CEE Spring 2023 News
A MESSAGE FROM OUR INTERIM DEPARTMENT CHAIR
Greetings to our Alumni, Students, Faculty, Staff, and Friends! My name is David Garber, and I have been serving as the Interim Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since February 2022. It has been an eventful last year, so I am excited to update you on the recent activities.
First, we are excited to welcome two new faculty members. Dr. Qianwen Guo and Dr. Omar Nofal joined our department in Fall 2022 as Assistant Professors. Dr. Guo has broad research interests in transportation systems optimization problems, especially in public transit, ridesharing, phased development of civil infrastructure systems, as well as transportation economics. Dr. Nofal’s research focuses on flood and hurricane risk, mitigation analysis, post-hazard functionality, and recovery assessment for buildings and communities. His research seeks to improve the built environment’s performance against natural hazards including physical, social, and economic systems.
The CEE undergraduate program continues to thrive. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) site visit took place in Fall 2022; the last visit occurring in Fall 2014. The site visit resulted in the successful reaccreditation of the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering. Four-year graduation rates continued to improve increasing to 57.1% for last year (2018-2019 cohort). This is up from 41.5% from the previous year (2017-2018 cohort) and 26.2% the year before (2016-2017 cohort). Enrollment continues to be strong with a total enrollment of 642 students and total of 181 degrees awarded in 2021-2022.
CEE faculty continue to have research productivity at the level of top universities. Last year, CEE had $5.6 million in new research awards, which is approximately $300k per tenure/tenure track faculty. CEE faculty have also brought in prestigious national, multi-university awards such as MsRI NICHE (~$12.8m) and a grant from U.S. Army (~$3.7m). These grants will help to improve the visibility and ranking of CEE.
The graduate program also continues to flourish. Last year, CEE faculty advised 75 PhD students with 16 PhD students being awarded degrees in 2021-2022; this was the 7th largest number of doctorate degrees granted in a department across the entire university.
The department also welcomes several new support staff. Dayana Diaz joined CEE in July 2022 as Program Coordinator and will help support the CTQP/MOT Program. Ahmed Abdellah joined in September 2022 as Lab Manager to oversee the Titan America Structures Laboratory, Materials and Geotech Laboratory, and other CEE teaching laboratories. Saarah Hack joined in December 2022 as Senior Program Coordinator and will help to support department and school activities and the graduate program.
Phone: (305) 348-4879
WALL OF WIND (WOW)
Reducing wind damage is the focus of the partnership between top U.S. companies, FIU, Texas Tech and Florida Tech
With support from the National Science Foundation, FIU and Texas Tech University (TTU) are accelerating the application of wind hazard research to real-world problems through the collaborative creation of the Center for Wind Hazard and Infrastructure Performance (WHIP-C).
WHIP-C is supported by industry leaders such as Berkshire Hathaway, State Farm, USAA, risk modeler Verisk and roofing materials maker GAF. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is also a member.
Together, industry and university faculty members identify problems caused by wind storms, and industry members select and fund research proposals brought forward by faculty. Faculty and students then generate data and practical solutions for industry use.
“Through this partnership, companies gain access to state-of-the-art facilities and expertise in the wind engineering field,” said Ioannis Zisis, an associate professor at the College of Engineering and Computing and director of the FIU site at WHIP-C. “This collaboration allows us to advance academic knowledge while helping businesses in their research and development efforts.”
ACCELERATED BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION
UNIVERSITY TRANSPORTATION CENTER
Congratulations to Dr. Ali Ebrahimian, who was selected by the Editor of the Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment to receive the 2023 award for Best Paper for “Modeling Infiltration in Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Effect of Geometric Shape,” Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2021.
Dr. Ebrahimian’s research is primarily focused on green infrastructure for promoting water resources sustainability, climate resiliency, and social equity in urban and coastal environments. Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment, being published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), is a prestigious journal focusing on sustainable stormwater management and broader water systems interactions to move the profession of Civil and Environmental Engineering forward.
When Arturo Leon was in engineering school as a young student in Peru, he envisioned himself designing and building bridges. But a spontaneous trip with a friend who was helping a tiny village build a rudimentary dam, changed everything.
Today Arturo Leon, Ph.D., is associate professor of water resources engineering and civil and environmental Engineering at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing. He is considered an authority in smart stormwater systems, urban hydraulics and resilient flood control. In addition, the hydraulic numerical models he developed are used by cities throughout the world. For instance, his Illinois Transient Model is helping communities identify problems with their sewer systems and make near real-time decisions on gate operations to prevent overflows.
Dr. Tansel was one of sixteen oil spill experts selected by the National Academies to serve on the ad-hoc committee who developed Oil in the IV book, which is the fourth in a series, that documents the current state of knowledge on inputs, fates, and effects of oil in the sea reflecting almost 20 additional years of research, including long-term effects from spills such as the Exxon Valdez and a decade-long boom in oil spill science research following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Dr. Tansel was elected to serve as the trustee and treasurer of ASCE’s American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE), which oversees the certification program for Diplomates of AAWRE.
Today Dr. Tansel is leading the team of collaborators from FIU’s Applied Research Center and Chemistry Departments on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The research activities focus on PFA in biosolids and electronic waste components. PFAS are persistent in the environment, and regulatory requirements are being developed by US EPA.
Berrin Tansel, Ph.D., P.E. – Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (fiu.edu)
A healthy obsession with traffic ―and a focus on leadership and professional development ―is what’s behind the success of FIU’s student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (FIU ITE).
“With about 10 active student chapters in the district from universities such as the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida and Florida Atlantic University, it is very competitive. I’m so proud of our students,” said Priyanka Alluri, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) and the club’s faculty advisor.
A new era has begun for FIU’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives for 15 doctoral students, which includes Civil & Environmental Engineering’s own, Kehinde Alowode.
Pictured from left to right: Elizabeth Bejar, interim provost; Kehinde Alowode, 3rd-year Civil Engineering Ph.D student and fellowship recipient; Emmanuele Bowels, asst. vice provost for DEI; and John Volakis, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing.
Our mailing address is:
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
10555 W Flagler Street (3rd Floor)
Miami FL 33174
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