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  • Department of Civil Engineering
  • University of New Mexico
  • 210 University Blvd NE
  • Albuquerque, NM 87131
  • Ph (505) 277-2722
  • Fax (505) 277-1988
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Welcome to the UNM Department of Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering is one of the oldest engineering disciplines. Civil Engineers design, build, and protect the infrastructure upon which modern society depends. UNM’s Civil Engineering Department fosters an environment of critical thinking and problem solving. We are home to state-of-the-art technology, impressive research facilities, friendly and motivated faculty, and a diverse student body dedicated to problem solving and making a difference in the world. It is the passion of our faculty and students that truly drives innovation within the CE Department.

Ever mindful of the future of civil engineering and construction, our Department is continuing to increase its focus on sustainable infrastructure . We offer active research programs in construction, environmental, geotechnical, structural, transportation, and water resources engineering – all of which include a strong sustainability component. We invite you to explore our website and learn more about the comprehensive programs our Department offers.

CE Department News

Taha New Chair of Civil Engineering

7-1-2014 Mahmoud Reda Taha, a professor of civil engineering, has started as the new chair of the University of New Mexico School of Engineering’s Department of Civil Engineering, effective July 1, 2014.

Taha has contributed significantly and importantly to Civil Engineering, the school, and UNM as an outstanding teacher and as a very accomplished researcher with international visibility and distinction, said dean Joseph L. Cecchi.

“I am most grateful that he has agreed to take on this important leadership role, and I look forward to working closely with him to advance the department's agenda,” Cecchi said.

Taha is professor and Regents’ Lecturer in the department. He received his bachelor of science degree and master of science degree in structural engineering from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt, in 1993 and 1996, respectively. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada, in 2000. He worked for years as a structural designer in Canada before moving to UNM in 2004.

Taha’s research is focused on crossing the gap between structural and materials engineering for integrating nanotechnology, structural health monitoring and uncertainty quantification to develop resilient infrastructure systems.

UNM Civil Engineering has received a $5 million grant From National Science Foundation!

A group of CE faculty, led by Kerry Howe, have received a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support the newly-formed Center for Water and the Environment. The grant is from the CREST (Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology) program at NSF, which is focused on improving the research capacity of minority-serving institutions through the establishment of centers that integrate education and research, and increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. The research will cover a broad array of topics about water and the environment, including the effect of watershed management on hydrologic processes and ecosystem services in the Rio Grande headwaters, innovative biofilm-based and membrane-based treatment technologies to improve water quality, the impact of energy resource extraction on ground water resources in the San Juan Basin, and decision-making and research integration. More news on the grant is available at UNM News

As part of the grant, the Center will be hiring undergraduate students, graduate students, and a postdoctoral researcher to assist with the outreach and research activities. Advertisements for the positions are available at Civil Employment

Civil Engineering PhD Candidate Mekdim T. Weldegiorgis Receives $3000 from NSBE

Mekdim T. Weldegiorgis, a UNM Civil Engineering Ph.D. candidate, has been selected for NSBE Chevron Corporate Scholarship for 2013-14. As a NSBE Scholarship recipient, Mekdim T. Weldegiorgis have shown great achievement in the academic arena and dedicated service to NSBE local campus community.

The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is a 501(C)(3) non-profit association that is owned and managed by its members. The organization is dedicated to the academic and professional success of African-American engineering students and professionals. NSBE, with more than 29,900 members, is one of the largest student-governed organizations in the country. Founded in 1975, NSBE now includes more than 394 College, Pre-College, and NSBE Professional chapters in the United States and abroad. NSBE's mission is "to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community."

