Mark K. Boyd PhD, PE, D.WRE

Mark K. Boyd PhD, PE, D.WRE
LCA Environmental, Inc. | Principal Engineer
SMU | Adjunct Professor

The ASCE Texas Section Board of Direction members were asked to fill out a questionnaire so that the Section’s members might get to know them a little better on a personal level. These are President-Elect, Mark Boyd’s answers.

When did you first get involved with ASCE at any level (student chapter, local branch, section)?

I began as an SMU undergraduate student chapter member in 1982, I actively contributed to building a concrete canoe—and guess what? It didn’t sink!

Mark Boyd with his Sister at the Taj Mahal c. 1964

When did you know you wanted to be a civil engineer?

My journey began with my father, a US foreign aid specialist for the State Department (USAID).  Entering college as a political science major, aspiring for a career in international diplomacy, fate led me to an all-engineers dorm floor at SMU during a housing shortage. My engineering friends, mostly in electrical and computer engineering, were surprised by my calculus skills and questioned my political science choice. Despite their advice, I switched to Civil Engineering, following my interest in an environmental career with potential for significant impact.   The rest, as they say, is history!

Give us your best 2-3 sentence piece of advice for the next generation of civil engineers.

As an adjunct professor at SMU’s Bobby Lyle School of Engineering since 2001, I’ve connected with numerous aspiring Civil Engineers. Whether individually or in class, I consistently emphasize three key points:

Mark Boyd and his family

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Here’s my sincere and honest answer: Whatever I’m doing becomes meaningful when I’m with Monica, my wife of nearly 40 wonderful years. My adult kids, Natalie and Stephen, are extensions of her, so being with them is always enjoyable, regardless of the activity or location. 

What was your high school nickname?

It took some pondering. A few girls from my graduating class at the American Cooperative School (go Cougars!) in La Paz, Bolivia, affectionately called me “Marquitos.” The guys stuck with “Mark,” unless I made game-time mistakes during rare appearances on the varsity basketball and soccer teams. On those occasions, my coaches and teammates playfully dubbed me with Spanish names I won’t share here! In middle school in Panama, a camp counselor nicknamed me “Marcus Aurelius,” comparing me to the stoic Roman emperor. However, that nickname didn’t extend beyond summer camp!

Mountains or beach?

Mark Boyd in Colorado on July 19, 2006

Without a doubt, mountains! I cherished hiking with my son Stephen and the Boy Scouts on the Weminuche Trail (Colorado) and the Inca Trail (Peru). Some of my fondest memories with my Dad involve fishing on a mountain stream at the foot of Villa Rica Volcano in Chile.

Mark Boyd and crew at Machu Picchu c. 2007

What would your superpower be?

Here’s the scoop: I’ve got a superpower – fluency in Spanish! Thanks to my dad, I went to all-Spanish schools from preschool to 8th grade, and I’ve had formal Spanish education in high school and college. I’m your go-to for on-the-spot verbal translations, as proven at engineering events in Honduras and elsewhere. Reading and writing in both languages? Piece of cake! My goal? In the future, I aim to shape my roles at ASCE to help Mexico expand its activities within Region 6. Simple, isn’t it?