Published: Mon Feb 22, 2010<Two Tennessee Tech University College of Engineering alumni — David Richard Wright and Barry (Butch) Wilmore — accepted the college’s 2010 Engineers of Distinction award at a recent banquet.
More than 200 faculty members, support staff, alumni and students attended the banquet, which served as a culmination of Engineers’ Week.
David Richard Wright
Wright received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from TTU in 1980, earning membership in the honorary societies Chi Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa. He was awarded an Engineering Foundation Fellowship to attend the University of Texas at Austin where he received his master’s degree in engineering in 1982.
From 1982 to 1989, Wright worked for John Carpenter and Associates P.C. and Stanley D. Lindsey and Associates Ltd. as a structural design engineer and project manager. While there, he was head of numerous outstanding projects. One of the most notable projects was the application of a system that used composite long-span steel joists. It was the first time this system had been used in the United States.
In 1989, Wright was appointed as department manager of architectural, structural and civil services for Lockwood Greene Engineers, where he led numerous plant expansion upgrades.
Wright rejoined John Carpenter in 1994 to form Carpenter Wright Engineers P.L.L.C. as the first professional limited liability company registered in Tennessee. He provides executive management of CWE operations, oversees the company’s risk management program, directs forensic services and is responsible for the development of an integrated design office management software solution.
He is registered as a professional engineer in 20 states and has served as Nashville branch president and District Nine delegate for the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Currently, Wright serves as chairperson of TTU’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Advisory Board and is a member of the President’s Club Eagle Society.
A Putnam County native, Wright graduated as Putnam County High School salutatorian in 1975. While at TTU, he met his wife, the former Connie LaFevor of Lebanon. They have two sons, Jordan, a third-generation TTU graduate, and Brendan, who attends Mt. Juliet High School.
Capt. Barry E. (Butch) Wilmore
Wilmore earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from TTU in 1985. He also holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from TTU and a master’s degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee. He was also inducted into the TTU Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 for football.
Along with his college education, Wilmore attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Wilmore completed 5,900 flight hours and 663 carrier landings in tactical jet aircraft. He also completed 21 missions in Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield, four operational deployments flying the A-7E and FA-18 aircraft and has flown missions over Bosnia.
In July 2000, Wilmore was selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate. After completing his two-year training, Wilmore did technical work for the astronaut office and was head of an astronaut support team that went to Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Along with his technical work, Wilmore has logged 259 hours in space and was pilot on the 31st space shuttle STS-129 flight to the International Space Station in November 2009.
Along with his accomplishments at NASA, Wilmore has received five Air Medals, six Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals, many unit decorations and numerous piloting honors.
Wilmore was raised in Mt. Juliet and attended Mt. Juliet High School. His mother and father, Faye and Eugene Wilmore, reside in Mt. Juliet while his brother, Jack, and his family reside in Franklin.