Jack Puleo, Department Chair as of July 1, 2020, and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering thank Sue McNeil for her leadership as Department Chair the last three years. She has also been a leader and mentor for the Department for many years prior. Sue set in motion many initiatives during her role as Chair: altered the Department leadership, improved our policy documents, initiated design for an innovation space, changed graduate seminar delivery, enhanced relationships with our external advisory council and alumni, and helped improve the general morale of the Department, among countless other efforts.
Sue is on a well-deserved sabbatical in Australia for the fall semester before returning in the spring.
Monique is an Associate Professor in the Department and was appointed Associate Chair effective July 1, 2020. She will work with the Chair on Department matters and focus on undergraduate education and recruiting.
Tom became the Director of the Center for Applied Coastal Research on July 1, 2020. Tom is a Professor in the Department with an exemplary research record in theoretical understanding of cohesive and non-cohesive sediment transport and high-resolution numerical models of these processes. He will oversee four faculty in the Center and develop a strategic plan to build upon the recognition the Center already has.
Tripp was named the College of Engineering interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education effective 7/1/2020. Tripp was a former Chair of the Department. He is an excellent choice for this position given his prior experience, deep knowledge of undergraduate education, and familiarity with the other department chairs and their undergraduate programs.
Nicole became the Department Business Administrator effective January 3, 2020. Nicole was previously a Grants Analyst in the College of Engineering Office of Research Administration. She will assist the Chair in Department matters and focus on staff retention and professional development.
After 3 years of dedication and hard work, Christine received a promotion to Administrative Assistant III. She continues to work closely with faculty and staff on department projects and initiatives.
Welcome New Faculty
In March 2020, Dr. Yao Hu became a Joint Faculty member in the Department. His main appointment is in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences, College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His dissertation was on “Agent-based models to couple natural and human systems for watershed management analysis.”
Dr. Hu is interested in developing models and cyber-infrastructure to support evidence-based design for water policy. His work has focused on the development of coupled decision-making models and physically-based hydrological models, and agile cyber-infrastructure that can assist the design of sustainable water policy to improve water security in face of challenges arising from the changing environment.
In March 2020, we welcomed Dr. Aritra Banerjee. Dr. Banerjee came to UD from the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute where he was a Research Scientist and the Associate Director of NSF I/UCRC Sustainable and Resilient Civil Infrastructure (SARCI) Center. His PhD dissertation was on “Response of Unsaturated Soils under Monotonic and Dynamic Loading over Moderate Suction States.” As an Assistant Professor, his primary responsibilities are to teach CIEG 213 Solid Mechanics Lab, CIEG 214 Civil Engineering Materials, CIEG 320 Soil Mechanics and CIEG 323 Soil Mechanics Lab.
We appreciated his quick adjustment during the COVID shut down. He immediately jumped into virtual teaching, collaborating with colleagues and setting up his research.
In July 2020, we welcomed Dr. Haritha Malladi as the Director of First-Year Engineering. Dr. Malladi earned her PhD in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University with a concentration in transportation materials. She will be teaching EGGG 101 Intro to Engineering. Dr. Malladi’s efforts will be focused on the 1st year experience in the College. She will be able to plan across department boundaries, research best practices and introduce new teaching methodologies to create a solid foundation for our students.
We are excited to see EGGG 101 evolve under Dr. Malladi’s leadership.
Fall 2020 welcomes Dr. Shangjia Dong. He is part of UD’s disaster science cluster initiative and will have an appointment as Assistant Professor in the CEE Department. Shangjia was previously a postdoctoral research associate at Urban Resilience, Networks, and Informatics Lab in Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. He received his PhD in civil engineering and minor in computer sciences from Oregon State University. Shangjia’s interdisciplinary research on disaster science and urban resilience uses a network paradigm that bridges the boundaries between network science, civil engineering, and social sciences. His work seeks to enable risk and resilience assessments of infrastructure systems as well as risk-informed decision-making for climate change adaptation, critical infrastructure protection, disaster preparedness and response, equitable resilience planning and management.
AAUP UD Student Award
Congratulations to recent graduate Nicolette Bugher. Nicolette is the 2020 winner of the AAUP UD Student Award, which is a $2,000 scholarship given to graduating seniors who intend to pursue graduate studies with the goal of becoming college or university professors.
An accomplished undergraduate researcher, Nicolette studied Perfluoroalkyl chemicals in Delaware’s drinking water with Dr. Gerald Kauffman at UD’s Water Resources Agency; remediation of brine spills related to fracking with Dr. Paul Imhoff and Dr. Dominic DiToro of UD; and organic chemicals in groundwater near areas with fracking with Dr. Desiree Plata at MIT. Nicolette will continue her work with Dr. Plata as she pursues her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at MIT. Ultimately, she intends to “join the environmental engineering community as a researcher and as a professor to try to resolve some of the largest issues facing water quality and water resources our society faces today.”
NSF Grad Fellowship Awards
The NSF GRFP program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions, according to NSF. This year’s winners include an undergrad and graduate in the Department. Emily Mongold (top) is a Civil Engineering undergraduate student from Sykesville, Maryland. Patricia Hurley (bottom) is an Environmental Engineering doctoral student advised by Dr. Yo Chin.
Unidel Distinguished Graduate Scholars Award
Funded by the Unidel Foundation, Inc., the Unidel Distinguished Graduate Scholar awards are the premier awards offered by the University of Delaware to exceptional doctoral student prospects. These awards are highly competitive and are selected by a faculty review committee. Evan Mazur received one of the roughly 12 awards provided yearly. Evan was a dual-major in civil engineering and music at the University of South Alabama (USA) demonstrating her varied interests. She earned more than 10 awards or scholarships as an undergraduate with the most notable being the 2019 Alabama (entire state!) civil engineering student of the year. Evan is interested in understanding the processes of barrier island erosion, the range of storm impact regimes that can affect beach morphology, and the effect of these processes on the built environment. She will be advised by Dr. Jack Puleo.
University Graduate Scholars Award
University Graduate Scholars awards are based on academic achievement. Courtney Olney received the award and is returning to UD (BCE ‘18) to undertake a Master’s program advised by Dr. Jack Puleo. Courtney was working in industry following her undergraduate career. She gained an interest in coastal engineering and seeks to develop numerical modeling and data collection skills to address coastal hazard issues.
EPDACI Scholarship Award
Congratulations to Logan Muller, recipient of the EPDACI Scholarship for 2020! This $5,000 scholarship, provided by the Eastern Pennsylvania & Delaware Chapter of the American Concrete Institute, is awarded to an undergraduate student who is enrolled in a program with an emphasis on structural and civil design, materials, design construction and/or construction chemicals. Logan’s advisor is Dr. Jovan Tatar.
Faculty & Staff Awards
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Service and Community Engagement
Earl “Rusty” Lee, recently promoted to Continuing Track Associate Professor, was recognized by the University for his excellence in service to the University, national, and international communities, and whose engagement with these communities has shown clear evidence of sustained impact.
College of Engineering Staff Inspirational Leadership Award
Chris Reoli, Academic Advisor II for CEE Graduate students, was recognized by the College as an individual who inspires others. She received this award for her influence without authority, often putting the interests of others ahead of her own and serves as “a champion for staff.” This year, Chris also received a well-deserved promotion for her efforts.