College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Civil and construction engineering alum appointed to Iowa Board of Regents

Milt Dakovich

Milt DakovichMilt Dakovich, president of Waterloo-based asphalt paving company Aspro, Inc., received bachelor’s degrees from Iowa State in both civil engineering and construction engineering. Gov. Terry Branstad appointed Dakovich—a Des Moines native—to the Iowa Board of Regents in June. Dakovich’s term as a Regent expires in 2019.

We asked him a few questions about his time as a student at Iowa State and his goals for his term with the Board of Regents.

Tell me a little bit about your family.

I am the oldest of three, and we are all Iowa State grads. My sister is married to a construction engineering grad and lives in Louisville, Kentucky. My brother, also a construction engineering grad, lives in Delafield, Wisconsin.

What encouraged you to attend Iowa State?
The high-quality engineering curriculum.

Why did you study civil engineering and construction engineering?
I wanted to build. Construction engineering seemed to suit that goal best, but in 1972 it was a fairly new curriculum and not yet accredited. I started in civil engineering. When I was a junior, the construction engineering program earned accreditation so I started taking all my electives in that. I graduated in civil engineering in November 1976 and construction engineering in February 1977.

What is the best part about being an engineer?
I am good at math and science, and engineering plays in to my strengths.

Were you involved in any activities outside of classes at ISU?
I was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, and I acted as Cy, the ISU mascot for a time.

What is your favorite memory from Iowa State?
I very much enjoyed my time as Cy.

Tell me a bit about what you’ve done since earning your degree.
For the last 35 years, I have been at Aspro, Inc. We are asphalt pavers and general contractors in road construction.

What kinds of projects do you enjoy working on currently?
We either build or resurface city streets, county roads, state highways, and airport runways and taxiways. We also do commercial parking lot work and bike trails. Every project has its own rewards and challenges, and I enjoy all of it.

Have you experienced anything in your career that you can directly relate to your time at Iowa State? 
The civil and construction engineering curriculum has helped me in my career a lot.

Did you realize any important lessons after graduating that you wish you had known sooner?
If you know in school what you want your career path to be, get involved in it as soon as you can. Talk to potential employers; get a summer job in your major; do a co-op, if possible. You will reach your goals more quickly that way.

Why did you decide to join the Board of Regents?
I had a good college experience both in class and out. I feel that I was trained well for my career. I have a keen interest in higher education and want to see others have the same experience I had.

What are your goals as a Regent?
I want to make sure we continue to provide high-quality, affordable education to Iowa’s students; that we continue to enhance our research efforts and facilitate the transfer of that knowledge to Iowa business to stimulate Iowa’s economy; and that we provide any services that we can to enhance the quality of life for Iowans.