Page 2 - Penn State Civil and Environmental Engineering Magazine
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  Photo credit: Gordon Warn
 Greetings from the Department Head
Dear Alumni and Friends:
Welcome to the 2020 annual report for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Penn State. We send warm greetings and best wishes for good health to you, your family, and your colleagues during these difficult times. The department has adapted to the challenges of the COVID- 19 pandemic. Most of our current courses are offered remotely, and reduced capacities and strict safety protocols are in place for our teaching classrooms and laboratories.
The department has made many significant advancements since my last report. Three of our young professors received highly prized CAREER awards from
the U.S. National Science Foundation in 2020, and this marks the second such occurrence in the last three years! The Larson Transportation Institute continues to conduct outstanding research on transportation infrastructure and integrated asset management though our University Transportation Center, funded by a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. In the department, we are overhauling our undergraduate curriculum to better serve both
students and faculty, enhancing our ties with alumni and friends, improving our mentoring program for junior faculty members, and preparing to launch a new multi-disciplinary senior capstone design experience for our seniors. We also are continuing to improve our communications program through our website, news releases, social media, and annual reports, and engage with alumni on philanthropy and professional mentoring for our students.
Speaking of philanthropy, major gifts have been received to establish the
Barry and Shirley Isett Professorship and the Mark E. and Claire L. Alpert Graduate Fellowship in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Also, the department currently is engaged in a fundraising campaign to create a
$3 million endowment that will reestablish and permanently support a program in construction engineering and management. We have made great progress in the first year of the campaign with over $2 million raised, including a large gift from The Beavers Charitable Trust and Allan Myers, Inc. and commitments from 11 construction companies as stakeholders in the program.
Thank you for your interest and support of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The following report provides more information on these and other exciting developments, including several new and promising research areas that highlight the many strengths in our department.
We are continuing to chart an exciting future and provide leadership to the profession and are proudly celebrating our 139th year of excellence at Penn State.
Patrick J. Fox, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE
Department Head and John A. and Harriette K. Shaw Professor Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  Civil and Environmental Engineering Newsletter 2020 EDITION, VOLUME 36
3 Announcements
6 Response to COVID-19 8 Faculty Research
20 Faculty News
22 Larson Institute News 26 Giving
30 Lectures
31 Pennsylvania Housing Research
Center News
32 Alumni News
38 Student Organizations 40 Student News
47 Staff News
Cover photo: Before and after satellite images of a landslide in California.
Civil and Environmental Engineering, a newsletter for CEE alumni and friends, is published by the College of Engineering’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering The Pennsylvania State University
212 Sackett Building
University Park, PA 16802
Writers: Rachel Fawcett, Jessica Hallman, Sara LaJeunesse, Danica Laub, Jennifer Matthews, Jeff Mulhollem, Tim Schley, Sean Yoder
Comments or submissions may be sent to: Tim Schley, newsletter editor
Phone: 814-867-8130
For more information, visit
This publication is available in alternative media on request.
© 2020 The Pennsylvania State University. All Rights Reserved. Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. U.Ed. ENG 21-82
Printed on recycled paper.
                  2 CEE NEWSLETTER • VOLUME 36, 2020

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