John R. Speed, P.E., serves as district engineer for TxDOT's Odessa District, overseeing the planning, designing, building, operation and maintenance of the state transportation system for 12 counties: Andrews, Crane, Ector, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward and Winkler.
Speed is a native of Wichita Falls and while still in college worked during the summer in TxDOT’s Wichita Falls District Office. He joined the District staff full-time in 1985 upon graduation from Texas A&M University with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, eventually serving as the supervising design engineer for the District Design Office. While in that role, he earned a master's degree in public management from Midwestern State University, with his thesis research focused on retention and development of public-sector engineering staff.
In 1993, Speed transferred to Austin to manage TxDOT's statewide Engineering Professional Development Program, creating career development program guidelines for TxDOT’s graduate and professional engineers. He left TxDOT the following year to become the executive director for the Texas Board of Professional Engineers, where he regulated the engineering profession in Texas. During his tenure, he helped update and implement rules of professional engineering ethics and established a system of administrative penalties for regulating the engineering profession.
Speed worked as a consulting engineer between 2000 and 2016 with a professional emphasis on managing and developing projects using public-private partnerships and other alternative delivery methods. As a consultant, he provided design quality assurance and served in independent engineer roles during design and construction of several major development agreement projects, including SH 130 in central Texas and the LBJ Express Managed Lanes in Dallas.
Speed and his wife, Lee Ann, live in Midland. They attend as many AA baseball games as possible, support library programs and enjoy participating in vocal and instrumental music activities.
Speed was named Odessa District Engineer in August 2016.