CEE News

Message from the Department Chair

Winter 2012

Since taking on the position of department chair in July 2010, I’ve had the chance to get reacquainted with many of our alumni. Rarely do I attend a local professional meeting, or visit a local agency or consultancy, and not come across one of our successful graduates. Like a proud parent, it warms my heart to see our graduates in a professional setting, having matured and taken on responsibilities in leadership roles, and by serving the best interests of their employers and profession.

Now it’s my turn to share news about how we’ve grown over the years. I hope this news will leave members of the Samueli School community feeling as good about our department as I do about the successes of our graduates. Take a minute to consider the mission statement of The Henry Samueli School of Engineering,

“We are a research institution of higher learning. Our mission is to educate students to be the best engineers and leaders in the nation and world by engaging them in a stimulating community dedicated to the discovery of knowledge, excellence in scholarship, and service to society; and to develop tomorrow’s technologies that will make a global impact on the betterment of society.”

This expresses the defining characteristic of a UC Irvine education: the connection to research, and not just any research, but high-quality research defined by excellence in scholarship. As a student, I hope you had the opportunity to engage in research and perhaps you wrote an undergraduate research report, an M.S. thesis, or a doctoral dissertation. If you did, I am willing to bet that this experience, more than any other, helped to establish the unique qualifications that you offer to your employer and our profession.

In this edition of the CEE newsletter, you'll read about a study that I completed to benchmark the quality of our four research programs in the areas of Environmental Engineering, Hydrology and Water Resources, Structural Engineering and Transportation Systems Engineering. Please read this because it illustrates that across the board, CEE programs at UC Irvine are promoting scholarship at the highest levels, and are on par with the strongest universities in the country. And note that these contributions are yours. Publications are the fruit of students, post-docs and faculty working together on important and timely problems.

I look forward to hearing more of your stories and please don’t hesitate to send me a note.

Sincerely yours,

Brett F. Sanders, Ph.D
Chair and Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering