Texas Tech University

Distinguished Engineer Citations

Distinguished Engineer Photo: Victoria Richards Harkins, Ph.D.
Victoria Richards Harkins, Ph.D.

Victoria Richards Harkins, Ph.D.

Distinguished Engineer



B.S., Biochemistry – 1992


M.S., Ph.D., Civil Engineering – 1995, 1998



At Time of Nomination in 2014

Dr. Victoria Richards Harkins grew up south of Lubbock and graduated from Lubbock Cooper High School. During high school she met her best friend – and now husband, David. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry in 1992, but volunteered in the Civil Engineering Environmental Sciences lab before graduation. Dr. Tony Mollhagen, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and the lab director, offered her a job and then convinced her to take graduate classes in civil engineering. She went on to earn her a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in civil engineering in 1995 and 1998, respectively.

After graduation, Harkins took a position as an engineer with the state of Texas in Austin. During her tenure working for the state, Harkins became a designated expert in water and wastewater utility service and served as the state’s expert on numerous occasions, testifying for the state’s legislature and serving as a legislative resource. However, Harkins’ original training and research was in water quality and multi-media environmental assessment, sampling, and remediation.

In late 2002, she went to work in the private sector for Dr. William H. Espey Jr. for Espey Consultants. In 2006, she opened her own civil and environmental engineering company, Harkins Engineering, Inc.

Harkins currently provides professional civil and environmental engineering services for King Ranch, Inc. and provides municipal engineering services for several municipalities. She thoroughly enjoys providing engineering services on a one-on-one level and regularly works directly with King Ranch executives, mayors, and city administrators. She takes pride in a very professional yet personal level of service with the ability to respond immediately.

Now considered an expert in water quality and water quality restoration, she has successfully developed restoration plans for a wide variety of hazardous and non-hazardous contaminants of concern all over the state of Texas.

Harkins was honored for her design and completion of a large and complex restoration of Hamilton Pool and Hamilton Creek in Travis County, Texas. The Hamilton Pool Restoration Project was awarded the 2012 American Council of Engineering Companies Texas Gold Medal, the 2012 Texas Eminent Conceptor Award, and a National Recognition Award in Washington, D.C. The project was also awarded the American Society of Civil Engineers Texas Outstanding Civil Engineering Award for 2012.

Harkins is licensed in the states of Texas and Oklahoma, is a member of the Texas Tech Civil Engineering Academy and serves on the Texas Tech Civil Engineering Advisory Council, and she holds diplomate status in the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers.

She and her husband David, also a Texas Tech civil engineering graduate, are avid Red Raider fans. Their son, Christian is now a student at Texas Tech is in the Goin’ Band. Their daughter, Christyn, is a high school freshman and plans to attend Texas Tech as well.

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