Auburn renames civil engineering department to include environmental focus

By Jeremy Henderson

Published: Jul 23, 2020 4:00:00 PM

The Harbert Center is home to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering within the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. The Harbert Center is home to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering within the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

Civil Engineering is the oldest department in Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, but it now has the newest name. 

In order to reflect its evolving educational mission, the department is now the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

"Changing the department’s name will better reflect environmental engineering as a distinct profession," said Andy Nowak, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

The department, which will soon celebrate its 150th anniversary, already offers a specialization in environmental engineering, and the name change will better reflect this concentration. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental engineering is classified as an independent profession with 55,400 practitioners. 

"The change will improve our competitiveness for students, faculty and funding within the state and beyond," Nowak said. "It will enhance our visibility and help highlight the significant accomplishments of our students and faculty in the environmental engineering field." 

Nowak specifically hopes the name change will help boost the department’s female enrollment. In 2018, an American Society for Engineering Education study showed that 50.6% of environmental engineering concentrated bachelor's degrees were awarded to women, compared to 21.9% across all other engineering degrees. 

“The name change will better reflect the current and future employment trends and, along with our expansive facilities, emphasize the efforts Auburn University and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering have made as part of our vision to be the best student-centered engineering experience in America,” said Christopher B. Roberts, dean of engineering.

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson, jdh0123@auburn.edu, 334-844-3591

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