For the first time last week, FIU in D.C. offered classes for engineering professionals and graduate students from around the country.

“Design of Steel Bridges” – taught by Atorod Azizinamini, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering – was the first FIU course to leverage the university’s preeminent research strengths for a national executive educational market. The one-day executive education bridge design course was co-sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA).

“We are committed to finding a solution to our country’s aging infrastructure and traffic gridlock,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg.  We are excited to offer academic opportunities through FIU in D.C., and to connect a national student market with our Worlds Ahead faculty.”

Azizinamini, a pioneer in his field, was recently recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for his research, and led the successful grant application for FIU’s University Transportation Center. FIU will receive $1.5 million per year, for five years, for its Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC). A combined match from the state and private sector will bring the award to more than $10 million.

“AISC/NSBA is pleased to have had the opportunity to co-sponsor the Steel Bridge session at FIU in D.C.  The attendees were offered strategies for designing cost-effective steel bridges that will provide decades of safe service for the public,” said Bill McEleney, NSBA’s Regional Director and a board member of FIU’s ABC.

“We look forward to future opportunities to collaborate with FIU.”

A second class, “Tall Building Design: From Theory to Practice,” was offered Dec. 2 and taught by award-winning structural engineer Lawrence Griffis, professor in FIU’s Department of Civil and Engineering. Griffis is one of the world’s foremost experts on design of high-rises who has contributed significantly to the structural design of more than 80 major buildings worldwide.

A diverse group of professionals – including engineers, consultants, Department of Transportation representatives from various states, and graduate students – attended both classes. Companies represented included AECOM, HDR, SK&A and Ch2M.

More than half of the students were from the Washington, D.C., region and about 40 percent travelled from Colorado, New York, Pennsylvania and Utah to attend the class. Engineering programs from George Mason University, George Washington University, Howard University and the University of Maryland also sent at least one graduate student.

For more information on partnering with FIU in D.C. to launch academic or executive education programs, please contact Larissa Ramos, associate director of strategic partnerships and programs, at

FIU News by FIU Federal Relations