Jackson State University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Industrial Systems and Technology received two grants from the Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors to enhance its surveying and environmental engineering laboratories.
Dr. Danuta Leszczynska is a departmental professor in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. She said two grants awarded last year have produced great returns this year by “upgrading the environmental laboratory and surveying lab. The funds were allocated only for the purchasing of small equipment and supplies for educational purposes.”
As well, she said, “Our civil engineering program is accredited by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), which requires the quality of education across all engineering programs in the U.S.”
The state-of-the-art surveying and environmental engineering equipment obtained through these grants address the urgent needs in civil engineering education at JSU and is also used in significant research under way in the department.
Dr. Farshad Amini, chair of the department, said, “Engineering firms are more reluctant to hire graduates without experience or advanced knowledge of state-of-the-art surveying and hydraulics equipment.”
He said becoming a licensed professional is important because “civil engineers must demonstrate knowledge of surveying and environmental engineering – both in theory and experiments. Thus, it is crucial that students are exposed to the adequate experiments in the laboratory.”
In preparation as future civil engineers, students enrolled in the surveying and environmental engineering classes are using the newly purchased equipment to validate fundamental surveying and hydraulic theories.
The new equipment is expected to boost students’ morale while attracting prospective students to the field of civil engineering.
“With the rapid increase in civil engineering enrollment at Jackson State University, it is anticipated that 30 to 40 students per year will benefit from the acquisition of the equipment,” Amini said. “In approximately 10 years, the equipment will impact an anticipated 300 to 400 students.”
Meanwhile, the Airborn Survey System — acquired as part of the grants – will be used in transportation and geotechnical engineering research.
Overseeing the project are principal investigators Leszczynska and Dr. Sadik Kahn, assistant professor. Amini is the co-PI.
“These grants are important and very helpful since we need to upgrade and enhance our laboratories. It is hoped that the acquisition of these equipment have a long-term positive impact on the civil engineering education in CSET,” said Amini.