History of the Department - CEOE

History of the Department

Civil Engineering has been an important discipline in the Stevens broad-based curriculum since the founding of the Institute. On the Institute's first faculty, in 1871, DeVolson Wood, Professor of Mathematics, was responsible for providing instruction in basic civil engineering topics (Structures and Water Resources). The modern history of the Civil Engineering Department dates to 1981 when it emerged as a separate academic department after 12 years as a division within the Mechanical Engineering Department. It was initially a small department, with just four faculty members, but it grew quickly under the leadership of Professor K. N.  Derucher. In 1983 the Civil Engineering Department merged with the Ocean Engineering Department to form the Civil and Ocean Engineering Department. Ocean Engineering had been established at Stevens in 1967 as a graduate program that built upon the research strength and international reputation of the Davidson Laboratory. It was the only academic department at Stevens to offer just graduate programs. The merger with Civil Engineering proved highly successful.

In the late 1980s the programs of the Civil and Ocean Engineering Department expanded to include first graduate and then undergraduate programs in Environmental Engineering. Concurrently with the development of these academic programs, the Center for Environmental Engineering (now the Center for Environmental Systems ) was created under the leadership of Professor G. P. Korfiatis, to foster research programs in Environmental Engineering. Along the way, the name of the Department was changed to Civil Environmental and Ocean Engineering to acknowledge its three major components. Another development at this time was the hiring of Professor M.S. Bruno to become the Director of the Davidson Laboratory. He established a new research direction for the Laboratory in the area of Coastal Engineering while maintaining its traditional hydrodynamic model testing capabilities. The subsequent hiring of Professor A.F. Blumberg in 2002 further diversified the research arenas for the Davidson Laboratory to include numerical modeling of estuarine and coastal waters.

In 1995 a graduate program in Construction Management was inaugurated, and Professor H.P. Dobbelaar was hired as the director. This Master of Science degree program has been very successful.