
David is a 1984 graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering with a primary focus on materials and structural engineering. Upon graduation, he began working in the water and wastewater industry as a Water Resources Engineer for the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Water Programs.
David has held various positions with Virginia’s Department of Transportation rising to District Materials Engineer in 1992, making him one of VDOT’s youngest ever DMEs. In this capacity, due to the loss of nearly half of the staff, David was given the task of reconstructing Staunton’s Materials Section to meet the future needs of VDOT while still handling the needs of the present-day program. This included the management of both the Pavement Design & Evaluation and Pavement Management programs.
In 1999, David was transferred to VDOT’s Salem District to lead and manage the District Materials program for that 12-county area. David, his wife Gail and two daughters Olivia and Angela were originally from the Salem area, so the transfer brought him much closer to home. In this capacity, David and his team oversaw the preliminary engineering, materials quality control and quality assurance activities for, what at the time, was one of the largest construction programs in the state. A few of the more significant projects that he managed include: the $250 million expansion of the route 460 bypass in Montgomery County, the completion of the SMART road; Salem’s first design build project, the I-81 Truck Climbing Lane on Christiansburg Mountain and the development and construction of one of the largest public-private transportation projects at the time; the route 58 corridor through the southern portion of Virginia.
David has been heavily involved in materials and pavement research throughout his transportation career. He has served as the Chairman of the Virginia Transportation Research Council’s Asphalt Research Advisory Committee (ARAC) for 12 years and was a member of the Concrete Research Advisory Committee (CRAC) for over 20 years. Additionally, he co-authored a published research paper on the use of NDT on I-81 in Virginia entitled “Combining Traditional and Non- Traditional NDT Techniques to Evaluate Virginia’s Interstate 81.”
“We expect David to be a great asset to the association,” said Ed Dalrymple, Jr., President of Chemung Contracting and VAA Ex-Officio. “You will see a lot of David in the future.”