In memoriam: Edgar Small

Edgar Small, an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, passed away on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022.

Dr. Small came to UD in 2016 as the founding director of its newly launched construction engineering and management program (CEM). An expert in project management, green construction, bridges of the future and more, he worked closely with numerous industry partners to build a world-class program. Through his passion, dedication and leadership, the CEM program has grown rapidly to become one of the more popular programs offered by the College of Engineering, and he was proud to celebrate the first graduating CEM class in the spring of 2021. Dr. Small was beloved by undergraduate and graduate students, many of whom accompanied him during the Dubai study abroad trip.

Please keep Dr. Small’s family in your thoughts and prayers. As a community, we share the sadness of Dr. Small’s passing and remain stronger together.

Read more about Dr. Small’s legacy

Edgar Small was a man of culture, family, and kindness. I have never met such a welcoming person in my life more so than Dr. Small. I came into UD as a chemical engineer ready to change my major after the first semester. Not knowing where to go, Dr. Small took me in as family and helped me get into the major on his own time. One of his greatest accomplishments was creating the CEM program. By doing so he has helped MANY people get jobs right out of school and always put aside time for his students no matter the issue. We, as UD students and faculty, must continue the program and always remember Dr. Small’s contributions and his amazing soul.

Boris Manjic

Edgar was one of the first people I met at UD. He accompanied me to dinner while I was interviewing for my position. He emphasized how collegial the Civil and Environmental Engineering department was and made me feel at ease. I loved his stories from Dubai and his passion for the Construction Engineering and Management program shone through. Once I started coming to campus, he would stop by my office and check in on me regularly, imparting wisdom from his teaching experiences, chatting about students, and sharing travel plans. I will greatly miss his kindness and warmth.

Haritha Malladi
Faculty Member

Although I am not in the Construction and Engineering Management program, I was blessed to study abroad with Dr. Small in Dubai this past January. In just 30 days, I got so close to him. He was the best, and most knowledgeable professor I ever had. I feel so lucky I got to learn from him. Thank you Dr. Small for making the past month the best of my life. I will cherish the memories of our trip forever. Rest in peace and I give my thoughts and prayers to the Small family.

Josh Relin

Very sad news. Dr. Edgar Small was one of the best professors who taught me in AUD.. Always smiling and caring and very passionate about his work.. He will be missed.

Haytham Abu-Zaitoun

It is extremely sad for me to hear that Dr. Small had passed away. He was one of the best professors of Civil Engineering Department in AUD. Apart from taking his Statics and Project and Construction Management classes we have held an Annual Wooden Bridge Competition between 7-15 best universities in the UAE. Dr. Small was an honorary judge and made sure no one broke the rules.
He will always have a great place in my memory.

Maxim Petrenko
Student from American University in Dubai

I met Dr. Ed Small first during Perspective Class in Dubai. I was captivated by his ability to teach us the class in such a humble and simple manner. Later on we came friends until he parted away ….we met each other two weeks ago in Dubai at Eben Batuta food court. I will always remember him as a kind and Godly man.. ” Teach us to number our days so we may gain a heart of Wisdom “

Miro Donabedian

Ed impacted others in a quiet way of what he carried within him, just cannot erase him from my mind at all.
We share your grief , but ‘ He has run the race ‘ and we will meet again on the other side of eternity.

Josy John
Friends from Dubai

Thank you dear Edgar for the great conversations we had. We made plans for our cooperation, but the virus stopped it two years ago. I will continue on the lines we discussed in memory of you, so you stay with us.

Thomas Tock
TU Munich

I was one of the professors roommates back as an undergrad. We, his friends from those days, are devastated to get this news. May God bless and keep his family and friends close.

Mike Finlayson

Ed was one of the first to greet me when I arrived in Dubai. He was always cheerful and helped everyone. He will be truly missed. Until we meet up again. Blessings to his family.

Dr. Merwyn Strate

So sad to lose him. He was one of the best professors I have ever meet in my life. He was supportive he so generous. Once I did not know my passion and lost my way, he was one of the best persons showed me my passion. He was a great person 🥺

Yaseen Al-Qaraghuli

I did not take any class from his program, but I met with him during his office hours, constantly, and he shared really Turkish pistachio baklava taken from United emirates. We had small conversations about desserts and traditional cuisine. That was really great time. Rest In Peace dear professor.

Mehmet Sagnak, Turkey

I will never forget Dr. Small’s smile whenever he met me. He always tried to use Arabic words with me because he knows that makes me happy. He was so humble and supportive. So sad to lose him, but I am sure that his soul is in a better place now.

Shaymaa Obayes
PhD Student

Dr. Small arrived my senior year and was incredibly influential in my decision to become a construction engineer. I loved his classes and his passion and when the USAF deployed me to the middle east, all I thought about were the stories he told us about his time in the UAE. I now have my Construction PE and I’m working on my PMP and I owe it all to Dr. Small and his influence. He will be missed.

Allison Chinnery

Dr. Small was a beloved member of the UD community. He was part of the reasons I joined the CEM program and a big reason why I haven’t excelled in my short professional career so far. I have spent a lot of time conversing with him, studying under his advisement, and going on the Dubai study abroad trip where I got to learn so many things and have some incredible experiences that I would never have if I never met him. I am very thankful to him for his life’s work and his contributions to my experience at UD.

Travis Plystak

I can’t believe what I’m seeing. This is the happiest professor I ever met at UD. Though, I wasn’t privileged to attend his classes, I regularly bumped into him in the DuPont hallways with the coolest smiles and most-approachable demeanor. He would ask me how I was doing in my program with an ever-ready willingness to share words of encouragement. Wow, this is life. What a loss! A hard reminder that everything is transient. While I can’t remember his exact words, I do remember how I felt every time we spoke. So full of grace. I wish his family strength in these times, and a fortitude to bear this huge loss. Peace.

Ahmed Lasisi
PhD Alumnus, CLUE Program Manager, University of Toronto

I worked with Dr. Small as he launched the CEM program. We strategized on how to get more students into the program and how to navigate the channels of a University to get things done. And that is what he did – he got things done to grow the CEM program. He was dedicated to it. And, he was a very kind and compassionate man. I truly enjoyed working with him and will miss him greatly.

Chuck Shermeyer
Assistant Dean


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