A Utah State University civil engineering professor has been honored by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Reynold Watkins was named by the professional organization as Stephen D. Bechtel Pipeline Engineer of the Year for 1988. The award is named for Bechtel, leader of a multinational engineering firm.Watkins was honored for research on buried pipes he has done during the past several years, using test facilities he developed at USU.

His testing helped determine the loads that pipe would carry and also the best shapes for buried pipe.

Last summer Watkins tested pipe for the effect of vacuum inside the pipe. When a valve is closed, Watkins said, the remaining water flowing away from it can create a vacuum behind it that may lead to collapse of the pipe. His recent work has been on dealing with this effect.