Distinguished Alumni Awards

Dan Henry Pletta

Dan  Henry Pletta
To Dan Henry Pletta, engineering educator, for his contributions to the profession through teaching and public service.

University Professor of Engineering Mechanics Emeritus, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia

  • BS, Civil Engineering, 1927
  • CE, Civil Engineering, 1938

Professor Pletta began his teaching career at the University of Wisconsin, and later taught at the University of South Dakota. His career at Virginia Polytechnic Institute began in 1932. He rose through the academic ranks and was head of the Engineering Mechanics Department from 1946 through 1970. He was appointed university professor of engineering mechanics in 1969. His VPI appointment was interrupted by a two-year assignment to the Philadelphia Ordnance District and the Richmond, Virginia Regional Office of the U.S. Army (1942-44), followed by an appointment as instructor and assistant director of the Mechanics Department of the U.S. Military Academy (1944-46). He retired from VPI in 1972, but continues to participate actively in his technical fields of interest – structural mechanics, stress analysis, and materials.

Widely known as a popular teacher of engineering mechanics, Professor Pletta is also well-known as a leader in his profession. He is past director of the American Society of Civil Engineers, has served on numerous committees of the National Society of Professional Engineers since 1951, including president of the NSPE Educational Foundation, and has served on many committees of the American Society for Engineering Education. He is the author of two textbooks and numerous articles and chapters in books.

Current as of 1976.