Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award

The Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award is awarded to a member of the alumni community who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the College of Engineering and Bucknell University, exemplary professional achievement, or noteworthy contributions to society.

2021 Recipient

Dave McAlister ’77

Dave McAlister '77 graduated from Bucknell with a degree in civil engineering. He is the chief development officer for WSP USA (formerly Parsons Brinckerhoff), one of the largest engineering consulting firms in the world. The company designed the original New York City subway, New Jersey's Garden State Parkway, and subways in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

McAlister previously served as WSP's global director, transport and infrastructure, where he was involved in the marketing and delivery of transportation engineering and design assignments across the globe. He also spent time as managing director, Europe/Africa/Middle East in London, and Atlantic district manager in Baltimore.
The list of projects McAlister has been part of marketing and delivering span the globe and include projects in the United States, UK, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Malaysia and Singapore.
Prior to joining Parsons Brinckerhoff in 1981, McAlister worked for CSX railroad, serving as a track supervisor in Cumberland, Md. He had originally joined the bridge & buildings department, but quickly realized that his fear of heights made him better suited for the track department. 
As a civil engineering student at Bucknell, McAlister served as a teaching assistant and was part of a team that built Bucknell's first concrete canoe. In 1977, he organized Bucknell's first concrete canoe race, which included entrants from approximately 20 Northeast schools.
McAlister has been involved with Bucknell and the College of Engineering for many years, lecturing on campus about the fundamentals of engineering consulting and in support of the Bucknell in London program. He has hosted students on project tours in Maryland, London and New York City. McAlister was a member of the Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association (BEAA) Board of Directors for nine years, including a stint as board president. He served as the Bertrand Representative for the Northern New Jersey WE DO Campaign Cabinet and was part of his 35th and 40th Class Reunion leadership teams.
McAlister and his wife, Liz, live in Westfield, N.J., and have three children who attended Bucknell. Kevin '10 graduated with an economics and political science degree. Nicholas '14 graduated with a mechanical engineering degree. Morgan '18 graduated with a markets, innovation & design major.

Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award

Contact Details

College of Engineering


235 Dana Engineering Building


8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.