Montana State University

MSU's civil engineering program receives national recognition

July 12, 2011 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -Montana State University's civil engineering program has won honorable mention for a national award given by the American Society of Civil Engineering.

The Walter LeFevre Award can go to two programs a year, one that has more than 50 graduates and one that has 50 or fewer. MSU won honorable mention in the large program category, the category won by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. MSU, which has approximately 370 civil engineering majors, will receive its award in October during the annual ASCE conference in Memphis, Tenn.

The committee that selects award recipients looked at the percentage of graduates who took the fundamentals of engineering (FE) exam during the 2009-2010 academic year, the percentage of graduates who passed that exam, the number of licensed faculty, and the department's curriculum.

MSU's program was particularly noted for its exemplary promotion of licensure, ethics and professionalism in engineering education. Brett Gunnink, head of the MSU Department of Civil Engineering, said all 55 MSU civil engineering graduates who took the FE exam during the 2009-2010 academic year passed it. That was a 100 percent pass rate compared to a national average of 74.5 percent.

Seventy percent of the tenured or tenure track faculty members in the civil engineering department are licensed as Professional Engineers (PE) or Engineering Interns (EI), Gunnink said. The faculty includes 17 tenured or tenure track members who have 86 years of collective experience in the industry. The faculty recently improved its curriculum so it complies with ASCE's Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century (BOK). Gunnink also serves on an ASCE committee that guides other educators in implementing the second edition of BOK.

Gunnink said he submitted MSU's nomination package in January for activities that occurred in 2010.

The LeFevre Award is given on behalf of the late Walter LeFevre, professor emeritus in civil engineering at the University of Arkansas, president of the National Society of Professional Engineers and senior vice-president of the American Society of Civil Engineering.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or