Chair's Message April 2015

We’re thinking ‘New’

Although this past winter was one of the mildest in memory, we nonetheless look forward to spring and summer as we teach our students and anticipate ramping up our research. We’re thinking ‘new.’ Let me give you some examples:

  • A re-invigorated vision statement: “We strive to prepare world-class civil engineers and leaders who are committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Every decision we make is evaluated in light of this statement.
  • Grants and publications: included in this issue is a list of funded research projects being conducted by your BYU faculty. As you look at the list I hope you are impressed with the depth, variety, and intriguing nature of the work being done. We also provide to you a list of the faculty publications for 2014. We led the Fulton College of Engineering and Technology in 2014 in the number of refereed publications per faculty member and the so-called activity index. The activity index is the ratio of total faculty divided by the number of faculty who published a refereed paper. I’m pleased to say that our activity index for 2014 was a perfect 1.0.
  • A new engineering building on the horizon: due the True Blue loyalty of so many current and former students and a few surprise donors, we have been authorized to proceed with finishing the plans for the new engineering building. Ground should be broken a year from now with occupation in the fall of 2018. We’re grateful for the support and faith shown in our programs by so many who generously donated. Because we are about 88% towards our goal, if you have yet to make donation, please consider doing so immediately. Go to the college website ( for more information.
  • We will form a new external advisory committee this summer that focuses on supporting our ever-improving senior capstone design experience. I will be looking for about ten professionals who love BYU and our department who would be willing to serve as advisors to our students and faculty on capstone issues. Travel to campus is required, so we anticipate recruiting from Utah and Salt Lake Valleys. Nonetheless, videoconferencing is possible, so if you would like to join us, please email me at
  • New course: we will be introducing a new, two-credit hour course entitled, “Infrastructure and Sustainability” for sophomores beginning in 2016. This course will not only discuss the titled topics in some detail but will also provide early instruction in engineering economics and mass balance equations for environmental engineering.
  • Revamped course: CE En 113, our 50+ year-old surveying class, will receive a complete facelift, including the new title of “Geomatics,” and will be changed from three credits to two. We will do a few field exercises with the total station but will really focus on the following three acronyms: GIS, GPS, and UAV. The last one stands for ‘unmanned aerial vehicles,’ and is a booming research and application field in the industry.

Please keep in touch by emailing me with you questions, concerns, and suggestions at