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Inventory of the Papers of Dan H. Pletta

Professor Emeritus and University Distinguished Professor
Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics
Virginia Tech, 1958-1972

Manuscript number Ms82-006
University Archives, University Libraries
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia

Contact Information:
University Archives
University Libraries
Virginia Tech
P.O. Box 90001
Blacksburg VA 24062-9001
Phone: (540) 552-7966
Fax: (540) 231-9214

Processed by:
The University Archives staff, University Libraries

Descriptive Summary

Pletta, Dan H., Papers
Manuscript number
Ms 82-006
Dan H. Pletta
16 boxes (16 cubic feet)
Newman Library, Special Collections Department. University Archives. University Libraries.
Blacksburg, Virginia 24062-9001
The first accession was given to Special Collections by Dan H. Pletta, Blacksburg, Virginia in 1982. The second accession was received from the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech in 1996.
Shelf location
The Dan H. Pletta Papers are housed in the storage facility. Please note that materials located in storage must be requested through the Special Collections Department at least 48 hours in advance of use.

Administrative Information

Collection is open for research. Because the collection is located in the storage facility, it must be requested through the Special Collections Department at least 48 hours in advance of use. Requests of more than five boxes may require a longer period
Premission to Publish
Permission to publish materials from the Dan H. Pletta Papers must be obtained from the Digital Library and Archives, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia.
Preferred Citation
Dan H. Pletta Papers, Ms 82-006, Special Collecitons Department, Digital Library and Archive, University Libraries, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia.


Dan H. Pletta was educated at University of Illinois (B.S., 1927; C.E., 1938) and University of Wisconsin (M.S., 1931) with additional graduate study at Columbia. He was professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech (1932-72) and department head from 1958-70. As department head he guided the development of that department until it emerged as a leader in related graduate study and research. He was one of the original five University Distinguished Professors appointed in 1970 and Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 1972. Besides teaching, his experience included design and construction in civil engineering, consulting as a stress analyst, and World War II service as an Ordinance Officer and as an instructor at the U. S. Military Academy.

Pletta's awards include an Engineering News Record Citation for Service to the construction industry, Engineer-of-the-Year Award of the Virginia Society of Professsional Engineers, and Alumni Honor Award for Distinguished Service from the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois. In1987 he received the Distinguished Service Award of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). In 1988 Virginia Tech awarded him its Ruffner Medal for notable and distinguished service ot the university, and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Mechanics Division conferred its distinguished educator award on him.

He served on the National Boards of Direction of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and of the NSPE; as president of their Virginia affiliates; and on many committees of these and other engineering societies. He was chairman of the ASCE Committee on Professional Conduct charged with enforcing its Code of Ethics. He was chairman of the Professional Engineers in Education Practice Division and vice president of NSPE in 1977-78. He was chairman (1982-85) of the NSPE Public Advisory Review Board which serves as the Society's ombudsman for its members when disputed issues involve health and safety. Hewas honorary member of the ASCE and founding member of the American Academy of Mechanics.

Pletta was author of Engineering Statics and Dynamics (Ronald Press, 1951), Engineering Mechanics, Part I Statics, Part II Dynamics(Ronald Press, 1964), The Engineering Profession: Its Heritage and Its Emerging Purpose (1984) and numerous articles in technical journals (1952-82).

Scope and Content
Collection includes treatises, transcripts of talks and correspondence dealing with all aspects of the field of engineering, but especially with the role of education in producing a professional engineer, qualifications for practice, the public purpose of engineering, ethics, and whistleblowing. Other topics include the Department of Engineering at Virginia Tech, the American Society of Civil Engineers, National Society of Professional Engineers, the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers, and the Order of Engineers. Materials cover 1942-1992. Ms82-006.
Note to Researchers
The original order in which Dan H. Pletta arranged the file folders was retained. The original file folder titles also were retained. This order is not always either choronological or alphabetical.

Part 1 (Boxes 1-5) - Part 2 (Boxes 6-10) - Part 3 (Boxes 11-16)

Send questions or comments to:
Tamara Kennelly
University Archivist
University Libraries
Virginia Tech
P.O. Box 90001
Blacksburg, VA 24062-9001

Last Modified on: Tuesday, 25-Sep-2001 08:36:50 EDT