Engineering and Computing Annual Report 2015

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department Overview

This academic year, 2014-2015, marked another notable year for the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. A year filled with record-setting accomplishments for our faculty and students and a flourishing enterprise of research and education.

This is was a very crucial year for the CEE Department as we had had our 2014 ABET re-accreditation visit, which took place during Fall of 2014. The visit was very successful. Both BS degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering programs received full Accreditation until September 30, 2021.

The CEE Department offers two B.S. and two M.S. degree programs in both Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering and one Ph.D. program in Civil Engineering. The department has also expanded the curriculum to online and Office of Distance Education (formerly: FEEDS) courses in order to ensure accessibility to all students. In 2014-2015 the department developed and processed a proposal for its first fully online M.S. degree program. The selected program in Environmental Engineering is now in development and is projected to accept students for the fall of 2016. This new fully online program is expected to further expand opportunities for students and faculty in the Environmental Engineering area, serving sectors in local, regional, and international markets.

The Department has over 23 full-time faculty positions, including 17 which are either tenured or tenure earning. This past year, the Department welcomed three new tenure-tracked faculty members who are bound to further strengthen the scholarship and reputation of the department. Dr. Priyanka Alluri (Transportation), joined the Department after receiving her Ph.D from Clemson University and spending three years as Research Associate at FIU. Dr. David Garber (Structures) joined department after receiving his Ph.D. from University of Texas-Austin. Dr. S,J. Lee (Geotechnical and Structure), joined the department after receiving his Ph.D. from University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

The CEE Department continues to enjoy modest growth in its student body to 862 undergraduates, 61 masters, and 75 doctoral students, with goals of enrolling more bachelors, masters and Ph.D. students in the coming years. In 2014-15, the Department graduated a total of 128 students, conferring 96 baccalaureate degrees, 20 master degrees, and 12 doctoral degrees.

In order to enhance the retention rate and graduation rate, Department initiated and developed two new introductory courses in Civil and Environmental Engineering program to introduce undergraduate students to our disciplines early on and develop connection with them. The first Introduction to Civil Engineering course was taught during spring 2015.

Faculty and Research Highlights

2014-2015 also marked an historical accomplishment when the CEE Department was awarded the first University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC) with a focus on Accelerated Bridge Construction. The ABC-UTC ( is a consortium of the University of Nevada-Reno, Iowa State University, and FIU (as lead). In December 2014, ABC-UTC held the most influential bridge engineering event of the year, the 2014 National Accelerated Bridge Construction Conference ). This conference was attended by 750 bridge professionals from across U.S. and several countries. More than 160 technical presentations were made and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), administrator, Gregory Nadeau was the keynote speaker.

The monthly ABC-UTC webinar, organized by ABC-UTC, continues to attract between 3000 to 5000 bridge professionals a month.These activities are providing first class service to the nation in a priority area of infrastructure, to the profession, and to FIU students.

Dr. Omar Abdul Azizi received the very prestigious NSF Career Award, entitled “Robust Modeling and Predictions of Stream Water Quality and Ecosystem Health”.

Individual faculties during 2014-2015 academic year received many award, recognition and unique awards that included:

  • Atorod Azizinamini, through ABC-UTC is organizing and will be chairing the 2015 National Accelerated Bridge Construction to be held during December 6 through 8, 2015 at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Miami, FL.
  • Aarindam Chowdhury received the prestigious NSF I-Corps award.
  • Kingssley Lau continues receiving research grants from Florida Department of Transportation investigating durability of post tensioned bridge structures and addressing a very important infrastructure challenge nationwide.
  • S.J. Lee, was one of the 4 finalists (out of 80 proposals submitted) of the Seoul City Forum, competing for $500K research funding in the area of Urban Disaster Prevention
  • Berin Tansel, was promoted to Editor and Managing Editor of the Journal of Environmental Management, published by Elsevier. Dr. Tansel, also received funding from Dwight David Eisenhower program for student supports.
  • Ioannis Zisis is organizing and will be chairing the 2016 American Association for Wind Engineering (AAWE) Workshop to be held in Miami FL
  • Mohammad Hadi, continues his cutting edge research in Intelligent Transportation System and has recently initiated an active research program in connected vehicle filed.
  • Xia Jin, Organized a five-day training workshop for a 20 Chinese Delegation, focusing on various transportation topics. Several CEE faculties participating in providing lectures covering different topics within Transportation.
  • Albert Gan continues to carry out his strong Transportation research program, while working with Florida Department of Transportation and national committees.

In a concerted attempt to enhance communication and professional experiences for undergraduate and graduate students, the CEE Department organized several activities, which involved faculty and students sharing their research interests and accomplishments. These activities included organizing a Research Day event, where faculties and students shared their research activities in poster presentations. The event was part of a Seminar Series of Distinguished Speakers in the major areas of research, namely, transportation, environmental and water resources engineering, and structural, geotechnical and construction engineering, which was held during the spring academic term.

Student Activities and Achievements

This year marked another banner year for our students and student organization, receiving many recognitions, that included:

  • ASCE Student Chapter was selected by the ASCE Committee on Student Members to receive a Letter of Honorable Mention for its outstanding activities as recorded in the 2014 Chapter annual report. This is recognition is received by only the top third of all Student Organizations.
  • Hesham Ali’s student received Best Paper award by ASCE Transportation Development Institute Pavement Conference in June, 2015.
  • Carlos Tamayo, doctoral candidate, working with Dr. Fuentes, was selected as one of two winners in the Miami of the Sea Level Rise Competition, which was organized by Singularity University of the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, California.
  • Debbie Meyer, doctoral student working with Dr. Chowdhury, received the University Transportation Center Best Graduate student of the year award.
  • Mohammad Hadi’s students received several awards that included:
    • Best Student Chapter Award, District 10 ITE
    • Best Student Paper Award, District 10 ITE (Xuanwu Chen)
    • First and Third Place Winners STRIDE UTC Poster Award (Shahadat Iqbal and Xuanwu Chen)
    • Anne Brewer Scholarship Award, ITS Florida (Somaye Fakharian Qom)
    • Bill McGrath Transportation Studies Scholarship Award, District 10 ITE (Xuanwu Chen)
    • Third Place Winner, ITS America Essay (Somaye Fakharian Qom)
  • Berrin Tansel’s student received several recognitions including:
    • Sharon Surita, receiving the College of Engineering and computing’s Best PhD Dissertation Student Award
    • Dissertation Year Fellowships, Bahareh Inanloo, 2015

In summary, these are exciting times in the ongoing history of FIU’s CEE Department and it is the strong belief of the Department faculty that we are just scratching the surface.


CEE chart 1


CEE chart 2

CEE chart 3