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David B. Ashley

Adjunct Professor


School of Engineering: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Mechanics


Email: David Ashley


David B. Ashley is an adjunct professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and also serving as the acting vice president for academic research at the University of Dayton Research Institute. In his prior role, David served as the director of industry relations in the School of Engineering. Prior to joining the University of Dayton, David was a professor of engineering practice in the Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California. Ashley retired as a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 2015 where he also served as its eighth president from 2006 to 2009. Prior to joining UNLV, he was founding executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Merced. He has also served as dean of engineering at The Ohio State University and chair of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California – Berkeley.   

His principal academic activities are in the construction project planning of large-scale, complex projects. Designing and testing risk management responses to potential sources of cost overruns or delay are key foci. Other research efforts include determination of factors leading to construction project success, project scope modeling, conceptual estimating, and innovative project delivery and financing approaches. Recent subject areas taught include project risk management, project evaluation and financing, engineering project management, international construction, and civil and environmental engineering senior design.

Ashley is a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, where he received the Peurifoy Construction Research Award and the Construction Management Award for his pioneering work on project risk management. In 2008, he was elected to the National Academy of Construction, the premier honor for a construction professional in the United States. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden).

Ashley received a B.S. in civil engineering and an M.S. in civil engineering–project management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in engineering–economic systems, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering–construction engineering and management from Stanford University.


  • Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Stanford)
  • M.S. in Engineering-Economic Systems (Stanford)
  • M.S. in Project Management/Civil Engineering (M.I.T.)
  • B.S. in Civil Engineering (M.I.T.)

Selected Honors and Awards

  • Elected ASCE Distinguished Member
  • Elected National Academy of Construction

Professional Activities


Research Interests

  • Project management
  • Risk analysis and management
  • Strategic planning
  • Applied decision theory