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Elected January 1986

J.E. "Jess" Buchanan



Throughout his entire career as engineer, educator, and administrator, Mr. Buchanan was a major contributor to the asphalt industry. Following graduation from engineering college, he served with the Idaho Bureau of Highways and as an instructor at the University of Idaho. He then joined The Asphalt Institute as district engineer, Pacific Coast Division, where he did pioneer work in the use of asphalt in paving airfields, setting up the first airport paving instruction for engineers of the Civil Aeronautics Administration.


He returned in 1938 to the University of Idaho where he served as Dean of the College of Engineering, Director of the Engineering Experiment Station, and Professor of Civil Engineering. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Corps of Engineers in the U.S. and the China-Burma-India Theater, attaining the rank of Lt. Colonel and receiving the Legion of Merit.


Following wartime service, he was elected President of the University of Idaho and the J.E. Buchanan Engineering Laboratory building was named in his honor by the University. In 1954, he became President of The Asphalt Institute, a position he held for 15 years until his retirement in July 1969.


In 1969, Mr. Buchanan received the Industry Recognition Award of the National Asphalt Pavement Association and, in 1970, the American Road Builders Association annual award.