7 Faculty Selected for Endowed Professorships

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering has selected seven faculty members for endowed faculty chairs and professorships, including 4 new endowed positions introduced this year.  

Endowed professorships and faculty chairs recognize faculty who stretch the boundaries of their disciplines. In addition to prestige, professorships provide faculty members with discretionary funding for research, equipment, travel and other professional development to advance their work. CEE has more than doubled its number of endowed professorships and faculty chairs since 2018, thanks to generous gifts from alumni and friends of the School.


Adjo Amekudzi-Kennedy

Adjo Amekudzi-Kennedy has been named the Frederick Law Olmsted Professor. Amekudzi-Kennedy joined the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1999 and was granted tenure in 2005. She currently serves as the Associate Chair for Global Engineering & Entrepreneurship. Her research focuses on transportation systems engineering and infrastructure asset management. Amekudzi-Kennedy was elected to the National Academy of Construction in 2019 and is an American Society of Civil Engineers Fellow.

Susan Burns was named the Dwight H. Evans Professor. Burns joined the school as an associate professor in 2004 and was promoted to professor in 2010. She currently serves as the Associate Chair for Administration and Finance. Burns’ research expertise is in geotechnical engineering with an emphasis on: sustainability and beneficial use of waste materials; erosion, infiltration, and stormwater treatment on roadway rights-of-way; bio-mediated ground improvement; and fundamental chemical and engineering behavior of soils.

Susan Burns
Yongsheng Chen

Yongsheng Chen has been appointed the Bonnie W. and Charles W. Moorman IV Professor. Chen joined the faculty in 2009 as an associate professor and was promoted to professor in 2017. His research focuses on environmental nanotechnology and sustainability. Chen’s research is particularly focused on smart manufacturing, machine learning and artificial intelligence, sustainable energy production and the biological effects of nanomaterials in the environment.

Randall Guensler is the Guy J. Lookabaugh Professor. Guensler joined the faculty in 1994 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to professor in 2005. He currently holds a courtesy appointment in the School of City and Regional Planning. His research expertise lies in transportation systems with a focus on the development and implementation of lifecycle energy and emissions modeling tools. His teams develop and employ computation modeling tools for a range of spatial and temporal scales. He has served as the Associate Director for the National Center for Sustainable Transportation since 2014 and is an active member of the Transportation Research Board.

Randall Guensler
Kim Kurtis

Kimberly Kurtis has been appointed the Raymond Allen Jones Chair. Kurtis joined the school in 1999 as an assistant professor, was granted tenure in 2005 and promoted to professor in 2010. She also serves as Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Scholarship in the College of Engineering. Her research focuses on construction materials and the multi-scale structure and performance of cement-based materials. Kurtis’s research is recognized for using emerging methods and novel approaches to provide new fundamental insights into the behavior of cement pastes, mortars and concretes necessary for improving their early-age behavior and long-term durability. She is a fellow of the American Concrete Institute and a fellow of the American Ceramics Society.

Jorge Macedo has been named the Frederick L. Olmsted Early Career Professor. Macedo joined the faculty in 2018 as an assistant professor. His research focus is on geotechnical earthquake engineering, performance-based and risk engineering applied to natural and man-made multi-hazards, and mining geotechnics. Macedo combines performance-based engineering, reliability, and machine learning tools with advanced numerical modeling, and novel experimental procedures to address these topics. 

Jorge Macedo
Carlos Santamarina

Carlos Santamarina will return to the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering as a professor and the inaugural holder of the G. Wayne Clough Chair. Santamarina held faculty positions at NYU-Polytechnic, University of Waterloo, and Georgia Tech before joining King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in 2015. His research builds on the science of geomaterials and subsurface processes to advance engineering solutions for the global energy challenge and combines multi-scale physical and numerical experiments. Santamarina’s research spans resource recovery (oil, gas, methane hydrates, mining) and both energy and waste geostorage (including CO2, fly ash and nuclear waste).