CEE Interim Department Head Named
Professor Benito Mariñas has been named interim head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) after the departure of current department head Professor Amr S. Elnashai. Mariñas’ new position became effective January 6, 2014.
Mariñas has been a faculty member in CEE since 1995. He holds an Ivan Racheff Professorship of Environmental Engineering. He has played several important leadership roles in CEE, including serving twice as chair of the Environmental Engineering and Science Program and chairing the department-wide faculty search committee for three years.
“I am honored to have been selected to lead our CEE department during this interim period,” Mariñas said. “I am excited about starting to work with the CEE faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, and our counterparts at the rest of the College of Engineering and campus to continue our journey in the path of excellence and programmatic innovation that our departing CEE head Amr Elnashai has established. I am most grateful to Amr and other former department leaders for their encouragement and offers of support as I transition into this new role.”
As a leading expert in water quality control, Mariñas has made significant contributions to the drinking water industry. His pioneering work on the inactivation of parasites has influenced federal regulations on surface water disinfection using ozone and chlorine dioxide. In his roles as director of the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center WaterCAMPWS and director of the College of Engineering’s Safe Global Water Institute, Mariñas has brought together several interdisciplinary teams working on the development of sustainable approaches to provide safe water and sanitation to communities in developing countries that lack these basic services.
“Benito exemplifies all the qualities that are at the core of our department—excellence, rigor, dedication, integrity and vision,” Elnashai said. “He also has the experience, as a leading researcher and educator, and as one of the founding members of the CEE Management Committee, to lead the department through the transition between my departure and the tenure of a new permanent head.”
Mariñas will serve as interim department head until a permanent head is selected and in place. The committee for that search will be named in early 2014.