Dr. David W. Pittman, SES

Director of Research and Development

Published May 19, 2016

Dr. David W. Pittman became the Director of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), headquartered in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in March 2017. As Director, he manages one of the most diverse research organizations in the world – seven laboratories located in four states, with more than 2,100 employees, $1.2 billion in facilities, and a $1 billion annual program.

The center’s research and development supports the Department of Defense and other agencies in military and civilian projects. Principal mission areas include military engineering, geospatial research and engineering, civil works and water resources, and environmental quality and installations. Research is conducted in many diverse areas, including airfields and pavements, compliance and conservation, environmental impacts, environmental quality, facilities engineering, flood control, geotechnical engineering and geosciences, geospatial data, hydropower, installation restoration, information technology, mapping, materials, mobility, navigation, oceanography, protective structures, recreation, regulatory functions, structural engineering, sustainment engineering, topography, and winter climatic conditions.

Dr. Pittman is also the Director of Research and Development and Chief Scientist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In that role, he is responsible for creating policy and performing strategic planning, direction and oversight of R&D for the Corps’ Military and Civil Works programs and for the Warfighter. He advises the Chief of Engineers on matters of science and technology and sets conditions for success in all S&T conducted in the Corps.

Prior to his assuming his current position, Dr. Pittman served as the ERDC Deputy Director from April 2015 to March 2017.

Dr. Pittman was selected to the Senior Executive Service in January 2005, at which time he became Director of the ERDC Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (GSL) in Vicksburg. In that position, he led a team of more than 450 researchers and support staff in a $350 million annual program to discover, develop and deliver new technologies within the realm of geotechnical and structural engineering and the geosciences, addressing both civil works and military engineering challenges for the Warfighter and the nation.

He also led ERDC’s Military Engineering (ME) Business Area, which focuses on Warfighter support in force protection, force projection, and maneuver support. The ME Business Area has produced award-winning technologies, such as the Modular Protective System for shielding soldiers from traditional and asymmetric blast and ballistic threats; the Overhead Cover Protection technology for defending structures and temporary facilities against indirect fire weapons; the Joint Rapid Airfield Construction capability for quickly constructing and repairing airfields; and the Lightweight Modular Causeway System for enabling rapid logistics-over-the-shore and wet-gap crossing operations.

Career Chronology

  • March 2017 – Director, ERDC, Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • April 2015 – March 2017:  Deputy Director, ERDC, Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • July 2012 – Jan 2013: Director, Joint Programs Integration Office, USFOR-A, Kabul, Afghanistan
  • January 2005 – April 2015: Director, GSL, ERDC, Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • May 2002 – Jan 2005:  Acting Director, GSL, ERDC, Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • October 2000 – May 2002: Deputy Director, GSL, ERDC, Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • April 1997 – October 2000: Chief, Airfields and Pavements Division, Geotechnical Laboratory, US Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station (WES), Vicksburg, MS
  • August 1994 – April 1997: Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering Department, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • December 1983 – August 1994:  Research Civil Engineer, Pavement Systems Division, Geotechnical Laboratory, US Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station (WES), Vicksburg, MS


  • PhD, Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1993
  • MS, Civil Engineering, Mississippi State University, 1988
  • BS, Civil Engineering (summa cum laude), Mississippi State University, 1983


  • Registered Professional Engineer, State of Mississippi

Awards and Honors

  • Commander’s and Director’s Research and Development Achievement Award, 1990
  • ERDC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Equal Opportunity Employment, 2008
  • Bronze Order of the DeFleury Medal, 2010
  • Presidential Rank Award (Meritorious), 2010
  • Federal Laboratory Consortium Laboratory Director of the Year, 2011
  • Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award, 2013

Professional Memberships and Associations

  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Society of American Military Engineers
  • American Concrete Institute

Selected Publicatons

Hazaree, C., Ramasamy, P., and Pittman, D.W.  2016. Roller-compacted concrete: a sustainable alternative.  Chapter 6 in G. Sabnis, Green Building with Concrete, Sustainable Design and Construction (pp. 129-181).  New York: CRC Press.

Priddy, L., D. Pittman, and G. Flintsch. 2014. Load transfer characteristics of precast Portland cement concrete panels for airfield pavement repairs. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board 2456 (2014):42-53.

Pittman, D. W., and G. L. Anderton. 2012. Characteristics of roller compacted concrete pavements in the United States. In Seventh International Conference on Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Pavements and Technological Control (MAIREPAV7).

Pittman, D. W., and G. L. Anderton. 2009. The use of roller-compacted concrete (RCC) pavements in the United States. In Sixth International Conference on Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Pavements and Technological Control (MAIREPAV6).

Villanueva, E., D. W. Pittman, C. E. Ruiz, and I. Pagan-Trinidad. 2006. ERDC/UPRM partnership: A model for educational and research initiatives. Fourth LACCEI International Latin American and Caribbean Conference for Engineering and Technology (LACCEI’2006) “Breaking Frontiers and Barriers in Engineering: Education, Research and Practice” 21-23 June 2006, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

Pittman, D. W., and S. A. Ragan. 1998. Drying shrinkage of roller-compacted concrete for pavement applications. American Concrete Institute Materials Journal 95(1).

Pittman, D. W., and B. F. McCullough. 1997. Development of a roller-compacted concrete pavement crack and joint spacing model. Transportation Research Record 1568. Washington, DC. 

Pittman, D. W. 1996. Load transfer characteristics of roller-compacted concrete (RCC) pavement joints and cracks. Transportation Research Record 1525. Washington, DC.

Hammons, M. I., D. W. Pittman, and D. D. Mathews. 1994. Effectiveness of load transfer devices. Federal Aviation Administration Report No. DOT/FAA/CT-94/54.

Ragan, S. A., D. W. Pittman, and W. P. Grogan. 1990. An investigation of the frost resistance of air-entrained and nonair-entrained roller-compacted concrete (RCC) mixtures for pavement applications. WES/TR/GL-90-18. Vicksburg MS: U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Geotechnical Laboratory.

Pittman, D. W. 1986. Construction of roller-compacted concrete pavements. Transportation Research Record 1062. Washington, DC.

Pittman, D. W., and T. D. White. 1985. Roller-compacted concrete pavements. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Concrete Pavement Design and Rehabilitation, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.