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Professor’s role in civil engineering leadership expands

November 30, 2009

Edward Kavazanjian has been elected a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and become president of the organization’s Geo-Institute, which represents more than 10,000 geotechnical engineers among ASCE’s membership.

Kavazanjian is an associate professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, a part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.

The ASCE is the oldest engineering society in the nation and represents almost 150,000 members in the civil engineering profession. Fellow status recognizes members who have made significant contributions to civil engineering and become recognized leaders in their areas of specialty.

As Geo-Institute president, Kavazanjian will preside over the group of scientists, engineers and technologists concerned with employing their expertise to improve the environment, help protect communities from threats posed by natural disasters, and construct engineered facilities in economical and sustainable ways.

Kavazanjian has served as vice president of the Geo-Institute since the fall of 2008. As president of the institute, he also serves on the ASCE Technical Region Board of Governors, which oversees the eight institutes comprising the technical arm of the society.

Earlier this year he won the ASCE’s Ralph B. Peck Award, which honors outstanding contributions to the geotechnical engineering profession through the publication of documented case histories. The award recognized Kavazanjian’s work specifically on waste containment systems, including design of landfills to withstand seismic activity and post-closure development of these facilities.

He also is the current chair of the Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering (COGGE) of the National Academies of Engineering and Science National Research Council, and sits on the council’s Board of Earth Sciences and Resources (BESR).

COGGE is a standing committee of the BESR and is the focal point for scientific, technical and public-policy issues pertaining to the engineering applications of earth sciences.

Kavazanjian also was named an Outstanding Engineering Educator of the Year by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 2008. It recognizes outstanding contributions to engineering education – particularly in mentoring students and young engineers. He serves as faculty adviser to the ASU chapter of Engineers Without Borders, which takes on engineering challenges to help communities throughout the world provide basic necessities such as clean water, power, sanitation and education.

Kavazanjian came to ASU after 20 years in engineering practice. He has co-authored geotechnical guidance documents on geotechnical earthquake engineering for highways for the Federal Highway Administration, and on seismic design of municipal solid waste landfills for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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