He was born in Smyrna, Georgia, and grew up on a small farm there, the oldest of five children. As a boy, he worked on the surveying crew of his father’s small engineering and surveying company. He attended Georgia Tech in 1942 and worked for Bell Aircraft for two years before entering the U.S. Navy. Following discharge as an aviation metalsmith, third class in 1946, he returned to Georgia Tech. He graduated in 1949 with a B.S. in civil engineering.
After graduation, he worked for short periods for the Georgia Highway Department and the City of Atlanta before becoming the Director of Traffic and Planning, and Traffic Engineering for the City of Chattanooga. In this position he established the city’s first Traffic Engineering Department and the first Planning Department to initiate studies covering land use, thoroughfare and facilities plans.
Since 1960 Hensley has been a consulting engineer developing major traffic and transportation studies for systems and corridors. His experience includes all phases of transportation planning and engineering.
In April 1951 he joined ITE, and now has more than 40 years of active membership. He served as Director of ITE and was President of ITE in 1969. In 1973 the Southern Section (now District 5) established the annual Marble J. Hensley Outstanding Individual Activity Award in his honor.
Hensley is well known and respected by clients and colleagues. Among the awards bestowed on him during his career are the Marble J. Hensely Award and Engineer of the Year from the Chattanooga Chatper of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers. He is a member of the National Honor Society.
Hensley’s professional affiliations include American Society of Civil Engineers, Fellow; American Consulting Engineers Council, Fellow and Past Director; National Society of Professional Engineers; American Society of Planning Officials; Consulting Engineers of Tennessee, Past Director and Past President; Southern Section, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Past Director and Past President; and Chattanooga Engineers Club. He holds professional registrations in 13 states.
He also is involved with many civic and business associations, including the Christian Businessmen’s Committee, for which he currently serves as National Director. He is Chair of the Board of Trustees for Bryan College.
Marble and Ruth Collins Hensley have been married 42 years; they have three daughters, one son and seven grandsons.