Industry donations are supporting curriculum advancement in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering’s (SOE) Department of Civil Engineering, as it prepares industry leaders who will excel in an ever-changing world.
MiTek USA, Inc. has contributed $10,000 in direct support of the Department of Civil Engineering’s Timber Design course. Additionally, an anonymous donor has made two donations to the Department’s Geotechnical Engineering specialization.
“The SIUE School of Engineering is grateful to have such generous industry partners who, with these gifts, support our mission and the advancement of our academic program offerings,” said SOE Dean Cem Karacal, PhD. “We will continue producing highly prepared engineers who are knowledgeable, both in theory and in practice, in Timber Design and Geotechnical Engineering.”
MiTek supplies the building industry with products, software, services and automation to help achieve safe, affordable housing. Many of the well-rounded engineers that work for MiTek are SIUE alumni, according to MiTek Design Engineer Leslie Stallons. Stallons says the University and School’s impressive growth aligns with the company’s vision.
“We have witnessed the School’s growth and are proud to partner with SIUE,” said Stallons, EI, who earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering from SIUE in 2012. “MiTek’s vision is to be in every structure worldwide. Additionally, one of MiTek’s core values is to be relationship driven. Relationships make our world go ‘round. It is with those relationships that have been cultivated over the years, that we continue to help each other not only grow, but also develop the next generation of industry movers and shakers.”
According to Brad Cross, PhD, PE, SE, professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, MiTek’s donation will cover the costs of instruction and the purchase of timber design codes. It will also support a student researcher who is working with the Advanced Structural Analysis course to incorporate advanced timber roof analysis techniques and expand existing scholarship.
“With timber construction on the rise, it is imperative that there is an increase in student exposure to the Timber Design course,” Stallons explained. “Offering this course every year, will give students a broad exposure to different building materials, and an understanding of how timber construction differs from steel and concrete. We are excited to help pioneer this effort, and hope it will generate new interest in timber design.”
The anonymous donor’s contributions to the Geotechnical Engineering specialization will support student salary, assistantships, scholarships, research and projects, as well as faculty research and awards. The monies will also allow for the purchase of needed equipment and lab supplies.
“These funds provide much-needed support to purchase equipment and fund graduate students and faculty in this specialization to continue important research,” said Reza Osouli, PhD, PE, associate professor of civil engineering, with a research focus on geotechnical engineering.
“The Department of Civil Engineering remains committed to offering a diverse variety of elective courses, representative of the breadth of civil engineering career paths,” said Ryan Fries, PhD, PE, professor and chair of the Department. “These offerings help us develop high-quality graduates with the skills needed to succeed in their engineering careers, adapt to a changing world and become tomorrow’s leaders.”
Photo: SIUE School of Engineering