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Conrad Keyes, Jr., professor and department head emeritus in the New Mexico State University Department of Civil Engineering was recently named the 64th National Honor Member of Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering national honor society. (Courtesy photo) JUNE16

NMSU Engineering Professor Emeritus Receives Prestigious Engineering Honor

Conrad Keyes Jr., professor and department head emeritus in the New Mexico State University Department of Civil Engineering, was recently named the 64th member of a prestigious engineering society.

This May, Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering national honor society, announced Keyes’ elevation as the 64th National Honor Member.

“I told (Chi Epsilon) initially I didn’t deserve it,” Keyes said. But he was eventually persuaded to accept the honor by his colleagues.

The honor society has more than 120,000 inducted members, but only 64 National Honor Members.

Chi Epsilon National Honor Members are recognized for their distinguished and pre-eminent accomplishments in the field of civil engineering, and their outstanding contributions to the object and purpose of Chi Epsilon. Candidates are nominated and selected by balloting the National Council.

Keyes served as head of the Civil Engineering Department at NMSU from 1978 to 1987, when he retired.

His interest in civil engineering started when he graduated from Roswell High School in 1955: contractors, NMSU civil engineering graduates, got Keyes a scholarship to attend the university as a civil engineering major.

Keyes graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1959. He continued his education as a graduate student, earning a master’s degree in 1961, then joined the faculty in 1966 while pursuing his doctorate in water resources engineering, which he completed in 1967.

Currently, Keyes serves as chairman of the Paso del Norte Watershed Council, which “promotes projects to improve water quality and quantity, ecosystem integrity, the quality of life and economic sustainability in the Paso del Norte watershed” and which “also provides a forum for exchanging information about any and all activities on the Rio Grande.”

Keyes serves as co-chairman of NMSU’s Civil, Agricultural and Geological Engineering Academy, “formed to serve as multipurpose liaisons between the department and the engineering profession.”

“The NMSU Department of Civil Engineering joins the CAGE Academy in congratulating Dr. Keyes as recipient of this prestigious award. We are indebted to Dr. Keyes for the national attention that he has brought to our program and for all the support he provides to our students and faculty through his advising and fundraising efforts. It’s a privilege to work with Dr. Keyes who we consider one of our most cherished alumni members,” said NMSU Civil Engineering Department Head David Jauregui.

Founded in 1922, Chi Epsilon has more than 130 chapters throughout the United States.

“Chi Epsilon was organized to recognize the characteristics of the individual civil engineer deemed to be fundamental to the successful pursuit of an engineering career, and to aid in the development of those characteristics in civil engineering students,” says Chi Epsilon’s website.

Author:  David Jauregui –  NMSU

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