U-M CEE Faculty Retreat Focuses on Challenges and Future Opportunities

Through collaborative discussions and strategic planning, the faculty at U-M’s CEE department are set to navigate the challenges of the future while building on our current successes.

On May 10th, 2024, faculty members from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan gathered for a strategic retreat to address current challenges and to strategize upcoming departmental initiatives.

The event kicked off with an insightful state of the department address by Department Chair Professor Yafeng Yin, who celebrated the success of the department’s recent graduates—170 in total, including 80 undergraduates, 75 master’s degrees, and 15 PhD candidates. Professor Yin’s speech set a positive tone for the day, acknowledging these achievements and preparing the ground for future advancements.

Associate Professor Branko Kerkez engaged the faculty with updates on several innovative projects aimed at boosting recruitment and research. Highlights include the introduction of the CEE Ambassadors and Research Fellows programs, designed to enhance the department’s visibility and boost research productivity. Professor Kerkez also introduced a novel Hot Desk App that provides students with the flexibility to reserve desk space, facilitating a more dynamic and adaptive study environment.

Professor Jason McCormick then took the stage to discuss teaching challenges such as lecture recording and classroom attendance. His talk emphasized the necessity of integrating these tools with strategies aimed at supporting student well-being and academic preparation, highlighting a holistic approach to education.

The retreat concluded with a session led by Kate Kusiak Galvin on strengthening alumni relations. She outlined potential strategies for faculty engagement in regional alumni events and stressed the importance of developing an evaluation framework to assess the impact of these alumni initiatives.

Overall, the retreat illuminated the department’s dedication to not only maintaining but also enhancing its academic excellence and community engagement. Through collaborative discussions and strategic planning, the faculty at U-M’s CEE department are set to navigate the challenges of the future while building on our current successes.

Enjoy a few photos from the retreat below:

Top Row: Valeriy Ivanov, Sherif El-Tawil, Nancy Love, Drew Gronewold, David Kelly, Branko Kerkez, Peter Adriaens, Lut Raskin, Krista Wigginton, Rachel O’Brien, Seth Guikema, Jeremy Bricker

Middle Row: Zhong Cao, Evgueni Filipov, Sina Bahrami, Roman Hryciw, Will Hansen, Photios Ioannou, Seymour Spence, Joshua Jack, Jeremy Semrau, Jeff Scruggs, Glen Daigger, Lissa MacVean and Alex Szczuka

Front Row: Estefan Garcia, Ann Jeffers, Jason McCormick, Christian Lastoskie, Yafeng Yin, Sabine Loos, Enrica Bernardini, Brian Ellis

Absent: Michelle Ammerman, Herek Clack, Aline Cotel, Vineet Kamat, SangHyun Lee, Henry Liu, Neda Masoud, Carol Menassa, Radoslaw Michalowski, Atiyya Shaw, Wentao Wang, and Rusheng Zhang

MEDIA CONTACT

Portrait of Mason Hinawi
Mason Hinawi

Marketing Communications Specialist
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering