Geotechnical engineering lab gets boost from alum’s gift
November 28, 2007
More than Enamul Hoque’s support for his alma mater will be acknowledged on Saturday at Arizona State University. A family tradition of generosity and community service stretching across generations and continents will be recognized as well.
Hoque’s recent gift of $250,000 to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering will be celebrated at a 4 p.m. gathering on ASU’s main campus in Tempe.
The event will include the official naming of the E.M. Hoque Geotechnical Laboratory in ASU’s Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 2.
Hoque’s contribution will help provide undergraduate engineering students opportunities for significant research experience to the enhance their education at ASU.
But more than 130 family members, friends and business associates will be there Saturday to also honor the Hoque family’s history of giving that began decades ago in their native Bangladesh.
Hoque’s father, Fazlul, a school teacher, is known for aiding Mahatma Ghandi’s cause of helping India successfully manage its political independence from British colonial rule and for bringing formal education to the children of the remote and impoverished Bangladesh village in which he grew up.
His mother, Rahima, is known as well for her aid to the poor in her family’s native land. Enamul Hoque’s work as a community volunteer involved establishing and maintaining a school for the poor in the Bangladesh city of Dhaka while he was pursuing his undergraduate degree in engineering.
The effort led him to work with Mother Teresa’s organization. He helped design hospitals, community centers and women’s job training centers, all without payment for his work.
Hoque earned his master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering at ASU in 1985. Today, his company, Phoenix-based Hoque & Associates Inc, is a consulting engineering firm specializing in geotechnical exploration, civil engineering, construction materials testing, environmental assessment and solid waste engineering.
His professional achievements have earned him the status of Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers.
His gift to the university is one way of showing appreciation for the education at ASU that he cites as critical to his business success.
The E.M. Hoque Geotechnical Laboratory is the first lab in Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 2 to be named for an individual. The $18 million building completed in 2005 is one of the key facilities that reflect ASU’s growing stature as a major research institution. It houses state-of-the-art research projects in advanced pavement and construction methods and materials, sustainable and recyclable materials and renewable technologies, along with studies in soils, hydraulics and fluid dynamics.
Hoque’s financial support helps set the stage for a promising future for geotechnical engineering research at ASU, says Edward Kavazanjian, interim chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
The funding will provide for as many as 500 hours of undergraduate research activity each year, as well as help support technician positions, equipment upgrades and maintenance.
“Revenue from the endowment will help the Hoque laboratory become of one the preeminent laboratories for large-scale static and dynamic testing of waste materials,” Kavazanjian says. “The research will contribute to public safety through the design and construction of safe landfills and through sustainable development endeavors to find beneficial uses for waste materials.”
Such work, he adds, also will enable the School of Engineering to provide the training necessary to prepare students for advanced graduate-level study in geotechnical engineering.
At the same time, it will enable ASU to commemorate the Hoque family legacy of investment in education and community enhancement.
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