Texas Tech University

Distinguished Engineer 2020

de2020David Harkins, Ph.D. P.E., D.WRE


B.S. Petroleum Engineering, Texas Tech University - 1992
M.S. Civil Engineering, Texas Tech University - 1995
Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Texas Tech University - 1998 

"David is one of the most respected, professional and personable engineers I have had the pleasure of working with. He is a great ambassador reflecting the highest integrity, wisdom, and educational goals of Texas Tech University, and very deserving of the Distinguished Engineer award." – Dr. William Espey


At Time of Nomination in 2020

Dr. David K. Harkins is a registered Professional Engineer in Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma. He received his Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Texas Tech University in 1992. He received his Master's Degree in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech University in 1995. Finally, he received his Doctoral Degree in Civil Engineering in 1998 also from Texas Tech University.

David worked in the petroleum field for two years and decided to move to civil engineering. Since then he has amassed over 20 years of experience in water resources in Texas. David works for Carollo Engineers, Inc. in Austin and focuses on projects related to hydrology, water resources planning, water availability modeling, water rights analysis, groundwater resources and modeling, aquifer storage and recovery, and climate variability.

David has completed many projects across Texas. He has worked in every river basin in Texas providing support to clients as needed. David has assisted the City of Houston in all water resources aspects for the last 20 years. He also assisted the City of Houston in developing and permitting the largest indirect reuse permit in Texas, almost 600 million gallons per day. With David's help, the City of Houston was able to negotiate and finalize many significant water supply agreements with various entities and water rights holders that have lasting impact to the Houston's future water supply in the decades to come.

In addition to his engineering position with Carollo, he has received the Engineering Excellence Award with the Civil & Environmental Engineering Academy of Texas Tech University in 2010. David was named a Diplomate of Water Resources Engineer (D.WRE) from the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers in 2010. David was also awarded the 2019 ASCE's Texas Section Professional Service to Students Award.

David has served on the Texas Tech University College of Engineering Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering Advisory Council (CECEAC) since 2014. He has served as the vice president and president of the organization. The CECEAC is comprised of engineers, business people, and entrepreneurs representing a broad range of industries and disciplines, and Dr. Harkins has worked diligently to promote an ongoing, constructive dialog among students, faculty, and staff.

David has coached basketball, soccer, and baseball for more than 20 years. He lives in Granite Shoals, TX with his wife, Victoria, of 29 years...also a DE from Texas Tech University (2014). They have two children, Christian has a Master's in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech University (2020), and Christyn who is a senior at Texas Tech now and plans to go to med school. David enjoys hanging out with his wife, lake life, fishing, camping, tearing up stuff, football, and just having fun.