CEE faculty members appointed to endowed positions

Wednesday, 15 May 2024

Faculty members Sheng Dai and Jennifer Kaiser have been selected for appointments to endowed positions within the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Endowed professorships are prestigious appointments that provide faculty members with discretionary funding for research, equipment, travel and other professional development to advance their work. The School 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. With these new appointments, there are now 25 faculty members holding endowed positions.

Sheng Dai

Sheng Dai has been appointed as the inaugural holder of the Georgia Mining Association Early Career Professorship, a new endowed position in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, beginning July 1.

Dai joined the CEE faculty in 2015 as an assistant professor. He was granted tenure and became an associate professor in 2021.

Dai’s research expertise is in geotechnical engineering with a focus on energy issues. He is known for studying geomaterials under elevated temperature and pressure conditions.

Portrait of Sheng Dai

Dai has published extensively in his area, including 68 papers in top journals in the field. While at Tech, he has been awarded 23 projects from National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, and others. He is the recipient of a prestigious NSF award as well as the CEE Interdisciplinary Research Award in 2023.

Dai has also excelled as an educator, winning the Bill Schutz Junior Faculty Teaching Award in CEE in 2017 and a Certificate of Appreciation from the AEES student chapter in 2021.

Externally, Dai served as associate editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth and for Geomechanics for Energy and the Environment. On campus, he has served as Geosystems Engineering group leader and on numerous College of Engineering and CEE committees.

Dai is the first person to hold the Georgia Mining Association Early Career Professorship. This new position was endowed by the Georgia Mining Association, a trade association founded in 1972 to advance and encourage the mineral resource industries of the State of Georgia. The group provides information on legislative matters to membership and works to create a better understanding among the people of Georgia about the importance of the mining industry.

Jennifer Kaiser

Jennifer Kaiser has been appointed to the Clifford and William Greene, Jr. Early Career Professorship, beginning July 1.

Kaiser joined the faculty of Georgia Tech in 2018 as an Assistant Professor in CEE with a joint appointment in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Kaiser earned her B.S. in Chemistry from Wittenberg University in 2010. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016. During 2016-2018, Kaiser was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University.

Portrait of Jennifer Kaiser

At Georgia Tech, Kaiser has demonstrated excellence in her research and scholarship endeavors. Her research expertise is in atmospheric chemistry and air quality engineering, focusing particularly on the emissions, formation, and impacts of air pollutants. She has published 33 articles in top-tier journals and delivered 14 invited presentations at highly regarded venues such as the Gordon Research Conference and the Frontiers in Atmospheric Chemistry Seminar Series. Kaiser’s research and scholarship has been recognized by a NASA New Investigator Award and the EPA EmPOWER Challenge Award. For her work in the classroom, Kaiser was awarded CEE’s Bill Schutz Junior Faculty Teaching Award in 2021.

The Greene endowment was established in 2019 by Paul R. Greene in memory of his parents, Clifford and William J. Greene Jr., CE 36. William Greene was a lifelong member of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals, which named an award in his honor. He was also a long-standing member of the American Water Works Association, where he was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame.