College of Engineering Hosts Candidates for Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The College of Engineering will host three candidates for the position of Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Venki Uddameri will visit campus on Tuesday, April 5th, Dr. Suleiman Ashur on Thursday, April 7th, and Dr. Osama Abaza on Friday, April 8th.   The biographies of each candidate are listed below.


 UddamariVenki Uddameri, Ph.D. P.E. Dr.

Venki Uddameri is a professor in the department of civil, environmental and     construction engineering at Texas Tech University. He also serves as the Director of the TTU Water Resources Center and a co-Director of the Texas Produced Water Consortium. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) published by Wiley Interscience. His research and professional interests are in the broad area of sustainable water resources with an emphasis on modeling flow and contaminant transport in groundwater systems. His interests in computational methods (both traditional and data-driven), sensors and engineering pedagogy has allowed him to work across all sub-disciplines of civil engineering as well as collaborate with physical, natural and social scientists. He was previously a professor of environmental engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where he was also the Graduate Coordinator of the Environmental Engineering Department and the Director of the NSF Funded Center for Excellence focused on Environmental Sustainability of Coastal Semi-Arid Areas (CREST-RESSACA).He has authored over 100 articles, book chapters and technical reports and two books (GIS and Geocomputation for Water Resources Science and Engineering (with Barnali Dixon) published by John Wiley and Sons and Hydraulic Fracturing Impacts and Technologies (with Audra Morse, Kay Tindle) published by CRC Press. He is committed to accessibility of educational resources and is currently working on an open-access textbook on Modern Computational Methods for Civil Engineering. He has secured funding from a broad range of federal agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), US Department of Energy (DOE), US Department of Defense (DoD), US Geological Survey (USGS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and several state (TWDB, TSSWCB) and local agencies. He received the Abel Hanger Award for Teaching Excellence at Texas Tech University and the Javelina Alumni Association Outstanding Researcher Award at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He has been elected as the Fellow of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA). He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas.


Suleiman Ashur, Ph.D., P.E.

Dr. Ashur has a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University in Transportation Systems and Operation, an M.S.E. in Construction Engineering and Management, and a second M.S.E. in Geotechnical Engineering for the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is currently a Professor of Civil Engineering and Construction Management in the School of Visual and Built Environmental, College of Engineering and Technology at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). Before joining EMU, he served as the Civil Engineering Program Founder and Coordinator at Purdue University Fort Wayne (PUFW), Indiana. Dr. Ashur has extensive experience in administrative work. He served as the Director of the School of Visual and Built Environments at EMU and the Director of Assessment at PUFW and led the effort on several accreditations’ programs. Dr. Ashur has successfully published his research findings in scholarly refereed journals and conferences and attracted more than $4 million in externally funded research contracts from state, federal, and international agencies.

AbazaOsama Abaza, Ph.D.

Osama Abaza is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). He is a graduate of Brigham Young University-Utah (BYU) for his doctorate degree and University of Toledo-Ohio (UT) for his master’s and undergraduate degrees. He worked in the academic circles and industry for the last thirty-five years in the field of civil/transportation engineering as it relates to traffic engineering and safety, and pavement engineering and sustainable materials.He served in the academic field as a Department Chair and a Vice President for Administrative Affairs. He worked in the industry as professional engineer and a CEO of a consulting firm for 15 years. His current research is focused on cold region transportationlike traffic safety and enforcement, driver’s behavior, pavement design and management, assessment of structural design of roadway, sustainable materials for cold region environments, economic evaluation of pavement structures, effect of climate change onbinder selection and existing pavement structures, etc.He is a member of ASCE, IEEE-Vehicular Technology Society (VTS), TRB and other national and international professional organization. He is serving on many NCHRP and BTSCRP national project panels