Marion Made Success Story: Dr. Reggie Vachon


Dr. Reginald I. Vachon is an engineer, executive, and lawyer whose career and accomplishments are testimony to his dedication to engineering and to service to our Nation as a member of the US Military and participant in US Government Agencies.


Professional Practice

Vachon has been a Research & Development Engineer with E.I. DuPont, an Aerospace Engineer with Thiokol, a Design Engineer for Hayes Aircraft and Aerospace Engineer with NASA, among his many engagements. He has consulted on nuclear power for space exploration and power generation on earth. He is an original patentee for digital image correlation.  He co-holds multiple other patents, including optical strain gage measurement technology and for the sizing of coronary arteries at systole and diastole during invasive angiography.  The optical strain gage technology operable to 1093.33ºC was purchased by General Electric in 2015.


Service to the Profession

Vachon has offered distinguished service to the profession of engineering in a variety of roles at both the national and international level for more than four decades.  These include: Member of the Board of American Society for Engineering Education, President (2003-2004) American Society of Mechanical Engineers; Secretary-Treasurer and a Member of the Board of the International Nuclear Energy Academy; President-elect of the Pan American Academy of Engineering; former Vice President for North America for the Pan American Union of Engineering Organizations (UPADI) and currently serves as co-Chair of UPADI’s Anti-Corruption Work Group;  former Chairman of the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) and chairs the International Activities Committee; Executive VP and former Treasurer of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO); chairs WFEO UN Relations Committee;  member of the Advisory Council of the WFEO Energy Committee and the WFEO World Engineering Forum Task Force; serves both as the WFEO participant at the International Atomic Energy Agency and as WFEO Representative to the U.N. and serves with the U.N.  Scientific and Technological Major Group and the U.N. High Level Political Forum (HLPF) Steering Committee on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Academic and Educational Achievements and Contributions

Vachon has authored or co-authored over 200 unclassified peer reviewed papers and reports; delivered numerous invited lectures; served as advisor and contributor to the ACET anti- corruption film ETHICANA; authored video course on Ethics and Professionalism for engineers ; held an endowed chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Auburn University; Adjunct Professor at Purdue University; conducted bio-engineering research and developed applications for companies and government organizations.  He holds the following degrees: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, M.S. in Nuclear Science, Ph.D. in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and LL.B.


National and International Service

Vachon’s career has taken him to countries around the world including Belize, Brazil, Cameroon, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Egypt, Honduras, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan, Venezuela and other countries. He has conducted research and development projects for a number of US government agencies; served on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee and other agencies; was Resident Engineer and Constructor for the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve; directed multi-disciplinary groups of scientists, economists, and engineers for a variety of NASA projects; consultant to the Southern Interstate Nuclear Board for the “Transportation of Nuclear Materials.”  Dr. Vachon’s private sector work has been undertaken for or in collaboration with a broad range of world-class organizations including IBM, Northrop Grumman, GE, NCR, Lockheed Martin, the Polish Air Force Institute of Technology, RUAG, Halliburton, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, and others.


Other Notable Achievements

Vachon founded several engineering firms and one communications firm; served on numerous corporate boards; is a licensed attorney and a member of bar of U.S. Supreme Court: co-represented ASME in landmark Hydrolevel case and received a favorable outcome.  Dr. Vachon is a registered Professional Engineer in six states as well as a licensed European Engineer; he is a licensed U.S. Coast Guard Captain.


Membership Honors and Awards

Vachon is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for his work with the following: Honorary Member, ASME; Fellow, IMechE (UK); Fellow, ASCE; Life Member, ASEE; Associate Fellow, AIAA; Fellow, NSPE; Member, IEEE; Member, ISA; Member, ANS; Fellow, Hong Kong Institution of Engineers; Member, Institution of Engineers Singapore; Member, Sigma Xi; Member, Phi Kappa Phi; Member, Pi Tau Sigma.  Vachon is recognized by the Alabama Society of Professional Engineers as a “Wonder of Engineering in 1975,” as the American Society for Engineering Education’s “Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Professor in the United States,” and as the Western Electric “Outstanding Professor in the Southeast.”  He is the recipient of the Pan American Academy of Engineering Engineer Statesman Award and a member of the Katerva Awards Panel whose mission is to find, evaluate and accelerate disruptive sustainable innovations from around the world, using these innovations to solve world problems. He is the 2019 recipient of the ASME Gold Medal for eminently distinguished engineering achievement.  This is the highest award of ASME.