2011 Hall of Fame
Rear Admiral David J. Nash
David J. Nash grew up in the small community of Mount Vernon, Ohio, and came to Indiana Tech to earn his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. While at Indiana Tech, he was very involved in campus life, and was one of the founding members of the universtiy’s chapter of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Nash graduated from Tech in 1965, and his engineering degree laid the foundation not only for his licensing as a professional engineer, but also for his career in the U.S. Navy. In 1966 he was commissioned into the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps.
During his illustrious 33-year career in the U.S. Navy, he earned the rank of two-star Rear Admiral. For more than four decades, Nash has provided construction, program, financial, and acquisition management services for programs and projects all over the world, from field to executive level, first for the U.S. Navy and then the private sector.
He served as resident officer in charge of construction at naval installations in Argentina, Newfoundland, and Point Mugu, Calif., before shipping overseas to Vietnam, where he served until 1970.
His command duties continued in Germany, Spain, the Mississippi coast, and Norfolk, Va., for the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
Next, for three years he served in the dual roles of commanding officer, Naval Construction Battalion Center, and commander, 31st Naval Construction Regiment, both located at Port Huenerne, Calif.
By 1995, he was serving as commander, Pacific Division Naval Facilities Command. At this point, he was responsible for the Navy’s facilities across 11 time zones in the Pacific Command region, including command of the Third Naval Construction Brigade in Pearl Harbor.
Named chief of civil engineers, he ascended to the top of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps as commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Organization. In this capacity, he led the Navy’s 2,000 military engineers and an organization of 20,000 people responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of the U.S. Navy’s shore installations worldwide.
Nash also was called upon to serve as the director of the Iraq Program Management Office (PMO) under the Coalition Provisional Authority and, later, as director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office (IRMO) under the U.S. State Department.
Under his direction, these organizations managed the $18.4 billion Iraq infrastructure reconstruction program. His task was to get the airports, ports, railroad, and all surface transportation in Iraq functioning again and under control of their future government.
Among the unit and individual military commendations that have been awarded to Nash are:
- the Distinguished Service Medal
- two Legion of Merit Awards
- a Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- three Meritorious Service Medals
- three Navy Commendation Medals including one with “V” for valor
After 33 years of service in the U.S. Navy, Nash retired in 1998. Since then, he has extended his leadership in the private sector, directing large building programs in a variety of executive positions.
He served as program director of Parsons Brinkerhoff for the billion dollar renovation of General Motors’ Warren Technical Center Campus in Warren, Mich.
He joined BE&K, Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama, as president of the Government Group in 2004, and became chairman and CEO of Jordan–BE&K Federal Group, LLC in 2005.
In 2004, Nash also established his own consulting firm, Dave Nash and Associates International. As chairman and chief executive officer, he leads a team of experts in strategic planning, project development, and program management of complex infrastructure and energy projects.
In 2010 he was named senior vice president of MELE Associates, where he is focused on building the company’s alternative energy portfolio and its program and project management capabilities.
Nash has received numerous professional honors and awards:
- He was elected to the National Academy of Construction in 2003.
- He was named “One of the 50 Top Newsmakers” by Engineering News-Record in 2005.
- He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and also was awarded the Carroll H. Dunn Award of Excellence by the Construction Industry Institute in 2007.
Nash is chairman of the Federal Facilities Council of the National Research Council Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment, and has been very involved in industry research.
He is a life member and fellow of the Society of American Military Engineers and also a member of many professional associations, including the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Construction, where he is a past president.
In addition to his BSEE from Indiana Tech, Nash holds a master’s degree in financial management from the Naval Postgraduate School. In 2005, Indiana Tech awarded him an honorary doctorate in civil engineering.
Education has always been of primary importance to him, and he has dedicated much time and effort to reaching out to students at universities around the nation, including Indiana Tech. He spoke at Tech’s Commencement in 2005 and at a University Forum in 2009.
He talks about leadership, management, hard work, integrity, and devotion to cause. He inspires students to get the most from their education.
Beyond his service to students, he has contributed in other substantial ways, including generous donations to the David J. Nash Scholarship, which is awarded annually at Indiana Tech to a student majoring in engineering and dedicated to academic excellence.