Chair's message

Dear CEE alumni and friends,

The 2021 fall semester has seen renewed energy on campus. Hallways and classrooms are buzzing again, as fully in-person teaching and learning return to Tufts. We all have been energized by these in-person interactions. Tufts has done an excellent job adopting COVID-19 protocols to create a safe environment for our community. 

We continue to see growth in our undergraduate and graduate programs. Our undergraduate students are exploring the flexibility of our new curriculum, with almost 50% of students pursuing at least one minor. Students are finding that they can explore their interests beyond civil and environmental engineering as they use their Tufts education to identify their passions.

In addition to welcoming a new cohort of students to campus, we also welcome a number of new faculty members. Greses Pérez has joined the faculty as the McDonnell Family Assistant Professor in Engineering Education. With Greses’s arrival, we are excited to integrate her research on incorporating more diverse viewpoints and contexts to broad participation of historically marginalized communities but also to enhance the design processes in engineering. Greses joins two additional recent faculty hires in other School of Engineering departments whose work also focuses on engineering education, adding tremendously to the School’s rich and growing expertise in the area.

We also welcome a pair of professors of the practice in geotechnical engineering as the result of a generous donation from alumnus William (Bill) Edgerton, E70. Professor of the Practice and Edgerton Fellow Lucy Jen brings her passion for geotechnical engineering to Tufts, linking the classroom to real-life projects through her consulting work. Professor of the Practice and Edgerton Fellow Juan Pestana has a wealth of experience in the United States and internationally. With the growth of the Geosystems group, we are growing our MS focus area in geosystems as both a part-time and hybrid offering.

As the School of Engineering continues to foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) initiatives, CEE welcomed diversity program coordinator Mafalda Gueta to campus in August. Mafalda serves both CEE and the Department of Biomedical Engineering as a resource for our communities, providing support to DEIJ activities in the departments and across the school through coordination with the Center for STEM Diversity.

Finally, we continue to take advantage of the many virtual opportunities for outreach. Our Friday afternoon seminar is offered in a hybrid format so that we can welcome alumni and friends, and we will hold our annual winter student/alumni networking event virtually once again this year so as to welcome a broad audience. I hope you’ll join us, and read our newsletter to learn more about the past year in CEE.


Laurie Gaskins Baise
Professor and Chair