AUSTIN, Texas — Lt. Gen. Kenneth Eickmann, whose leadership accomplishments include having led the federal rescue and recovery efforts following the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Building, has been chosen to be director of the Construction Industry Institute at The University of Texas at Austin effective June 1.
Citing his exceptional leadership, management and marketing skills, the UT Austin search committee selected Eickmann, an Austin native and 1967 UT Austin graduate in mechanical engineering, from a field of 100 applicants nationwide. Eickmann retired from the U.S. Air Force on May 1.
The Construction Industry Institute is the internationally acclaimed 85-corporation research consortium that funds $5 million in research at 30 U.S. universities to improve the total quality and cost effectiveness of the construction industry. UT Austin houses the research unit within the College of Engineering.
“We were looking for two major qualities in our new director: leadership to help our corporate sponsors implement our research findings at higher levels in their company, and out-of-the-box thinking to help identify new research areas,” said Dr. Richard Tucker, retiring director of the institute.
Managing industry/academic partnerships is familiar to Eickmann. As commander of the most heavily populated and organizationally diverse base in the U.S. Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, he chaired a consortium partnering the U.S. Department of Defense, the aerospace industry, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to increase competitiveness in the aerospace industry. In this latest assignment with the U.S. Air Force, he also oversaw more than 23,000 people, 18 million square feet of buildings and an $11 billion budget.
At Wright-Patterson, Eickmann initiated a culture change within the U.S. Air Force when he became the first non-pilot to serve as commander of the aeronautical systems center. This center is responsible for research, development and acquisition of aircraft and aeronautical systems for the U.S. Air Force.
Eickmann will follow in the footsteps of Tucker, the first construction industry faculty member to be elected a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering, and who founded and directed the consortium since 1983.
For additional information, contact Becky Rische of the College of Engineering, (512) 471-7272, or see the website at http://construction-institute.org/.