Kam Movassaghi, Louisiana’s former secretary of transportation and development who as a member of the ASCE Louisiana Section served as executive director of the 2012 Report Card for Louisiana's Infrastructure, has died. He was 83.
Over the course of his career, Movassaghi, Ph.D., P.E., moved easily between academia, business, and government. He held teaching, research, and administrative positions at three universities. His business experience ranged from founding partner and CEO of an engineering management firm to serving as president of Fenstermaker from 2005-2014.
As secretary of Louisiana’s department of transportation and development from 1998-2004, he implemented a program to complete a 30-year, $5 billion statewide highway construction program, the largest in the department’s history.
A native of Iran, Movassaghi came to the United States in 1960 to join his cousin in Lafayette. He studied engineering at Southwestern Louisiana Institute, where he earned his bachelor's degree in three years. He followed this with a master's degree and doctorate from Louisiana State University.
In the 1970s he returned to Iran, where he built a business only to be forced to flee during the revolution that brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power. In 1980, he returned to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to teach civil engineering.
ASCE named him 2002’s National Government Engineer of the Year, and a recipient of the Francis C. Turner Award for contributions to transportation engineering. He was a national associate of the National Research Council of the National Academies. On retiring, Movassaghi served as chair of the Lafayette chamber of commerce.