Luis Garcia Named Department Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Dr. Luis Garcia

Professor Luis Garcia has been named department head of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado State University. A faculty member since 1990, Garcia has served as interim department head since 2005. Over the past two years, the department has seen significant advancements in research expenditures and student outreach.

The civil and environmental engineering department has an internationally recognized water research program. Instituted in the late 50s, international training programs in the areas of hydraulics and hydrology have expanded to encompass a wide range of faculty, student and research programs today.

The department is expanding rapidly with the addition of five new faculty positions in the areas of environmental; water engineering, including hydraulics; computational fluid dynamics; surface or groundwater hydrology, as well as a faculty member in infrastructure. Additionally, the department is starting a faculty search in the area of irrigation and is expected to hire several new faculty members in the next few years.

Through the implementation of new recruiting events targeting undergraduate students, the civil engineering program received 50% more applications in 2006 than the year before, and the environmental program increased 100%. Also seeing growth, the department research expenditures have increased by about 7%, topping the $10M for the first time this year.

"This is an exciting time for the civil and environmental engineering department," said Garcia."The hiring demand for our graduates are at historically high levels; we are not able to graduate enough students to meet the demand. In addition, all the new faculty members will allow us to explore new areas of research and allow the department to continue to strengthen our internationally known research and education programs."

Garcia's research interests are in the application of decision support systems, computer modeling and spatial analysis in natural resources systems, specifically in applications for water resources, irrigation and drainage. He is the founder and director of the Integrated Decision Support group, a multidisciplinary research group that is part of The Water Center at Colorado State, and has also worked as associate director of the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station at CSU.

Garcia has served as adviser to a multitude of Ph.D. and M.S. students, refereed several papers, and presented at a host of conferences, symposia and lectures. He is the recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Service for the Department of Civil Engineering among many other awards. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has twice recognized Garcia for Best Research Paper in the Journal of Irrigation and Drainage.

Before joining the faculty at Colorado State, Garcia served as Assistant Director of the Center for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems (CADSWES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering.