May 29, 2013
Sue Ratz

Parks College Graduates First Class of Civil Engineers

This May, 21 students graduated from the program, which formally began in 2009.

Civil Engineering Program's class of 2013.
Civil Engineering Program's class of 2013. Submitted photo

Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology celebrated its inaugural graduating class from the Civil Engineering Program in May 2013. The pioneering class of 21 civil engineering graduates is the first for Saint Louis University in more than 35 years and the first ever for Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.

"I would call this class ‘the class of heroes' not only because they took the risk to be the first to join a newly established program, but also because they contributed significantly to establishing students organizations such as the ASCE SLU chapter and Engineers Without Borders, enhancing the curriculum, and working hard inside and outside the classroom," said Riyadh Hindi, Ph.D., an associate professor of civil engineering.

Krishnaswamy Ravindra, Ph.D., associate dean for Parks College and author of the initial proposal for the department, recalled the excitement and support from the St. Louis engineering community when the idea for the program first came about in 2008.

"Just over one year after the proposal, 10 students entered the program in the fall 2009 semester," Ravindra said. "This is a process that typically takes years, and we accomplished it in just one year."

"We started out with ten and we finished with 20 students," John Woolschlager, Ph.D., chair of the Civil Engineering Department added. "Most programs that start out with 10 finish with five. I think that's a tremendous reflection of the quality of the faculty and students in our program."

"I am very proud of the progress our civil engineering department has made over the last four years," said Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D., dean of Parks College. "Our inaugural class of civil engineering graduates consists of outstanding achievers prepared to become global leaders in their future career paths."

"The program is in very healthy state; every faculty member in the department is involved in research, and we are excited to add two additional outstanding faculty members in the fall. We are looking forward to the department making significant contributions to the education, service and research mission of Parks College, Saint Louis University, the nation and the world in the future."

The development of the program hinged on the participation of many alumni and donors.

"We are particularly grateful for the assistance we received from the donors who made possible the launch of the program four years ago, and we are looking forward to the continued help and support of our constituents to enable the program to flourish further in the future," Alexander remarked.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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