CULLEN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

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National Ranking Places UH Civil Engineering at No. 14

By: 

Brian Allen

A popular national engineering magazine has ranked the University of Houston among the most productive civil engineering research schools in the nation.

After performing its own in-depth survey of more than 117 institutions, Engineering News-Record, a McGraw-Hill publication, ranked UH 14th in the nation in its list of "Leading CE Research Schools," published in the Oct. 21 issue.

"We are very happy with this recognition and feel this is quite an accomplishment for the civil and environmental engineering faculty, and for the department," says Raymond Flumerfelt, dean of the UH Cullen College of Engineering.

The list, which ranks schools by percentage of income from research, places UH engineering in the national spotlight and will help build prestige for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and for the college, says Cumaraswamy Vipulanandan, chairman of civil and environmental engineering at the UH Cullen College of Engineering.

"It's great to be visible nationally, and the Engineering News-Record is a very well respected and widely read magazine in the field of Civil Engineering," Vipulanandan says. "A lot of practicing engineers read it. This ranking places us among the country's leading engineering research schools, and we are very pleased with it."

What the ranking also shows is how well the UH department is optimizing its resources. More than 75 percent of the faculty in the department of civil and environmental engineering is active in research. "A notable level," Vipulanandan says. "But it's also important to remember that we have only 17 fulltime faculty members. So although we are a relatively small department, we are running a very efficient operation-and that pays rich dividends, both for our students and for our community."

No other Texas school appears in the ENR Top 20. Part of the reason, according to Vipulanandan, is other schools, such as the University of Texas and Texas A&M, receive additional funding from sources other than research to keep their educational operation going.

"The work that is done here by faculty from environmental engineering, structural engineering, geotechnical and materials engineering, are really all examples of applied research that has immediate impact on the engineering profession," Vipulanandan says. "We are working with the City of Houston, the Texas Department of Transportation, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and our work has an immediate impact."

Some of the research at the local and state level is also funded and supported at the national level by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Water Works Association, the Gulf Coast Hazardous Substance Research Center, the American Petroleum Institute and a number of industries. The department is taking a number of steps to increase the national awareness of its programs. Its annual CIGMAT (Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology) conference next March will bring in people from cities all over the country.

For more information on the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, visit http://www.cive.uh.edu. For information on CIGMAT, visit http://cigmat.cive.uh.edu.

Quick Facts on UH Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Awards B.S. in Civil Engineering and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • 340 students currently enrolled (220 undergraduates and 120 graduate students)
  • Five teaching and eight research laboratories
  • Research expenditure is over $1.6 million per year
Engineering News-Record 'Leading CE Research Schools'
  1. University of Florida
  2. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  3. University of Arizona
  4. University of Tennessee
  5. University of New Orleans
  6. University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
  7. University of Connecticut
  8. University of Minnesota
  9. Iowa State University of Science and Technology
  10. Michigan Technological University
  11. Purdue University
  12. U.S. Coast Guard Academy
  13. University of Iowa
  14. University of Houston
  15. Cornell University
  16. Virginia Tech
  17. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  18. University of Toledo
  19. University of Pittsburgh
  20. University of Colorado

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