Growing up on a tree farm in New Jersey, Dr. Christopher C. Mathewson wanted to be a civil engineer. He received a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Case Institute of Technology while simultaneously completing courses in geology. Transferring his interests to geological engineering, he was accepted to the University of Arizona, where he received both a master’s degree and doctorate in geological engineering. During his doctoral studies, he was commissioned an officer of the U.S. National Ocean Survey and as a lieutenant until being discharged in 1970. Upon receiving a doctorate, he realized he wanted to teach applied geoscience and was soon employed by Texas A&M University as an assistant professor of engineering geology in 1971.
Over the course of 40 years as an educator, Dr. Mathewson rose from assistant professor to associate professor while securing the role of director of the Center for Applied Geosciences at Texas A&M University. Maintaining the position for one year initially, he was also the leader of the engineering geosciences research program for four years before returning to his directorship, holding the position from 1982 to 1996. Dr. Mathewson served as a professor of engineering geology in the Department of Geology and Geophysics from 1982 to 2011 when he was named a Regents professor and senior professor. Since that time, he has been granted emeritus status and has most recently served on the task force on campus emergencies since 2010.
Dr. Mathewson is a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas, as well as a licensed professional geoscientist, registered professional geological engineer, registered professional engineering geologist, certified professional geologist and commercial pilot for single engine aircrafts. A past trustee of the Geological Society of American Foundation, he has also been a prominent consultant and speaker in the field.
Dr. Mathewson finds the success of his students to be the most rewarding aspect of his profession. A member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Professional Geologists and the Geological Society of America, he is proud to have graduated students who have served professional societies as president. In 2011, a geology scholarship was named in his honor at Texas A&M University.
As a testament to his success, Dr. Mathewson has obtained several recognitions and accolades. The recipient of the Charles R. Sherman Award from the National Association of State Boards of Geology, he also received the Karl and Ruth Terzaghi Outstanding Mentor Award, the Pete Henley Mentor Award, and a Presidential Citation for Mentoring from the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geology. From Texas A&M University, Dr. Mathewson has also been honored with the Robert C. Runnels Excellence in Advising Award and a Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching. Furthermore, he was bestowed with a Meritorious Service Award from the Geological Society of America, the Claire P. Holdredge Award from the Association of Engineering Geologists and the James Hutton Lifetime Service Award, among others.
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