51st Paving and Transportation Conference

The UNM Department of Civil Engineering is proud to host the 51st Paving and Transportation Conference. The conference will be held January 6-7, 2014, at the Marriott Pyramid North in Albuquerque, NM. We are putting together a diverse program of topics including transportation planning, transportation engineering, and paving materials. For Registration information go to:

National Science Foundation Grand Awarded to Develop New Technologies for Removal of Hormones and Pharmaceuticals from Wastewater

Associate Professor Andrew Schuler recently received a $330,000 grant from the National Science Foundation Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) Unsolicited Award Program, “Engineering a better biofilm: Rational design of attachment surface chemistry and morphology to remove nutrients and microconstituents.” The goal of this research is to develop a new generation of materials that can be used to “engineer” biofilms to better remove both conventional contaminants, such as ammonia, and microconstituents, such as hormones and pharmaceuticals. This work will test the hypothesis that key biofilm chemical and ecological properties can be influenced by rational design of attachment surface chemistry and morphology. This research will be conducted over the next 3 years; excellent graduate applicants are invited to inquire about research opportunities.

51st Paving and Transportation Conference
January 6-7, 2014
Call for Presentations and Session Topics

Powell CoalMine Rachel Powell, a graduate student in the Civil Engineering program at UNM, was selected to receive a scholarship from the National Association of Abandoned Mine Lands Program (NAAMLP) this past September. NAAMLP is a non-profit, professional organization that promotes the reclamation and restoration of lands affected by abandoned mining throughout the nation. The program was developed to reclaim land and water resources adversely affected by past coal mining, and left abandoned or inadequately restored.

The $2,000 scholarship is to assist in the education of students who intend to work as scientists or technicians in the field of mine land reclamation. The scholarship also offers an all expense paid trip to their annual conference, which was held in Daniels, West Virginia this year. Rachel claims that the conference was one of the best experiences of her professional career, and that it has made her even more excited about her future. She also urges anyone with an interest in mine lands or environmental work to apply for their 2014 scholarship.

Picture: 2013 NAAMLP Scholarship Winners, left to right, Jessica Odenheimer, Rachel Powell, Katherine Stockdale

CE Professor Greg RowanGould's Research on the Population Living Near High Traffic U.S. Roadways Profiled by the Los Angeles Times

A recently published study by CE Professor Greg Rowangould finds that 60 million people in the United States (20% of the population) live near a high volume road where they may be exposed to high concentrations of toxic air pollutants. An abundant amount of scientific research indicates that air pollutant concentrations are higher near roads with greater traffic levels and that people living near these roads are at greater risk of developing serious diseases such as cancer, asthma, and heart disease. Furthermore, the study finds that minority and low income residents are more likely to live near high volume roads, raising environmental justice concerns. The study also finds that most counties in the United States do not have regulatory air quality monitors located near high volume roads which limits the enforcement of ambient air quality standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The full study is available in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment.

An article profiling the study was also recently published in the Los Angeles Times.

CE Department Amongst Recipients of NSF Funding for Water Resources Modeling

Valles Caldera New Mexico, Nevada, and Idaho have received a new grant from the National Science Foundation to create a Western Consortium for Watershed Analysis, Visualization and Exploration (WC-WAVE) to advance watershed science, workforce development and education with cyber infrastructure enabled discovery and innovation. The consortium will receive $6 million over a three-year period. CE Prof. Mark Stone is a Co-PI on the project and he will serve as the Watershed Science Lead for New Mexico on the grant.
The WC-WAVE grant will enable researchers to create better models to understand the water resource processes at high elevations that bring water to communities. These systems are affected by climate change, which impacts the water storage, flow moderation and water quality.

Civil Engineering PhD Candidate Mohammad Hossain Received Best Paper Award

Imran Mohammad Hossain's paper entitled “Numerical Computation of Coupled Adhesive and Cohesive Damages in Asphalt Concrete”, co-authored by Prof. Rafi Tarefder of Civil Engineering, received “The Best Paper Award of ICPT2013” at the Eighth International Conference on Road and Airfield Pavement Technology held on July 14-18 in Taipei, Taiwan. Moisture damage in asphalt concrete is a complex and yet unsolved problem, which consumes a significant amount of tax dollars to fix moisture-damaged roadway pavements. Their paper identifies the causes of initiation and progression of moisture damage in asphalt concrete through laboratory testing and finite element modeling. Mohammad is expected to graduate during Fall 2013 under Dr. Tarefder's supervision.

