With the 2013 mid-semester break approaching, and graduate student recruits arriving on campus soon, I am pleased to take this moment to share CEE community highlights with you. If you are considering pursuing a degree in CEE, first time visitors, or long-time acquaintances, I encourage you to explore our website for a more in-depth look at our department and highlights touched upon in this message.
This 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 partner 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.
Four new faculty joined us this year: Brian Ellis, Herek Clack, Krista Wigginton and Branko Kerkez. With research and teaching interests ranging from environmental impacts of energy use and extraction to pathogen detection and destruction to the creation of smart water system networks, each adds strength in targeted strategic areas. To accommodate the significant growth in student enrollments from our new programs, more faculty hires are anticipated in the near future. Two faculty searches are in progress, one in structural engineering and the other for positions in transportation engineering. And additional searches are approved for subsequent years. These will cast a wide net for individuals who will enhance our strategic focus on smart and sustainable infrastructure systems, but who will also have disciplinary strength in construction engineering management or water resources engineering.
With growth, comes the need for commensurate space and facilities. To address this, two new committees were assembled this year, a space planning committee and a fundraising planning committee. From these efforts, a staged set of plans is under development 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 should be ready when our 2013-14 students arrive this fall.
CEE faculty members continue to garner leadership positions, honors, and awards. A few noteworthy accolades: Professor Lutgarde Raskin has been selected for an endowed professorship and will soon become the Altarum/ERIM Russell O’Neil Professor of CEE; Professor James Wight has been visiting peer institutions and affiliated organizations around the World as the 2013 President of the American Concrete Institute; Associate Professor Jerry Lynch won the ASCE EMI Leonardo da Vinci award for his innovative work in wireless networks for structures health monitoring; 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.
Kim F. Hayes
Professor and Chair
Kim F. Hayes
Professor and Chair