InTrans faculty and staff are mourning the loss of our colleague and friend Tom McDonald, 72, who died Monday, October 28, at Israel Family Hospice House in Ames. We send heartfelt condolences to his wife, Judy, and their children and grandchildren.
Born in Kansas, Tom went to school in Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a civil engineering degree in 1964. He had a 30-plus year career with the Iowa DOT, including several years as district engineer and then development engineer.
On retiring from the Iowa DOT in 1998, he joined InTrans (then the Center for Transportation Research and Education) as Iowa’s Safety Circuit Rider. For 15 years, he led this award-winning initiative sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration through Iowa’s Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) at InTrans.
Whatever the weather or road conditions, every week Tom drove Iowa’s highways and back roads to city and county shops, garages, and meeting rooms where he led hundreds of safety-related workshops and other training activities for transportation workers. He also managed and/or participated in dozens of research projects at InTrans and authored several manuals, including Iowa’s in-depth Local Road Maintenance Workers Manual and Iowa Drainage Law Manual.
Tom’s energy and enthusiasm didn’t fade. Only a little more than a month ago, he was still barreling full steam ahead, planning his next projects and scheduling work zone training events in the spring.
Along with so many people across the state and country, we will miss him.