Civil Engineering – 1968
Joseph J. Beal was raised in Dallas, though his family has strong West Texas roots. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech in 1968. While at Tech, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and various campus organizations.
Immediately after graduation, he joined URS/Forrest and Cotton in Dallas, as a Staff Engineer. In October 1968, he joined the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant serving in the Medical Services Corps. In October 1969 he was transferred to the Republic of Viet Nam where he was promoted to Captain and commanded a medical detachment. He earned the Bronze Star and other awards and in October of 1970 was medivaced back to the United States. Upon leaving the Army, he returned to Texas and worked as a Project Engineer for URS/Forrest and Cotton in Austin. At the same time he attended The University of Texas at Austin where he earned his Master’s Degree of Business in 1974. That year he joined the Texas Water Quality Board as a Section Chief managing the Galveston Bay Project, a fresh water inflow needs assessment and a waste load allocation for the Houston Ship Channel. In 1976, he became an Associate Engineer and Manager of the Engineering Division at Espey, Huston & Associates, headquartered in Austin. During his 19 years with the firm he served as Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors before being promoted to Senior Vice President.
In 1995, he joined LCRA as Manager of the Water Services business unit, which provides water resources management, flood protection, drought management, agricultural irrigation and water and wastewater utility services. Four years later he was tapped by the Board of Directors to serve as LCRA’s eighth General Manager and Chief Executive Officer. LCRA is a conservation and reclamation district with annual revenues of $700 million and a work force of about 2,300. Under his leadership, LCRA penned a $100 million long–term water supply agreement with the City of Austin; implemented a 10–year, $173 million project to modernize and upgrade six major dams and hydroelectric facilities; expanded transmission services into South and West Texas and created a nonprofit transmission affiliate with projected capital investments of $1 billion in the next five years; built a highly efficient, 536–megawatt natural gas power plant; and obtained a unique state "flex" permit to reduce air emissions from the Fayette Power Project and make it one of the cleanest burning coal–fired power plants in the nation. In addition, he carried LCRA into the business of water and wastewater utility services.
Mr. Beal is President of the Tx Water Conservation Association. He also has served as a recent Past Member of the Board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT); Past Chairman of the TX State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and served as their Past Chairman of the Industry Advisory Committee; and was named Engineer of the Year in 2003 by the TX Society of Professional Engineers (Travis Chapter). He is also active in the greater Austin and Central TX community. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts of America Capitol Area Council and recently received the Silver Beaver Award, the Council’s highest honor. He is a board member of the Austin Area Research Organization; board member of the Central & South TX Minority Business Council; past board member of the Real Estate Council of Austin; and a past honorary chairman of the Martin Luther King, Jr., March and Rally in Austin.
He and his wife, the former Nancy Fisher of San Antonio, live in Bastrop and have two daughters, Sarah Beal of Bastrop and Amy Beal of Austin.
Texas Tech University is honored and proud to name Joseph J. Beal as DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER.