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Stephen Affleck

Emeritus Professor
Civil Engineering
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Stephen Affleck

I came to BSU in 1981 as an Associate Professor of Engineering. I had been an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Utah. My educational background was a BS in chemical engineering from the U of U in 1960, MS in sanitary engineering, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Water Resources/Soil Physics from Iowa State (ISU).

After my BS I worked for Procter and Gamble for eight years as a research and development engineer before going to graduate school at ISU. BSU's program in 1981 was pre-engineering particularly designed to provide the first two years of engineering science and core courses so that students leaving the program could start their third year as juniors in engineering programs anywhere, but in particular at the University of Idaho (UI).

We worked closely with all the schools in Idaho to cooperate toward that end. In the early 90's, under pressure from mainly Micron, the State Board of Education decided to have UI bring a cooperative program to BSU so that students could transfer from the BSU program to the UI program without leaving Boise. UI was given space and accommodations in the BSU Engineering Building and also moved in some temporary buildings for new faculty that they hired. BSU faculty was cooperative but not particularly happy with the situation. We felt that we could effectively run our own program without UI. BSU upper administration was also keen on BSU having its own BS engineering programs and only a year or so after UI moved in, the State Board reversed themselves and gave the BS program to BSU exclusively to start in the Fall semester of 1996. UI was given the Graduate program and was required to move from BSU buildings. It was not pleasant for a number of people, particularly the UI new hires.

I was chair of the Department of Construction Management and Engineering at the time and the five of us in engineering then had the responsibility in December 95 of putting together programs in CE, ME and EE ready for starting classes in Fall 96. Our job was to prepare and get approval of curricula, interview and hire over 10 faculty members and perform a few minor miracles with regard to graduation requirements. Tom MacGregor, dean of the College of Technology, prepared an excellent budget for the program and I was unofficially designated Director of Engineering Programs. We got it all done. Contrary to some experts' expectations that we would not be able to get ABET accreditation for 15 years, we achieved that at the first opportunity we had, in 1997, under the new dean we had hired, Lynn Russell. Tom MacGregor had retired and was replaced by two deans, Lynn Russell for engineering and one for applied technology. It was a very exciting and satisfying experience.

I then continued as Department Chair of Civil Engineering until 2005, 11 years as a chair. I retired in June 2006, and continued a few years teaching as an adjunct. I taught a lot of courses along the way, Engineering Graphics, Statics, Mechanics of Materials, Fluid Mechanics, Water Resources Engineering, Intro to Civil Engineering, Material Science, Intro to Engineering, Open Channel Flow, Surveying, Thermodynamics and others. I loved my job. Being on stage with a captive audience was always good.