Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Peter Adriaens has received a 2021 Master’s Mentoring Award from Rackham Graduate School. The award recognizes faculty members with outstanding records of advising Rackham master’s students, according to the Rackham website.
Adriaens, who also holds professor appointments in Ross Business School and the School for the Environment and Sustainability, works at the intersection of the environment and finance, with particular interest in data-driven financing models for smart infrastructure systems. He established the Master’s in Engineering (MEng) in Smart Infrastructure Finance and the Center for Smart Infrastructure Finance after noting a demand from students for greater entrepreneurship activities and courses.
To make the MEng possible, Adriaens developed foundational courses to introduce students to infrastructure project finance, data science and infrastructure design, among other key topics.
Adriaens has worked with over 60 master’s students in Smart Infrastructure Finance, including mentoring MBA/MS students in CleanTech investment decisions, recruiting students from his environmental finance or entrepreneurship courses to work on research projects or in his company (Equarius Risk Analytics), advising students’ master’s theses and serving as moderator for student clubs such as Ross Energy club, the China Students and Scholars Association and Blockchain at Michigan.
Adriaens’ students have gone on to work for companies, organizations and universities such as Amazon, Google, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Rocky Mountain Institute, Ceres, Wharton and Harvard. Crucially, the variety of job placements indicates the opportunities opened up by the master’s program in Smart Infrastructure Finance. The program also seeks to attract non-traditional students and those from non-engineering backgrounds. And recently, Adriaens co-founded the U-M FinTech Collaboratory with Ross and the School for Public Policy, the goal of which is to build a student pipeline for the burgeoning FinTech industry.
“The disciplinary breadth of his advisees and mentees exemplifies the ‘universe’ in the University, with students hailing from Business, SEAS, Policy, Architecture, Economics, Statistics, Information, Survey Methodology, and engineering disciplines including CEE, CSE, MMSE, ME, and Energy Systems Engineering,” said Donald Malloure Department Chair Jerome Lynch.
The award will be presented at a virtual ceremony on April 22.