Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Main Campus
3006 Nitschke Hall
Mail Stop 307
2801 W. Bancroft St.
Toledo, OH 43606-3390
Phone: (419) 530-8120
Fax: (419) 530-8116

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department History

The University of Toledo can trace a long association with technical and vocational studies, since it began as The Toledo University of Arts and Trades in 1872. The College of Industrial Science was established in 1910. In 1911 Allen R. Cullimore, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was named Dean and Professor of Civil Engineering (CE), serving as the only full time faculty member in the College. A two-year curriculum was offered with articulation agreements with The Ohio State University and The University of Michigan to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. The College of Industrial Science was absorbed as a department in the College of Arts and Sciences from 1922 until 1931, when it became a separate College of Engineering (COE). The COE initiated a four-year Bachelor of Engineering degree. The curriculum in general engineering was first accredited in 1942 by the Engineers Council for Professional Development (ECPD), a forerunner of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The College was departmentalized in 1950 and a separate Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering was authorized.

A curriculum in CE was developed in 1946, headed by Edwin L. Saxer. He served as the first chairman of the new Department of Civil Engineering until 1972. The Department has grown and matured over the years under the leadership of several chairs: Dr. David C. Colony (1972-1979), Dr. Colby V. Ardis, Jr. (1979-1989), Dr. George J. Murnen, interim (1989-1990), Dr. Naser Mostaghel (1990-1995), Dr. Jiwan D. Gupta, interim (1995-1997), Dr. Brian W. Randolph (1997-2002), and Dr. Douglas Nims, interim (2002-2004). Dr. Kumar is the current chair of the Department. Currently, the Department has nine full-time faculty who are responsible for teaching, research, and service activities: 

  • Dr. Defne Apul, Assistant Professor

  • Dr. Eddie Yein-Juin Chou, Professor

  • Dr. Cyndee Gruden, Associate Professor

  • Dr. Liangbo Hu, Assistant Professor

  • Dr. Ashok Kumar, Professor

  • Dr. Douglas K. Nims, Professor

  • Dr. Azadeh Parvin, Associate Professor

  • Dr. Brian W. Randolph, Professor (Executive Associate Dean of Academic Affairs)

  • Dr. Youngwoo Seo, Assistant Professor

Dr. George J. Murnen, Dr. Donald Anglebeck, Dr. Kuan-Chen Fu, Dr. Naser Mostaghel, Dr. Jiwan D. Gupta, Dr. Mark Pickett, and Dr. Andrew Heydinger received the designation of  Professor Emeritus status in the Department of CE.  The Department has eleven part-time faculty.

The undergraduate program first became ECPD accredited in 1950 and has been continuously accredited by ECPD (which became ABET in 1980) ever since. The Department has awarded 1726 Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degrees since 1950, including 36 in the 2007-08 academic year.

The first Master of Science in CE was awarded in 1953 and the first PhD in 1974. The early years of the graduate program were designed to accommodate part-time students from the local community. The scope and focus of graduate efforts have evolved to recruit globally and to concentrate primarily on full time students, with course scheduling that accommodates professionals in the community pursuing part-time studies. The Department has awarded well over 426 Master of Science in Civil Engineering degrees since 1953 and 35 Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Engineering Science since 1974. The graduate program experienced tremendous growth during the 1995 to 2001 period due to the availability of tuition scholarships. However, the graduate program has stabilized during the last seven years. The PhD students account for about 30% of the graduate student population.

Over the last 15 years the graduate program emphasis has increasingly shifted toward research. Department faculty members conduct research in many key areas of civil engineering that provide meaningful results to government agencies and industries while supporting full time graduate assistants and educating the next generation of practicing engineers. A reorganized department structure was instituted in the COE in 1994 when the roles of Director of Undergraduate Program, Director of Graduate Program and Academic Program Coordinator were established for each degree program by reallocating centralized responsibilities and positions, such as the pre-engineering program.

This structure mirrors those institutions that we compete with, as identified in strategic planning. The intention is to provide a greater degree of monitoring and accountability for the programs, while increasing service to the students. Dr. Douglas Nims has served the Department as Director of Undergraduate Program since March 1997. Dr. Jiwan Gupta was the Director of Graduate Programs from 1994 to 2004. Dr. Parvin is serving as the Chair of Graduate Program Committee since Jan. 2005. Ms. Michelle Renae Rose is our Academic Program Coordinator. Ms. Rose holds Masters Degrees in both Social Work and Urban Planning, and has experience in advising prospective and current students. Mrs. Rose Marie Ackerman is working in the position of Assistant Director of Student Services. She has been in this position since Sept 2012. Rose Marie holds degrees in Masters of Arts and Masters of Science in Education. Ms. Janelle Canard is currently working as the secretary of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

In summary, the undergraduate and graduate programs are healthy, with a strong, diverse student body. Our graduates and research have a wide beneficial effect on the region, state, country and the world.


Last Updated: 2/9/17