Venuti, William J. (1924-2024)

Venuti, William J. (1924-2024)

Date Updated



Civil Engineering

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

Stanford University, 1963 Ph.D.

Colorado University, 1955 MS

Colorado University, 1950 BS

University of Pennsylvania, 1947 AB

Teaching Experience

Shanghai Institute of RailwayTechnology, 1987-1988

San Jose State University, 1955-1987

Stanford University (part‑time), 1974-1976

Dundee University (Scotland), 1972-1973

Asian Institute of Technology (Bangkok), 1964-1966

Administrative and Professional Experience

Engineering Consultant to various companies, 1963 to present.

Currently (1996), Consultant to ITISA of Mexico City.

Selected Publications

Published articles in various professional journals.

Personal Commentary

I was born August 16, 1924, in Philadelphia, PA, of immigrant parents from Italy. As a youngster, I enjoyed bicycling, sports, jazz (played drums) and model airplanes.

In 1943, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an apprentice seaman. From June to October, I attended the Naval Fleet Music School in San Diego, CA. I was then transferred to Pearl Harbor where I joined the crew of the USS North Carolina. I was assigned to the Lookout Division as Seaman 2nd Class and given a crash course in identification of Japanese ships and aircraft. From November 1943 to May 1944, we were engaged in seven major battles, including Gilbert Islands, Marshall Islands, Truk Island, and New Guinea. Adm. Nimitz was Commander‑In‑Chief of our Fifth Fleet, consisting of 105 ships including battleships, aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and various carrier‑based aircraft.

I was given a series of examinations in May, 1944, to qualify for officer's training. After passing the examinations, I returned to the U.S. While on active duty, I became a midshipman in the Naval Reserve Officers Corps at the University of Pennsylvania. While at the University of Pennsylvania, I took various courses including naval science and tactics, civil engineering, and mathematics. I also was in the Naval Drum and Bugle Corps and the University Marching Band (drums). I was discharged from active duty in June, 1946.

I obtained my BA degree in Mathematics and was commissioned as Ensign in U.S. Navy in June of 1947. I was in the U.S. Naval Reserves as a civilian and was discharged in June, 1959 as Lieutenant Commander.

Professionally, I have been active as a consultant and with various professional organizations. My consulting activities included the design of tall steel towers for two liquefied natural gas plants in Algeria and the prestressed concrete breakwaters at the Pier 39 marinas in San Francisco. Currently, I am consultant to ITISA, a company in Mexico City which designs and produces prestressed concrete railroad ties and other products.

My hobbies include photography, running, scuba diving, music (classical and jazz), opera, theater, time with my grandchildren, reading, archaeology, and model railroading. I have been scuba diving in California, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Hawaii, Ionic Sea (Greece), Puerto Rico, Red Sea (Israel and Egypt), and Mexico. In October, 1985, I went trekking in the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal.

During the summers of 1988‑1992, I was involved in archaeological digs in Ceasarea, Israel. This was underwater archaeology (scuba) investigating harbor structures built by King Herod for the Roman Empire 22 to 10 B.C.

I have been in many performances as drummer in the group Mississippi Mudcats, a group made up of SJSU faculty.

Date Completed: 10/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Venuti, William J. (1924-2024)