CCEE Hall of Fame

International impact in environmental engineering, leadership for the wastewater industry

Inducted 2023

David M. Fox graduated in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and a master’s degree with a focus in sanitary engineering in 1965. Fox has pioneered several innovative wastewater treatment processes across the state of Iowa, and throughout his career, his passion for environmental safety in local communities has remained strong.

After graduation, Fox started his career in Indiana as a design engineer for Chas. W. Cole. Fox continued to gain experience as an engineer, accepting a position as a design engineer with Leo A. Daly Associates in 1968 in Nebraska. In 1970, Fox returned to Iowa as the vice president and project manager for Clapsaddle- Garber Associates.

After decades of experience, Fox founded an engineering firm, FOX Engineering Associates, based in Ames, Iowa (now FOX/Strand). Fox ran the company as a founder, president, board chair and project manager until 2008 when he retired from active participation in the company. Under his guidance, FOX Engineering mentored numerous ISU Civil Engineering interns. The firm has been known for hiring and supporting the advancement of women engineers and administrators. During his tenure, FOX Engineering had an egalitarian structure that gave engineers professional autonomy profits from buying into ownership. Throughout his time at FOX Engineering, his leadership became known throughout state and national professional organizations in the engineering field. He served as state president of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the Iowa Consulting Engineer’s Council and was on the national board of both AWWA and WEF.

Though officially retired, his work and dedication in providing clean and sustainable water and sanitation remains prevalent. In addition to his work in Iowa, Fox has been actively serving internationally. He consistently volunteered to serve Water For People, an organization dedicated to providing sustainable clean water and sanitation to countries needing technical assistance. Even today, Fox volunteers and provides expertise for water projects in Tanzania, through Global Grants from The Rotary Foundation. His work includes training the local people to use and maintain the improved works to insure sustainability.

While Fox is impacting communities worldwide, he has also continued to support the Iowa State University Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering’s mission. Fox has been active in the department through chairing the Civil Engineering External Advisory Council, implementing research results in projects, and participating in search committees for environmental engineering faculty. His impact in the environmental engineering community has remained high for decades, as Fox works to provide safe and sustainable resources for the world.