Thomas Lee “Tom” Jackson, a New Orleans–based civil engineer, ASCE 2003 president, and a member of its External Review Panel, has died. He was 81.

A life member of ASCE, he served as president of the Louisiana Section, chairman of the Regional Council, and as the Society’s national president in 2003. During his career, he was also chairman of the board of the ASCE Foundation, a member of the ASCE Environmental Water Resources Institute and Transportation & Development Institute, and chair of numerous ASCE committees. 

Jackson, P.E., D.WRE, Pres.03.ASCE, received ASCE’s William H. Wisely Award, the ASCE Louisiana Section Lifetime Achievement Award, and was named Outstanding Civil Engineer by the ASCE New Orleans Branch.

Jackson grew up and lived in Metairie, Louisiana, until he moved to New Orleans in 2016. He began his civil engineering education at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, was married two years later in 1959, and, now settled with a family, transferred to Tulane University School of Engineering, where he got down to the business of becoming Outstanding Civil Engineering Graduate, the top of his class. A master’s degree in engineering followed, as did his service as president of the Society of Tulane Engineers.

He was licensed to practice in five states and was a highly respected engineer on the local, state, and national level. Until his retirement, Jackson was senior vice president of DMJM Harris (now AECOM), part of the architectural engineering and related services industry. 

Following Hurricane Katrina, he was appointed by the Red Cross to the Louisiana Recovery Authority Transportation & Infrastructure Task Force as well as to a committee of international experts who provided peer review of the federal government’s investigation "Why the Levees Failed During Katrina."

He was also a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Louisiana Engineering Society, and was a charter member of the board of the Louisiana Engineering Advancement Program for Minorities, Inc. (LEAP). He served on the board of the Civil Engineering Research Foundation and as chair of the board of the United Engineering Foundation.

For the American Red Cross Southeast Louisiana Chapter, he lent his expertise to the Committee for Evaluation of Hurricane Evacuation in the New Orleans area. In 2007 he was appointed to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East, serving as its first president. He subsequently served a four-year term as a commissioner.

Jackson authored papers on engineering ethics and on technical issues related to engineering liability, presenting these at engineering colleges and engineering/legal continuing education events. Of note, he co-authored an article for Defense Counsel Journal with Ralph Kaskell Jr., Esq.

On the side he loved woodworking, and created beautiful furniture, clocks, and assorted miniatures. He was a parishioner of St. Benilde Catholic Parish and a member of Metairie Country Club for many years.