What an exciting time to be a Civil Engineer at BYU! We want to thank each and every one of you who reads CivilTalk and responds by writing us an email, by dropping by to see us, or even by donating to the department! Consistent with our adopted vision statement of “We Strive to Prepare World-Class Civil Engineers and Leaders who are Committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” allow me to update you on what is happening in your department.
- Dr. Wayne Lee will be joining us on June 27th as our Capstone Coordinator! Through a series of spirit-led events, Dr. Lee will join us after retiring from an eminent career in, amongst other topics, shock physics. He is driven to make sure our senior students are better prepared as they leave BYU to fulfill our vision statement.
- Our new Advisory Committee is in place! We are privileged to have Dan Avila (UDOT), Mark Christensen (J-U-B), Norm Beagley (City of Santaquin), Paul Thorley (Acute Engineering), Roy McDaniel (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and Spencer Stephenson (Horrocks) joining us on April 7th for our inaugural meeting. They have been charged with completing four ambitious tasks:
- Conduct a review of our existing capstone program. This will help you get your own context of what we have been and are doing.
- Review our materials and modify them as ‘calling cards’ to use when contacting potential sponsors
- Round up projects for the 2016-2017 capstone program
- Develop a plan for presentations for the spring of 2017 and for a celebration
- With great excitement, we anticipate the construction of our new engineering building. Groundbreaking will be in the next few months with occupation scheduled for the fall of 2018.
- We have been given approval to begin a new fundraising effort after close to ten years of fund raising for the new building. Mr. Jeffery Smith is heading our Scholarship Society efforts to double our nearly $4 million endowment. Please remember us!
- Our study abroad program continues to flourish and grow. This spring term Dr. Dan Ames and Dr. Norm Jones will be leading programs to the Netherlands and Italy, respectively, while Dr. Rick Balling and Dr. Brett Borup will be returning to China. New ideas abound and our passion for making “the world our campus” knows no limits.
We recently enjoyed our annual department dinner where we heard ‘messages to you, a recent graduate,’ from our emeritus faculty members Arnold Wilson, Olani Durrant, Steven Benzley, Les Youd, LaVere Merritt, and, through the eyes of Christine Isom, her grandfather, Allan Firmage. Allan passed away just a few days later. Listening to those great men who have gone before us reminded me of the sacred setting we enjoy: led by a living Prophet, working and seeking inspiration to lead our students and our professions, all under the direction of the Holy Ghost. It is indeed a blessing to be here, as I am sure you will attest.