Bartelt-Hunt installed as chair of civil engineering

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Bartelt-Hunt installed as chair of civil engineering

A longtime faculty member in civil engineering, Shannon Bartelt-Hunt will officially become chair of the department Aug. 19.

Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, associate dean of Graduate Studies and professor in the College of Engineering, has been appointed as the new Donald R. Voelte and Nancy A. Keegan Chair of civil engineering.

Bartelt-Hunt began serving as acting department chair July 1 and will officially become chair Aug. 19. Aemal Khattak, professor of civil engineering, served as interim chair of civil engineering from October 2018 through June.

Being a longtime faculty member in civil engineering, Bartelt-Hunt said, gives her an advantage in adjusting to the new position.

“I’ve just been able to jump right into this,” Bartelt-Hunt said. “Having been a faculty member in the department for over 10 years allows me to get a jump-start on some things.”

Bartelt-Hunt has been associate dean for professional development in Graduate Studies since February 2018. Before that, she served as graduate chair in civil engineering. In both positions, she worked to support graduate education. As chair of civil engineering, Bartelt-Hunt is looking to expand her focus to undergraduate education, the department’s research portfolio, and faculty and staff development.

“One of the things that attracted me to this position was the potential to develop mentoring programs,” Bartelt-Hunt said. “We can all benefit from having more formalized plans for professional development and mentoring of our faculty.”

Bartelt-Hunt comes to the role with a strong background in environmental engineering research and teaching, with a research focus on water quality in agricultural production systems. She has been on research teams that have earned than $8 million dollars in external funding and published more than 115 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters. In addition to receiving national awards for research and teaching that include a 2012 National Science Foundation CAREER award, Bartelt-Hunt was a member of a team that earned the 2015 Grand Prize for University Research from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists.

Leading the civil engineering department comes with great responsibility, Bartelt-Hunt said. Given the recent flooding that has hit Nebraska and surrounding states, civil infrastructure “is on everyone’s mind because it affects each of us every day.”

“It’s bridges, buildings, water and wastewater management, roadways and dams,” Bartelt-Hunt said. “Civil engineers touch so many different areas of our daily lives.

“I’m looking forward to working with alumni, industry and our state agencies. Many of the leaders of civil engineering industries in our state are alumni, and they employ many of our students. It’s one of our most valuable relationships.”

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