Civil and environmental engineering is integral to everyday life for all people in our society, from drinking water and sanitation to the homes we live in and the roads we take. However, with devastating recent examples such as lead contamination of drinking water in Flint, Michigan and the disproportionately high mortality rates of COVID-19 in communities of color, it is clear that the beneficial work of civil and environmental engineers is not always equitably distributed. This seminar series aims to bring innovative and dynamic speakers to discuss their work in connection to current issues of social justice in civil and environmental engineering. These challenges are often complex, and will be assessed from the perspectives of people from academia, policy, industry, nonprofits, and government. Through this series, we aim to challenge our CEE community and beyond to view topics from different lenses and find creative and people-focused solutions to great civil and environmental engineering problems of today.

Speakers will be from both within and outside of civil and environmental engineering and represent a variety of backgrounds and identities. The talk will be open to all members of the UMD community. A short section of the talk will be open for a personal reflection by the speaker on career path, challenges overcome, and strategies for success.

Please see the flyer for the first seminar event here: PDF iconInaugural CEE DEI Seminar 102021

Dear CEE Students,

In the past few days, we have seen a surge in violence towards Asians and Americans of Asian descent across the country. The CEE DEI Chair, the Associate Chair for Graduate Programs, and the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Programs strongly condemn this violence and we stand with our Asian and Asian-descent students. Some of our students are anxious and afraid, and we, as a department would like to offer support.

  1. If you are a student that knows an Asian or Asian-descent student, please ask them how they are and offer your support;
  2. Offer to accompany students that are afraid to walk on campus by themselves;
  3. If you see something, say something;
  4. Please reach out to the DEI Committee if you need any additional support.

Let's stand in unity against any violence that may reach the students of our department.

CEE DEI Chair, Associate Chair for Graduate Programs, Associate Chair for Undergraduate Programs.




Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee                            

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) establishes the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and associate professor Birthe Kjellerup will serve as the Chair for the DEI Committee. 

Current Committee Members:


Professor Birthe Kjellerup

Committee Chair


Haroon Farrukh 

CEE Undergraduate Student

Erica Forgione 

CEE Graduate Student

Pam Lloyd

CEE Staff   

Cleopatra White 

CEE Staff

Chenfeng Xiong

Chenfeng Xiong

Professional Track Faculty


In 2020, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee, consisting of volunteer faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate members. The committee meets once a month to have open, candid, and challenging discussions about DEI efforts across the department as well as the field of civil and environmental engineering at large. 


  • Promote a culture of respect, equity and inclusiveness that allows all members of our community to thrive and succeed. 
  • Promote and sustain a culture that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion as being essential to the mission and continued excellence.  
  • Leadership in advocating effort in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.


  • Engage and empower students, faculty, and staff from underrepresented backgrounds, andto build  toa diverse and inclusive community.  
  • Encourage diversification of the department through education, advocacy, and outreach.
  • Raising awareness about conscious and unconscious bias, and working towards solving these bias.
  • Highlight available resources within the local community, and identify working solutions for potential issues that arise within our department. create a safe/supportive/ network inside the department.
  • Establishing modes/lines of communication between groups.