2013-2014 Scholarships for Graduate and Undergraduate Students in the School of Engineering

5-20-13 We are now accepting applications for scholarships for 2013-2014. The Application form and guidelines are available online at (click on Scholarships). The POSTMARK DEADLINE is June 1st, 2013. Hand-delivered applications will be accepted through 5:00pm on Monday June 3rd through the Engineering Student Services Office located at CENT 2080. Award notifications will be made in the latter part of July.

CE Professor Mark Stone Receives NSF CAREER Award

Mark Stone 4-30-13 – Mark Stone, Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering, was selected to receive a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. The award, which includes a substantial grant to support research over a five-year period, is given to promising young faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of both education and research. Read More...

Matt Raymer: Student Athlete, Excellent Scholar

Matt Raymer 4-30-13 Throughout his undergraduate career, Matt Raymer has balanced the challenges of studying engineering with playing Lobo football. This May, he will graduate with a 3.5 cumulative grade-point average and earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from UNM. Matt has excelled not only academically but in time management and leadership skills while being a student athlete. Read More...

Civil Engineering PhD Candidate Rashadul Islam Receives Award for Engineering Conference Paper

Rashadul Islam 4-15-13 Rashadul Islam, a UNM Civil Engineering Ph.D. candidate, has been honored for presenting a conference paper during the 2013 ASCE Texas Section Centennial Spring Conference. His paper, “Evaluating Moduli of Base and Subbase Layer in Flexible Pavement,” received second place in the conference competition and carried a $200 award. Read More...

Dr. Bruce Thomson Named the 2013 New Mexico Public Sector Engineer of the Year

Bruce Thompson4-12-13 Dr. Bruce Thomson, P.E., Regents’ Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Water Resources Program at UNM, was recently named the 2013 Engineer of the Year in the Public Sector by the Albuquerque Chapter of the New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers.

“The ‘Public Sector Engineer of the Year’ aptly describes Dr. Thomson’s commitment to the New Mexico community,” says Brad Sumrall, P.E. Sr. Project Manager, Bohannan-Huston, Inc., Chairman, NMSPE Awards Committee.

“Most engineers know Dr. Thomson for his 35 years of teaching in the UNM School of Engineering. The public is aware of his concern for water quality in Albuquerque, which is why they elected him to the AMAFCA Board,” he said. “His participation on various environmental boards and participation with the engineering community have made Dr. Thomson the ‘go to’ person for water quality in New Mexico. It was a pleasure to select Dr. Thomson for this award.”

About Dr. Thomson
With a joint appointment in the Department of Civil Engineering and in Water Resources, Thomson teaches a wide range of courses in environmental engineering at the senior and graduate level. His research interests focus on the chemical behavior and treatment of radioactive and inorganic water contaminants in both surface and ground water systems. Thomson has consulted nationally and internationally on management of wastes from the mining industry, radioactive and mixed wastes, and domestic wastes.

He has been heavily involved in water and sustainability issues within New Mexico, including serving on the City’s Groundwater Protection Advisory Board for 10 years and serving as Chair many of those years. Thomson was elected to the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority Board (AMAFCA) in 2011 representing southeastern Albuquerque and currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer.

Thomson also received the 2010 New Mexico Earth Sciences Achievement Award for outstanding contributions advancing the role of earth science in the areas of applied science in education in New Mexico.

About the UNM Department of Civil Engineering
The UNM Department of Civil Engineering is New Mexico’s premier and most comprehensive department of civil engineering and construction. The Department offers academic programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. levels and has active research programs in construction, environmental, geotechnical, structural, transportation, and water resources engineering.

About the UNM School of Engineering
The University of New Mexico School of Engineering combines excellence in academic programs with research that addresses global challenges, a commitment to help students succeed, and a thriving culture of innovation that contributes to local and national economic development.