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College of Engineering & Science - Louisiana Tech University

Mechanical Engineering

Joseph Jackson Thigpen


Headshot of Jack ThigpenIn recognition of outstanding service and leadership in the engineering profession. For promotion and advancement of the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering and the College of Engineering at Louisiana Tech University as Department Head and Dean.

Joseph Jackson"Jack" Thigpen graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in May 1936. He received his M.S. (1951) and Ph.D. (1959) from the University of Texas at Austin.

After graduation from Louisiana Tech, Dr. Thigpen worked for one year with Seismic Explorations, Inc., of Houston, Texas, before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated from the Academy in June 1941 and served six years as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers.

In September 1947, he became a member of the faculty of the School of Engineering at Louisiana Tech (then called Louisiana Polytechnic Institute).

He served as Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering from June 1953 through December 1975. He served Acting Associate Dean until August 1976, when he was appointed Dean of the College of Engineering at Louisiana Tech University. His service as Dean continued until his retirement in June 1982.

Jack Thigpen’s service to the engineering profession included a term as Secretary-Treasurer (1969-71), Vice President (1971-73), and President (1973-74) of the Louisiana Engineering Society. He served as President of the Monroe Chapter of LES (1965), and member of the Board of Direction of LES (1967-69 and 1974-75). He was active on several committees for Region X, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and was elected Fellow of ASME in 1972. He was a member of the ECPD accreditation teams for accreditation visits to ten different universities (1965-73).

Jack Thigpen’s greatest achievement was his positive and inspirational influence on the people with whom he worked. He has encouraged untold numbers of engineering students to reach their potential in the engineering profession and in their lives.