Albert J. Valocchi named CEE Interim Department Head

12/18/2019 1:46:37 PM

Professor Albert J. Valocchi has been named interim head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), effective February 16, 2020. He will replace current department head Professor Benito Mariñas, whose term is ending.

In the announcement of Valocchi’s appointment, The Grainger College of Engineering Dean Rashid Bashir noted that Valocchi’s administrative experience and balanced demeanor will be an asset to the department until the position is filled on a permanent basis.

“Al has served in many technical editor roles and as program and conference chairs many times,” Bashir wrote. “His strong rapport with faculty, students and staff drive a great record of research collaborations and success. Al is a dedicated member of the CEE department, and I am confident he will step up and provide continuity and leadership.”

Valocchi has been on the CEE at Illinois faculty since 1981 and served as Associate Head and Director of Graduate Studies from 2004 to 2012. He has received numerous awards in recognition of his teaching excellence, including the Collins Award for Innovative Teaching and the Stanley H. Pierce Award from The Grainger College, and the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching. Valocchi was named Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2009 and Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering in 2011.

“During my many years on the faculty, I have appreciated how the department has benefited from engaged and effective leadership,” Valocchi said. “My goal is to continue this tradition, so that CEE is strong and prepared as we anticipate the new permanent head.

“One of my priorities is to support career development of our outstanding assistant professors, especially our recent hires,” Valocchi said. “CEE’s current search for teaching faculty will further our efforts to enhance teaching and sharpen the focus on student learning. This type of search is something we have never done before, and it has the potential to transform the educational experience of our students and further the excellence of the department.”

Valocchi will serve as interim head until a permanent head is named, and said he “will be looking to faculty and staff to provide input to the decisions and goals which will keep CEE thriving.”

Read more about Valocchi, including his research interests, here.