James C. Pegues Jr., P.E., BC.GE, F.ASCE, for 18-plus years the “owner’s engineer” with Southern Company, has been named a fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Pegues’ career covers 22+ years in the private consulting world of geotechnical engineering, followed by his current position performing in-house geotechnical engineering projects and reviewing the work of outside consultants retained by Southern Company and its affiliates. Much of his career has focused on foundations, embankments, and sitework.
After joining Southern Company in early 2005, he led the effort to advance the internal foundation analysis and testing protocols for deep foundations, transitioning from basic analysis methods that had been used internally for 20 or more years to more state-of-the art methodologies. He also served on a technical advisory committee (internal to Southern Company) regarding backfill and foundation issues for Georgia Power Company's Plant Vogtle Unit 3 (the first new nuclear generating plant to become operational in 30 years) and the soon-to-be operational Unit 4.
In early 2009, Pegues’ focus began shifting more toward coal combustion residuals, or CCR, related issues. He has served as the geotechnical lead for Southern Company's review and comment on the various proposed federal (EPA) and state (various) CCR-related rules, beginning in December 2009 and continuing to the present, and is considered the Southern Company geotechnical subject matter expert by the company's in-house and external counsel.
In 2007, Pegues and another member of the ASCE Alabama Section worked jointly to form an Alabama Chapter of the ASCE Geo-Institute. The Alabama Chapter was chartered in 2008 and Pegues served as the inaugural president of the chapter for a three-year term, from 2008 to 2010. He then served formally as a Chapter Board Member for a period of two years.
Industrywide, Pegues has been an active participant in the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) program committees relating to coal combustion products and has influenced specific research projects and reviewed draft reports prepared by EPRI-retained external consultants. He was recognized for his contributions to EPRI with an EPRI Technology Transfer Award in 2019 related to geotechnical stability of ash ponds before and after closure.
In July 2022, Pegues was appointed by the Governor of Alabama to the Alabama Board of Licensure for Engineers and Land Surveyors as a civil/geotechnical engineer representative board member, to serve a five-year term with the option of an additional five-year term. The appointment followed an application to, and interview process by, a nominating committee consisting of engineering society/organization representatives from the State of Alabama.