Chair's Welcome

Whether you are a first time visitor, a prospective CEE student or a long-time member of the CEE community, I encourage you to explore our website for a more in-depth look at our department and highlights touched upon in this message.

The past year marked the beginning of several educational programs: undergraduates can now seek a degree in Environmental Engineering and a 9-credit Specialization in Sustainable Engineering; for graduate students two new degrees were initiated, one in Sustainable Energy Systems and the other in Infrastructure Systems Engineering.  The graduate programs have partnered with other units across campus and provide opportunities for our students to add depth and breadth for addressing the sustainability and complex systems engineering challenges they may face when they graduate.  

I would like to welcome a new faculty member to CEE. Assistant Professor Carol Menassa will join our Construction Engineering and Management Group this Fall. With an expertise on assessing the impact of occupants on energy use in buildings and developing decision frameworks to sustainably retrofit existing buildings, she adds to a growing group of faculty focused on smart infrastructure systems engineering.

A joint College of Engineering/UM Transportation Research Institute faculty search in sustainable transportation systems engineering is on-going and represents a commitment to restart a transportation engineering program in CEE. This coming year, we will be conducting two searches, one in structural engineering and the other in water-geo-energy systems engineering.  We will cast a wide net for individuals who will enhance our strategic focus on smart and sustainable infrastructure systems, and sustainable water-energy resources engineering.

With growth, comes the need for commensurate space and facilities. To address this, two new committees were assembled this past year: a space planning committee and a fundraising planning committee. From these efforts, a set of plans has been developed to optimize current space and to garner the resources needed for expansion and facilities improvements. As a starting point, a $1M renovation and equipment upgrade of the hydraulics and fluid mechanics laboratory is currently underway and will be completed this fall.

CEE faculty members continue to garner leadership positions, honors and awards. A few noteworthy accolades:

  • Professor Lutgarde Raskin was selected for an endowed professorship.  She is now the Altarum/ERIM Russell O’Neil Professor of CEE and will be honored in early September at a special lectureship ceremony.

  • Professor James Wight spent the past academic year visiting peer institutions and affiliated organizations around the World as the 2013 President of the American Concrete Institute (ACI).  He was recognized by the United States House of Representatives for his leadership of ACI.

  • Professor Peter Adriaens was inducted into the Belgian Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts for his work bridging environmental engineering with entrepreneurial business fundamentals.

  • Assistant Professor Ann Jeffers received a National Science Foundation career award for her work on traveling fires in structures.

These are exciting times for CEE at UM. For aspiring undergraduate and graduate students interested in participating in our journey to influence and shape the future, we welcome you to consider joining our top-ten rated programs in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  For Alumni wishing to reconnect or to support us in our mission, please contact me or other members of our CEEFA (Civil and Environmental Engineering Friends Association) Board.

Sincerely, Kim F. Hayes
Professor and Chair
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