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Department of Civil & Environmental EngineeringChair's Welcome

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Students walking by Engineering Systems Building.

Welcome to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Old Dominion University. This year did not go by without challenges as we continued to navigate through the pandemic for the second year. Despite that, our faculty, staff, and students showed great resilience and determination in navigating through many obstacles to remain on a path towards excellence in teaching, research, and service. After nearly three years, the department held its graduation banquet to celebrate over 90 students who received their B.S. diplomas in Civil Engineering, as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The total research awards received in FY 21 exceeded $1.6M, which marks the highest external research funding record for the department in the last five years. In 2021, the CEE faculty published nearly 70 technical papers in conferences and refereed journals, submitted 46 proposals for funding by sponsored state and federal agencies, and received 16 new research grants. This clearly demonstrates that the research productivity for the department remains on an upward trajectory.

At ODU, we place strong emphasis on the professional development of our students through internships and cooperative education opportunities, active participation in student organizations and design team competitions, developing research skills, and early engagement with professionals in networking events. Our diverse faculty, with an award-winning record of teaching, research and service in Transportation Systems, Biofuels, Environmental Systems, Sustainability and Resiliency, Water Resources, Coastal Engineering, and Structures and Geotechnical Engineering, is committed to offering academic and career advising to the students and to leverage all resources to prepare students to meet national and global challenges. Our visiting council, composed of 24 members from the public and private sectors, continues to support the education and research mission by offering guidance for curriculum improvement, and planning and sponsoring fund-raising events that generated over $200K over the past few years for undergraduate and graduate scholarships and fellowships. As a department, we strive to focus on student success, promote faculty development, leverage research activities, improve the quality of academic programs, and cultivate external relations with constituents.

This is an exciting time to be a civil engineer! As the US and the world seek innovative ways to reinforce and rebuild the infrastructure system, civil engineers are called upon to be well prepared to tackle existing and new societal and environmental challenges while creating more resilient and sustainable communities. New challenges create new career opportunities to seek better and more effective solutions to current and future societal problems. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a promising outlook for the job market in civil engineering with an expected 8% growth until 2024 and nearly 23,600 added new jobs.

We invite you to browse our website to learn more about our department and the unique opportunities we provide to our current and prospective students. We hope you reach out to us if you have any questions or if you are interested in contributing and supporting our mission.

Wishing you a great and productive summertime! Go Monarchs!

Sherif Ishak, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE
Professor and Department Chair