CCEE Hall of Fame


First Professor-in-Charge of the Construction Engineering program who established a rigorous, practical educational program with a family feel

Inducted: 2010

Thomas Jellinger received a bachelor’s in architectural engineering from the University of Illinois in 1948 and continued his education at Iowa State, receiving his master’s degree in industrial engineering in 1963. Jellinger started his professional career as a contractor, registered engineer and licensed architect.


Initially, Jellinger was appointed assistant professor of architecture and architectural engineering at Iowa State. He taught courses in methods and materials in construction, estimating and supervision and specifications. These courses, a proposal from Bill Klinger, and funding from Master Builders of Iowa began the construction engineering program.


Jellinger was the first head of the construction engineering program. He built the program into what it is today. When he started, the program only had four students; when he retired in 1981 as a professor emeritus, the program had 400 students and bachelors, masters and doctoral programs. Under his leadership, the program gained Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accreditation in 1976. His efforts resulted in Iowa State’s nationally recognized construction engineering program.