Melinda Luna, P.E., F.ASCE, senior project manager in Austin for KCI Technologies Inc., an ENR500 top 50 multidiscipline engineering firm, has been named a fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Luna’s professional career began in 1988 as an engineering assistant at TxDOT’s Pharr District design office. During her career, she has progressed from design engineering to managing challenging projects and developing innovative project solutions. Over three decades, she has contributed to many agencies and projects. At TxDOT, she started as a design engineer working on PS&E and managing the bridge inspection program for the Pharr District. She transferred to the Bridge Division, where she led the state in scour evaluations and supporting the various TxDOT Districts as a part of the Hydraulic Design Group. Working for the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), she worked on projects including the volumetric surveys of the Highland Lakes, creating the flood forecast system (Corps Water Management System, CWMS), and helping the communities of the Lower Colorado River basin.
As senior project manager, she provides project guidance and supervision to project teams. She has worked on several projects in Texas, Maryland, and South Carolina. Texas projects include Fourth Ward Street Reconstruction, SH 48 schematic in Cameron County, IH 35 detention pond study in Lewisville, and FM 150/1626 in Hays and Travis County. Outside of Texas the projects include the Maritime Boulevard Stream Restoration, and I-85 at Rocky Creek in Greenville, South Carolina.
Luna has been involved in the ASCE Rio Grande Valley and Austin Branches as chair of History & Heritage, VP of Programs (Austin Branch), vice president (Rio Grande Valley Branch), and member of the Austin Branch scholarship committee. She also currently serves as a member of the National History and Heritage Committee and as chair for the Texas Section History and Heritage Committee. She has been writing articles for the Texas Civil Engineer magazine since 2001.
She is also a member of the National Hydrologic Warning Council (NHWC), serving as part of the Training Committee that has been putting on online training every month. Additionally, Luna is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the Texas Floodplain Managers Association (TFMA). She is presently a member of the TFMA Outreach Committee, which evaluates submissions of drawings for the Turn Around Don’t Drown (TADD) Calendar, a trademark program of the National Weather Service.
In 2018, she received the ASCE Texas Section Professional Service Award, and in 2019 she was awarded ASCE’s national Civil Engineering History and Heritage award.
Luna volunteers her time to projects with Engineers without Borders. She has been a member of the Historical Bridge Foundation, serving as a resource on answering questions on historical bridges in the U.S. She also volunteers time to talk to students in engineering.
She obtained her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M Kingsville.