Leo Odom graduated from Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in 1924 with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering. He went on to attend Louisiana State University and received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from LSU in 1927. Mr. Odom was chief engineer for the Louisiana Department of Public Works in 1948 when he and the head of the department, Dewitt L. Pyburn, joined together to form Pyburn and Odom, a consulting firm that earned a national reputation for excellence in all aspects of engineering, with particular emphasis on civil, marine, pipeline, environmental, and public works projects. Originally known widely as pipeline water crossing experts, Pyburn & Odom, Inc. was an early leader in the nation in giving the environment more attention. This diversification was a logical extension of its proven expertise and today the firm is well known for its environmental capabilities.
Mr. Odom was very active professionally, being a member of the Louisiana Engineering Society since 1942 and a founding member and lifetime director of the Louisiana Engineering Foundation. He served on the Louisiana State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers for thirty-two years. He was the first recipient of the Louisiana Engineering Society Service Award in 1972. In 1973 he received the Charles M. Kerr Public Relations Award for his contributions to the engineering profession in Louisiana. He was a Mason and a Rotarian.
This award is presented posthumously following his death in 1996.