Skip to main content

News & events

Message from the chair

December 7, 2023

Bart Nijssen

Bart Nijssen, Chair & Professor

Welcome to the fall edition of The Bridge. I am excited to start my second year as CEE chair and to continue working with the CEE community to educate the next generation of civil and environmental engineers and pursue research that helps us prepare for a rapidly changing world.

As chair, my priorities for the coming year are increasing enrollment, strengthening ties with our external partners and implementing our strategic plan. I mentioned recruitment in the last two editions of The Bridge as well. The job market for civil and environmental engineers remains excellent and we need to increase enrollment to meet that demand. We are tackling this challenge in multiple ways, from streamlining prerequisites to telling more CEE stories to make our degrees visible on campus and beyond.

We need to do better in explaining the profession to prospective students. I am looking forward to working closely with Associate Chairs Steve Muench (Education) and Alex Horner-Devine (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) to spearhead these efforts in the upcoming year. Associate Chair Anne Goodchild will also be leading a new departmental committee that is focused on External Engagement. With her help, I want to strengthen ties with our external partners, including alumni, industry, foundations and government. In all these activities, our strategic plan, which was completed last spring, will be our guide.

The feature story in this edition of The Bridge showcases our professional master’s programs, both in-person and online. These programs provide engineers with additional skills that allow them to take on new and greater responsibilities in their place of work. The newsletter also provides updates on the activities of our student groups, such as the Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe teams and our local chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

In this edition of The Bridge, I would also like to take the opportunity to introduce a new faculty member in the hydrology and hydrodynamics research group, recognize a notable faculty retirement and celebrate promotions and honors.

Bart Nijssen
Chair & Professor