Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
2012-2013 Annual Report
The 2012-2013 marked another successful year for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, a year filled with exciting accomplishments for faculty and students, a flourishing enterprise of research and education, and a testament to the strength of the department.
The department offers two BS and MS degree programs in civil engineering and environmental engineering, and one PhD program in civil engineering. The department has also expanded its curriculum to include online and FEEDS courses to be more accessible to students.
The department has 28 full-time faculty positions, of which 20 are tenured or tenure earning. This past year the department welcomed four (4) new faculty members, two as tenure earning, and two as professors of practice. The new faculty members have added strength to the department in a number of research areas.
The student body is now close to 800, including over 60 doctoral students. In 2012-13, the department graduated 141 students, conferring 98 baccalaureates, 34 masters, and 9 doctoral degrees.
Student and Faculty Accomplishments
The ASCE student chapter at FIU led the charge to sponsor the Spring 2013 ASCE Southeast Regional competition, which was attended by more than 1,200 civil engineering students from across the southeast US. This important three-day event, which was jointly hosted by the University of Miami, was a great success and provided a great opportunity for FIU students to showcase their Panther pride.
In an attempt to better engage undergraduate students in research activities of the faculty, the department organized several activities where faculty and students shared their research interests and accomplishments. These activities included a one-day research showcase event, where faculty and students provided summaries of their research activities on posters. This event was highlighted by a nationally renowned speaker, Dr. John Fisher of Lehigh University, who demonstrated the impact of his research in the field of steel structures, and as well emphasized the importance of continuing education for civil engineers. Over the course of last year, several nationally and internationally prominent speakers were invited, including members of the National Academy of Engineering, and their lectures were broadcast to audiences around the globe.
BS student, Viviana Villamizar, was awarded the Worlds Ahead recognition during the spring 2013 commencement ceremony. She received her bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering.
Arindam Gan Chowdhury was the recipient of the 2012 Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation. This award supports the career development of researchers who effectively integrate research and education.
The new assistant professor hires have excelled in their respective research field. Kingsley Lau, in his first semester, received several major research projects from FDOT and his research activities are rapidly expanding, making FIU one of the major institutions with expertise in corrosion engineering. Omar Abdul Azizi received his first NSF research award in the field of climate change in spring 2013. Xia Jin continues to develop her transportation planning research group with funding from various agencies.
The research enterprise continued to post high levels of funding. The department celebrated its highest ever external research expenditure at $3.58M this past year, markedly among the best in Florida.
In the area of Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC), the ABC@FIU continues to lead the nation as the focal point for technology transfer. Working closely with the Federal Highway Administration, the ABC@FIU is drawing more than 4,000 bridge engineers around the globe to its monthly webinars, an unprecedented accomplishment for any technology transfer initiative.
The Lehman Center for Transportation Research (LCTR) continues its joint research activities with three nationally funded University Transportation Center (UTC) consortia. LCTR belongs to a Tier I UTC lead by Georgia Institute of Technology, a regional UTC led by the University of Florida, and a Tier I – Transit UTC led by the University of South Florida. Albert Gan, Mohammed Hadi, and Fabian Cevallos are, respectively, the FIU’s lead PIs on these consortia.
Another point of pride for the department is its unique Wall of Wind, which was opened officially on August 24, 2012, the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew. This state of the art facility combined with its high caliber faculty and staff is significantly contributing to the scholarship and reputation of the department.
The department is undertaking new activities to further its research mission, including the pursuit of nationally funded centers and pooled funding. In the area of bridge engineering, the department has made a great stride, and continues to expand its faculty base.
The department has revitalized its Industry Advisory Council. The Council has taken on a new and fast-track project of constructing a state-of-the-art outdoor full-scale bridge testing facility, which is expected to complete in the coming year. This facility will be the only of its kind in the State of Florida.
The department continues to undertake several initiatives to improve its national ranking, including hiring of a new marketing director, publishing an annual departmental newsletter, updating the departmental website, and Chair’s engagement with national ASCE meetings. This coming year is a crucial year for the department, as it prepares for the 2014 ABET visit.
Fall Term Enrollment
Sponsored Research Awards and Expenditures