(Aug. 6, 2018) -- Beginning in Fall 2018, students at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) will be able to enroll in a civil engineering Ph.D. program. The new academic program will meet a growing demand for innovative, well-trained civil engineers in Texas while advancing UTSA’s progress toward National Research University Fund (NRUF) eligibility, which requires institutions to award 200 doctoral degrees annually.
“As a nation, we face many challenges in infrastructure development. We especially see great needs to develop water resources, intelligent transportation, energy, and sustainable infrastructure design and construction techniques in the Texas Triangle,” said JoAnn Browning, dean of the UTSA College of Engineering. “With the new Ph.D. program in civil engineering, we will graduate the next generation of civil engineering experts to meet these challenges.”
The population of Texas is estimated to grow by as much as 50 percent in the next 20 years. That growth will bring about a need for new resilient infrastructure, more sophisticated construction projects and a higher demand for highly trained civil engineers who have experience working in professional, cutting-edge research facilities with nationally recognized researchers.
“Our state is growing and our city is growing, and to meet the new challenges that will come with that growth, we are creating a pipeline for a vibrant civil engineering community,” said Adolfo Matamoros, Peter T. Flawn Distinguished Professor in the UTSA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and founding director of the university’s civil engineering Ph.D. program. “The challenges civil engineers face are requiring more innovative approaches than ever, and our students will gain the experience necessary to create structures that have the resiliency to withstand the test of time as well as the trials of catastrophic events.”
In addition to creating the structures that help communities thrive, civil engineers are frequently a part of the recovery process in the wake of natural disasters, contributing to the rebuilding process and making buildings and bridges safer from future destruction.
Ph.D. candidates in the new civil engineering program will have the option to specialize in four tracks:
“Our Ph.D. students will benefit from a faculty of active, innovative researchers working with cutting-edge facilities that are among the best in the country,” Matamoros said. “That includes sophisticated laboratories dedicated to water resources, geomaterials, geotechnology and hydrology, in addition to state-of-the art computational facilities.”
In April 2019, UTSA civil engineering students will have access to the university’s new Large Scale Testing Laboratory, a 15,000-square-foot, $10 million facility that will support a wide array of research initiatives, including robust support for geotechnical and structural engineering projects.
In the facility, civil engineering students, faculty and researchers will test a wide range of structural systems, such as bridge and building components and new materials needed for increasingly complex construction projects.
“A large part of our research knowledge originated from tests of reduced-scale models, and as we endeavor to build larger structures that research base has come into question,” Matamoros said. “The new facility will allow us to perform tests in a large and realistic setting to produce more accurate results that engineers can use to learn the safest and most economical approach to design large structures.”
Additionally, the facility will provide a space for learning new methods to build engineering structures that can withstand severe natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.
“It’s an exciting time for our university and for our state,” Matamoros said. “Engineering is changing and engineers are rising to meet new challenges. Fifty years ago, Texas was a rural state with an agriculture-driven economy. There’s been a dramatic transformation, and the Texas economy is becoming technology-driven. It’s growing at a rapid pace, and it needs more qualified engineers to create the infrastructure necessary to support that growth.”
The UTSA College of Engineering is a major public provider of undergraduate and graduate engineering in South Texas with enrollment exceeding 3,400 students. The college’s graduate enrollment has more than doubled in the past few years and continues to grow steady with the UTSA’s mission to provide outstanding education and research opportunities to the region’s multicultural community, the nation and beyond.
UTSA is ranked among the nation’s top five young universities, according to Times Higher Education.
Learn more about the UTSA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the UTSA College of Engineering.
The Department of Social Work introduces new students to the Master of Social Work program.Buena Vista Street Building Assembly Room (BVB 1.338), Downtown Campus
The kickoff to Roadrunner Days, the UTSA community welcomes the thousands of students who move in to their new homes as they begin their journey at UTSA.Various residence halls, Main Campus
After a full day of moving, UTSA students and their families are invited to the party featuring food, swag, dancing and a special performance from the Spirit of San Antonio marching band.Student Union Paseo, Main Campus
This come and go session allows Roadrunners and their families to explore all the great things the UTSA Libraries offers to help students succeed. Join a group on a quest through the library for a chance at prizes and enjoy some ice cream.John Peace Library, Main Campus
Fast Action Trivia is a game where participants interact with fellow Roadrunners to test their brain skills while learning some interesting things about UTSA and have a chance to win actual cash money!Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
This UTSA tradition is a fun, engaging opportunity for Roadrunners to learn about the facilities, recreation programs and wellness services offered at the Main and Downtown Campuses while also enjoying tons of games and activities with new and old friends.Recreation and Wellness Center Texas Room (RWC 2.214) and San Antonio Room (RWC 2.218), Main Campus
The UTSA Ambassadors are here to help students find their classes before the first day of school! Bring your class schedule to the UTSA Ambassadors table in the Student Union Ski Lodge (near Chili’s Too!), and they will help you navigate the campus to find your classes.Student Union Ski Lodge (SU 1.01.00), Main Campus
Kickback at the Union is a welcome back event for new and returning Roadrunners. Come relax and learn about the Student Union, enjoy free food, games, photo booth, and a chance to connect with each department in the Union. Arrive early for free t-shirt and stay late for a movie.Student Union Paseo and Buildings, Main Campus