The Institute of Bridge Engineering (IBE) will establish the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE) and MCEER as the leader in bridge engineering research and education in the United States.
The IBE will build on 26 years of research and education conducted by CSEE faculty, primarily through MCEER, with $36M in funding from the FHWA. The IBE is both feasible and sustainable beyond E funding, as described in this proposal. Past accomplishments have positioned UB as a major stakeholder in the bridge engineering community, where faculty regularly collaborate with FHWA, state DOTs and consulting firms. The creation of the IBE will formalize this expertise by creating a separate identity within MCEER that is headquartered in CSEE.
Four ladder faculty will be hired in CSEE with skill sets that will broaden academic offerings and enable new interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. The new faculty will bolster the UB2020 Strategic Strength in Extreme Events, which CSEE leads. The IBE research product and its highly trained bridge engineers will help UB meet the goals of NYSUNY 2020. The opportunities offered by funding of the IBE will generate $1+M per year in revenue for UB, create new jobs in WNY, train the next generation of bridge engineers key to the revitalization of our state, and improve the quality of life for New Yorkers through enhanced safety against earthquakes and terrorist attacks. Philanthropy, including named chairs in civil engineering and graduate scholarships, will be enabled. Importantly, the IBE will help CSEE realize its goal of being a top 10 graduate program in civil engineering (46 in 2004, 24 in 2011), which would have a major impact on the ranking of SEAS and UB, and help secure UB’s position in the AAU.