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DIRECTOR MESSAGE

 

Welcome to the Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Our institutional family with 36 faculties, 24 administrative personnel, 871 undergraduate and 141 graduate students work daily to achieve our mission and pursue our vision through teaching, research, development, and institutional services internally and externally.

 

“Vision and Mission”

A century ago this Department was established dreaming of investing in education to support the social and economic development of Puerto Rico.  During this time, extraordinary accomplishments have been the outcome of all the efforts this Institution has returned to our society.  We proudly celebrated in 2013-14 our 100 year anniversary with conversatories focusing on each one of the areas of expertise we teach, namely:  Structures, Environmental, Construction, Transportation, Geotechnical, and Surveying.

At present time, we offer six academic programs:  two undergraduate programs (BS in Civil Engineering and BS in Surveying and Topography) and four graduate programs (3 masters programs with thesis, project or course options, and a Ph.D.).  The graduate programs focus on options in Environmental, Structures, Transportation, Geotechnical, and Construction.

The BS in Civil Engineering is fully accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, and has ranked consistently on the top 15 programs in number of Civil Engineering graduates in the USA.  The Surveying and Topography Program created in 1978, is one of the largest in total number of students in USA.  Our graduate program has grown to host a persistent large number of graduate students ranking as the “largest” in Campus in 2014.  The master’s program was created in 1966.  The Ph.D. program began in 1993 for which we also celebrated the 20th anniversary in 2014.

We have an extraordinary faculty with up to date expertise in all teaching areas.  Through our faculty we have reached the presence and visibility in forums of international, national, and state jurisdictions including professional, educational, research, and government organizations.  Our faculty participation in conferences, symposiums, sponsored projects, professional committees and boards, and government commissions has provided leadership opportunities necessary to bring a significant impact either internally or externally.

An extremely well qualified team of professional administrative personnel leads the necessary technical and clerical support necessary to launch the extremely demanding day to day educational, research, and service agenda.  Our student body is a selective one from the best and brightest students coming to our undergraduate programs from private and public high schools in Puerto Rico.  Our graduate population is being enriched not only by our alumni from our undergraduate programs but also from alumni from many universities from latinamerican countries like Dominican Republic, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Peru, among others.

Our Department hosts up to date physical facilities to provide the necessary experimental and simulation experiences our students and faculty need either in their course or research work.  Our internal resources are enhanced and expanded by the external funding initiatives to sponsor research and development, innovative education, and institutional services.Our budget of institutional funding is expanded with external financial support directed to research and development by our faculty and students.  External funding attracted by the Department Faculty expands the graduate students’ assistantship in the order of 1 to 4 which is invested in supporting their graduate research theses and projects.  From 2013 to 2014 the Department granted 13 MS/ME and 3 Ph. D. degrees in innovative and high priority research topics. Likewise we host a population of 107 Masters and 34 PhD students in our graduate programs.

Our students are organized in nine different students organizations, namely: American Concrete Institute (ACI), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Association of General Contractors (AGC), Puerto Rico Water & Environment Association RUM Chapter (PRW&EA RUM), Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), Construction Engineering Management Association (CEMA), Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI-UPRM Student Chapter), two institutes of the students College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico, namely, Institute of Civil Engineers (IIC-CIAPR) and the Institute of Surveyors (CEA-CIAPR). The Civil Engineering and Surveying Association (AICA) serves as an umbrella organization of all students organizations in the Department. These organizations provide excellent opportunities for them to develop their leadership, organizational, managerial, ethical, and interpersonal skills and tools as vehicles, which help them in the transition from the University life into the professional environment.

Students have been extremely successful by participating in students’ competitions and professional activities.  I must highlight the extraordinary success of the Earthquakes Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Team which competes nationally e internationally, ranking 4th overall in 2014; the ASCE Competitions Team which ranked first in 2012 and 2013 and ranked second in 2014 Overall Regional Competitions.  They also ranked 9th nationally in Concrete Canoe, and 17th in the Steel Bridge Competitions in 2014.  The American Concrete Institute and the National Society of Professional Surveyors Students’ teams also participate in national activities. Alternative Learning Experiences (ALE) are provided to strengthen and broaden our students integral formation and education.  These experiences can be taken with or without course credits participating in one or more of the following:  COOP Program, first job experiences, summer research and practice internships, students professional practice, community service, undergraduate research, educational traveling, university work, studies abroad, and many other informal seminars and conferences that are provided in or outside the university.  Our goal is to provide every student at least one alternative learning experience before graduation.

Overall, our Department has grown in size, offerings, presence, and visibility. Most importantly, our Department is fulfilling our mission by providing the most competitive environment to:  educate our students, develop the research needed to create new knowledge, provide the necessary technology to lead the sustainable and effective urban development, the sensitivity to protect and restore the environment, and provide the most appropriate labor force to lead the socio-economic development in Puerto Rico and elsewhere by means of the most competitive professionals, citizens, and human beings. Our faculty, administrative personnel, students, and partners are committed to excellence by facing the new challenges of the profession and forming the most competitive professionals, citizens, and human beings to serve our people and resolve civil engineering and surveying problems.

 

We welcome you all to our Department!

 

My best regards,

Ismael Pagán Trinidad

Director