David Johnston

Edward I. Weisiger Distinguished Professor Emeritus

David West Johnston is the Edward I. Weisiger Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Construction Engineering. Born in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1944, he received his degrees at North Carolina State University, a BS in Civil Engineering Construction Option in 1966, MS in Civil Engineering in 1968, and PhD in Civil Engineering in 1972. Following 7 years of industry experience as engineer and partner of firms in the Connecticut/New York area, he joined the North Carolina State University faculty in 1977 where he served in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering until his retirement in December 2010. From 1997 until 2007 he was Associate Head and Director of Graduate Programs. In 2008, he was named Edward I. Weisiger Distinguished Professor in Construction Engineering.

He became a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1983, a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute in 1983 and an Honorary Member of the Professional Construction Estimators Association in 1979. His activities in these organizations has included service as chair and member of ACI Committee 347 Formwork for Concrete, chair and member of the ASCE-CI Construction Research Council, chair and member of the ASCE-CI Construction Engineering Education Committee, member of ASCE Committee on Design Loads on Structures During Construction, member of the ASCE Committee on Curricula and Accreditation, and member of ACI Committee 315 Detailing of Reinforcement. In 2015, he was inducted into the National Academy of Construction.

Dr. Johnston’s teaching included many construction engineering courses over the years but particularly those emphasizing design of engineered systems for the construction process. He is author of the 8th edition of ACI SP-4 Formwork for Concrete published in 2014. His research areas included design of temporary structures for construction, bridge and building infrastructure management systems, and failure of buildings, bridges and temporary structures.

He has served as an evaluator for the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission and chairs the Construction Engineering PE Exam Module Subcommittee for the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. During his career he became licensed as a Professional Engineer in North Carolina, New York and Connecticut.


Ph.D. 1972

Civil Engineering

North Carolina State University

M.S. 1968

Civil Engineering

North Carolina State University

B.S. 1966

Civil Engineering Construction Option

North Carolina State University

Research Description

Dr. Johnston's research areas include construction engineering, construction management, bridge management systems, and structural engineering. He has authored about 100 papers and reports and made about 50 presentations at conferences and meetings.

Honors and Awards

  • ASCE Roebling Award, 2013
  • NCSU Outstanding Teaching Award, 2010
  • ACI Delmar Bloem Award, 2003
  • ACI Construction Practice Award, 1994


Linkages between construction engineering education and research
Jahren, C. T., & Johnston, D. (2011), Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 137(10), 887–894. https://doi.org/10.1061/(asce)co.1943-7862.0000340
Improving the professional engineering licensure process for construction engineers
Johnston, D., Ahluwalia, N. T., & Gwyn, M. B. (2007), Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 133(9), 669–677. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9364(2007)133:9(669)
Bridge management system results: history and impact
Johnston, D. W. (2000), Bridge Engineering Conference 2000: Past achievements current practices future technologies, 26-30 March, 2000, Sharm El-Sheikh, Sinai, Egypt, 51–70. Cairo, Egypt: Egyptian Society of Engineers.
Construction engineering and management undergraduate education
Abudayyeh, O., Russell, J., Johnston, D., & Rowings, J. (2000), Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 126(3), 169–175. https://doi.org/10.1061/(asce)0733-9364(2000)126:3(169)
Comparison of strength and construction tolerances in concrete
Cutshall, B. E., Leming, M. L., & Johnston, D. (1999), ACI Structural Journal, 96(4), 491–494. https://doi.org/10.14359/685
Design and construction of concrete formwork
Johnston, D. W. (1997), In Concrete construction engineering handbook (pp. 7.1–740). Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press.
Formwork Pressures in Tall Walls with Extended Set Concrete
Johnston, D. W., McCain, P. P., & Dunston, P. S. (1994), Concrete International, 16(11), 26–34.

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