Skip to main content

News & events

Chair's message

June 15, 2021

Laura Lowes

Laura Lowes, Chair & William M. and Marilyn M. Conner Professor

We marked more than a year of remote operations at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year. I couldn’t be more impressed with our faculty and staff, who created a high-quality online educational experience. I’m also proud of our students’ resilience in adapting to this unexpected educational paradigm. As we look forward to in-person classes resuming in autumn 2021, faculty are considering how to apply what they’ve learned during remote teaching, particularly utilizing online educational tools and programs to enhance in-person courses.

Despite the burden of increased safety protocols for lab and field-based research and online research meetings, our faculty and students have continued to thrive and make headway on their research goals. Stories in this issue of The Bridge showcase recent research by professor Tim Larson to uncover previously unknown hazards of aircraft pollution as well as associate professor Rebecca Neumann’s work to investigate the human health risks of eating aquatic organisms from arsenic-contaminated urban lakes in Puget Sound.

Important to our mission and values as a department, work also continued throughout the year to advance Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) efforts within CEE; these activities are highlighted in this newsletter. In addition to increasing the number of women’s, ADA compliant and gender-neutral restrooms in More Hall and the introduction of several JEDI-focused courses, the department held town hall meetings. These provided an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to discuss JEDI issues within CEE as well as provide accountability for the CEE JEDI Committee and student advisory boards. We look forward to working with professor Karen Thomas-Brown, the College of Engineering’s new Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to further expand JEDI within the department.

This issue of The Bridge highlights contributions and achievements of a number of CEE community members, including alumna Kris Betty (BS ’83) whose contributions to advancing construction management of public works projects are recognized with the CEE Distinguished Alumnus Award. We also remember the accomplishments and contributions of Emeritus Professors David Stensel and Richard Bogan, both of whom passed away in 2021.

Laura Lowes
Chair & William M. and Marilyn M. Conner Professor