Chair's message

Dear CEE alumni and friends,

We are well into the Fall 2023 semester and the campus is busy with student energy. Each fall brings new people into the Tufts CEE community, new majors, new graduate students, and this year new faculty. This year we welcome Farshid Vahedifard through our national search for the new Berger Chair, and Ana Martha Fernandes, Professor of the Practice in environmental health.

Dr. Farshid Vahedifard comes to Tufts from Mississippi State University, where he held the CEE Advisory Board Endowed Professorship. His goal has been to develop transformative solutions for emerging issues related to climate-resilient communities and infrastructure systems while incorporating environmental justice. His core disciplinary area is geotechnical engineering including slopes and unsaturated soils, while many of his projects include transdisciplinary research at the intersection of climate change, resilient infrastructure, and environmental justice.

Already this fall, we are engaged in conversation around curriculum and teaching, research, and community engagement. Please enjoy our cover story on the Tufts students’ trip to the national steel bridge competition held by AISC in San Diego. This story highlights the exciting extracurricular activities and student–alumni interaction that are a hallmark of a Tufts education in CEE.

We also welcomed a large class of graduate students to Tufts this fall and they are busy in their coursework, teaching and research assistantships, and extracurricular activities. We continue to send our graduate students to conferences around the world so that they can learn about the field and become representatives of Tufts in the broader community.

Assistant Professor Deborah Sunter is spending this academic year working in the US Department of Energy Office of Energy Justice and Equity, a unique opportunity where she leverages her research and expertise as a senior advisor on energy justice policy and analysis.

In my seventh year as Department Chair, we will be participating in conversations around sustainability and climate, and finding new ways to engage our students and our alumni.

Our new internal job board is a great way to connect with our current students. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to make a connection to our current students. Read on to discover some highlights from the past year in our department.


Laurie Gaskins Baise

Professor and Chair