2011-2012 Annual Report
2011-2012 marked another notable year for the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE). A year filled with exciting accomplishments for our faculty and students, a flourishing enterprise of research and education, and a testament to the strength of the CEE department, despite the economic challenges all around the globe.
We offer two B.S. and two M.S. degree programs in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering, respectively, and one Ph.D. program in Civil Engineering. We have also expanded our curriculum offerings to include online and FEEDS courses in an effort to meet the accessibility needs of all our students.
The CEE department has 21 full-time faculty positions, of which about 16 are tenured or tenure-earning lines. This past year we welcomed four new faculty members, two of which are tenured and the other two are Professors of Practice. In addition we have also added two part-time faculty members, who are world-renown in wind engineering. This year two faculty members in the CEE department received their tenure and/or promotion during this academic year. The CEE department is also welcoming three additional faculty members starting in August 2012.
Students and Faculty Highlights
The CEE department continues to enjoy growth in its student body, with a current total enrollment of 810 students (682 undergraduates, 74 masters, and 54 doctoral). The doctoral programs saw a rise in enrollment, whereas our bachelor’s and master’s programs experienced a slight decline of 2.7% and 16%, respectively. The CEE department is working on increasing enrollment for the bachelor’s and master’s programs in the coming years through an aggressive marketing campaign. In 2011-12, the CEE department graduated a total of 143 students, conferring 95 baccalaureate degrees, 41 master degrees, and 7 doctoral degrees.
B.S. student, Viviana Villamizar was awarded the Worlds Ahead recognition during the Spring 2012 commencement ceremony. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering.
Ph.D. graduate, Pedram Zohrevand was also awarded the Worlds Ahead recognition for his work in his graduate program during the Spring 2012 commencement.
Dr. 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.
Three faculty members were recognized as members of FIU 2012 Top Scholars. Dr. Albert Gan, Dr. Arindam Chowdhury and Dr. Atorod Azizinamini, were among the 2012 FIU top scholar list.
The CEE department was named the ACI Excellent University for 2011.
The CEE research enterprise had a slight decrease this past year from 2010-2011. New contracts and grants awarded during 2011-2012 add up to $4.2 M, marking a 14% decrease over the last year’s previous high. The Lehman Center for Transportation Research (LCTR) in the CEE department has now joined three University Transportation Centers (UTCs) across the nation, which is seldom seen at other universities. 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. Drs. Fabian Cevallos, Mohammed Hadi, and Albert Gan are leading the FIU’s participation in the center.
Construction of Wall of Wind is now complete, and will officially be opened on August 24, 2012. This state of the art facility—combined with its high caliber faculty and staff—is significantly contributing to scholarship and reputation of the CEE department.
Center for Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC center) at FIU continues to establish itself as the focal point for national activities in the area of Accelerated Bridge Construction. Working closely with Federal Highway Administration, ABC center is attracting more than 3,000 bridge engineers to its monthly webinars, which is unprecedented.
Major CEE Departmental Undertakings
This is a very crucial year for the CEE department. Following is a partial list of major undertakings for upcoming year.
1- Preparation for 2014 ABET visit is underway and will further be accelerating this year.
2- ASCE 2013 Regional meeting will be sponsored jointly by FIU and UM. This provides a great opportunity to showcase the CEE departmental achievements to more than 1200 civil engineering students who will be visiting FIU.
3- CEE department is undertaking several initiatives, including hiring of marketing person to improve its national ranking.
4- The UTCs will be up for re-competition early 2013. Active faculty members in the transportation field are making appropriate preparation to maintain the momentum.
5- Wall of Wind is providing an excellent opportunity for enhancing the scholarship and ranking of the CEE department. This world-class testing facility is scheduled to officially open on August 24, 2012. Addition of two world class part time faculties has further elevated the scholarships of the wind engineering program. 2013 will represent an opportunity to take the wind engineering achievements to higher levels.
6- The CEE department has made a great stride in developing the bridge engineering program. The missing link is an expert who can develop active and sustainable research program in the prestressed concrete bridge area. This year the CEE department will be conducting search for replacing one faculty in Structures area with focus on prestressed concrete field. This new hire should allow the development of the critical mass needed.
7- With the new opportunity to hire additional faculty members, the CEE department is in best position to address its weaknesses.
8- In June 2012, the CEE department established its first Industrial Advisory Council. A great opportunity is created by the willingness of the department’s Industrial Advisory Council to help build a state of the art outside testing facility. Construction of this major facility is scheduled for early 2013, and is bound to separate the Bridge Engineering activities of the CEE department from the rest of the institutions in Florida.
9- The CEE department hired a new marketing person in 2012. This is the first time in history of the CEE department that a dedicated individual for marketing is available to identify the elements needed to improve the CEE departmental ranking.
10- The CEE department is undertaking efforts to improve its ability to better serve students.
11- CEE department is undertaking efforts to further elevate its graduate program. These efforts range from recruiting to improving internal graduate requirements.