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Department launches new External Engagement Committee

May 29, 2024

The new committee aims to strengthen ties with industry, government and community partners and highlight the department’s collaborative projects.

Understanding the importance of partnerships with industry and the community, the department established an External Engagement Committee over the past year. Chaired by Professor Anne Goodchild, this committee is dedicated to celebrating and enhancing the department’s connections with external partners, including those in industry, government and communities.

Anne Goodchild headshot

Anne Goodchild, External Engagement Committee Chair

“This committee will shine a spotlight on the outstanding work that our faculty are doing working with and for partners outside of the university," Goodchild says.

The committee, primarily composed of faculty, reflects the department's longstanding tradition of leveraging committee structures to organize its activities. Its establishment represents a strategic shift towards more focus on external engagement.

"Our goal is to ensure that more people know about the great work we're doing in the department. We want to highlight our projects and partnerships to show how we're helping to advance engineering practices and education and making a positive difference in society," says Goodchild.

One first step is highlighting long-standing partnerships in the department. The committee hopes that publicizing current relationships can serve as a foundation for building further awareness and fostering additional partnerships in the future.

The committee will help establish a Department Advisory Board this year and is working to improve department communications with partners off campus.  It is also working on ways to learn from our communities and gain more understanding about the current state of external relationships, their benefits to faculty and students, and potential areas for further investment.

Highlighting external partnerships

CEE faculty work with partners across industry, government and community sectors. These collaborations offer insight into the reciprocal benefits and collective impact of joint endeavors.

  • The Beavers, a social organization in heavy engineering construction, sponsors two professorships in the department. Currently, they are held by Steve Muench and Julian Yamaura. The organization, along with alumnus Tom Draeger (BSCE '68) and his wife, Marilyn, began sponsoring the Tom and Marilyn Draeger – Beavers Charitable Trust Professorship in 2011. The Beavers organization has also been a long-time scholarship sponsor to the department as well, with construction companies that are members of The Beavers providing about 20% of the department’s summer internships. Beyond financial support, The Beavers actively engage with undergraduates, organizing an annual construction site field trip each year that offers invaluable real-world insights into the construction industry's workings.
  • Professor Julian Marshall and his research group have teamed up with the research team at Front and Centered, a coalition of community organizations focused on environmental and climate justice policies in Washington. Together, they are collaborating on research addressing air pollution disparities around the state. This partnership operates through a unique model where Front and Centered guides the research focus based on community needs, ensuring the work is impactful and poised to drive real change.

Interested in partnering with us?

Our partners benefit from UW resources and interact with the department in a variety of ways, from contributing to the educational mission to working with faculty and students on research problems to utilizing specialized lab equipment on campus.

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