Hackney Award

T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership

Ed Back

The T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership Award honors a faculty member who exemplifies the constant guidance and leadership necessary to make the College of Engineering exceptional. Dr. W. Edward Back, professor and head of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, is the recipient of the 2017 T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership Award.

Before being named department head in fall 2014, Back was the director of the Construction Engineering Program, and he still serves as director of the UA Center for Sustainable Infrastructure. Prior to coming to UA, Back was a professor at Clemson University and Texas A&M University and worked in private industry for Simon Associates/Hawthorn Realty Group, Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Laboratory.

Back has extensive research experience in the field of construction engineering with particular emphasis in the areas of project execution planning, construction methods, cost and schedule control as well as materials management. He has completed approximately $5 million in funded research for a variety of private sector clients as well as state and federal government agencies. His research has generated recommendations for improving the project planning and execution process for large, multi-organizational projects classified as industrial, commercial, infrastructure or institutional.

Particularly active with the Construction Industry Institute (CII), Back served as the academic member of seven CII research teams and received the CII Outstanding Researcher Award for 1999. He was twice recognized as CII’s Outstanding Instructor, winning the honor in 2001 and 2005. He is also the recipient of CII’s 2014 Distinguished Professor Award, and he has chaired the CII’s national committee of research academics.

He joined the University in 2007 as an associate professor, teaching advanced classes in project execution and delivery, probabilistic project controls, cost and schedule forecasting and predictive modeling, and optimization of construction operations and engineering processes. He was named a full professor in 2012.

While at UA, he was honored in 2016 with the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award by the UA National Alumni Association, the University’s highest honor for excellence in teaching.

Back received three university distinguished Excellence in Teaching awards while at Texas A&M, including the Zachry Award and the Birdwell Endowed Teaching Award. He is a three-time recipient of the Award for Faculty Excellence at Clemson University. More recently, Dr. Back was named the 2012, 2014 and 2015 recipient of the Donald H. McLean Civil Engineering Professor of the Year award at UA.

This award was created as a tribute to T. Morris Hackney and was made possible by the contributions from John H. Josey and his son, Howard Josey.

T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership Through the Years

2016: John Baker
2015: Jay K. Lindly
2014: Susan L. Burkett
2013: Tim A. Haskew
2012: Allen S. Parrish
2011: K. Clark Midkiff Jr.
2010: Kenneth J. Fridley
2009: Viola Acoff
2008: Beth Todd
2007: Kevin Whitaker
2006: David B. Brown
2005: Charles L. Karr
2004: John Wiest
2003: David Cordes
2002: Robert Griffin
2001: Stuart Bell
2000: Lloyd “Pete” Morley
1999: Verle N. Schrodt
1998: Daniel Turner
1997: Gary C. April