Melissa O’Neil Perdue, WSU Tri-Cities Marketing & Communications Manager, 509-372-7319, cell 509-727-3094, email@example.com
By Melissa O'Neil Perdue, WSU Tri-Cities
Donations support new civil engineering degree, equipment, scholarships at WSU Tri-Cities
RICHLAND, Wash. - The Washington state Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved extending the bachelor of science in civil engineering degree to Washington State University Tri-Cities, allowing students to complete the full four years of courses on the regional campus.
This new academic offering is directly tied to donations made in the past two years by businesses including CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Co. and Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS). These gifts allowed WSU Tri-Cities to hire two engineering faculty fellows, purchase laboratory equipment and provide scholarships, internships and hands-on learning experiences to students.
"In the Tri-Cities, we know that persistence pays off,” Chancellor Vicky Carwein said. "After nearly two years of effort, the Washington state Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved extending the full four years of civil engineering curriculum to WSU Tri-Cities. The WSU Faculty Senate has approved this as well, and it’s on the agenda for approval by the WSU Board of Regents in May.”
"This is great news for our community and for our economy, as it means we now can grow our own civil engineers - in addition to electrical engineers and mechanical engineers - right here at WSU Tri-Cities,” Carwein said. "The B.S. in civil engineering wouldn’t have happened without the perseverance and support of several people and the generosity of our partners.”
In February 2011, CH2M HILL pledged to donate up to $1 million over the next five years to support growth of the WSU Tri-Cities science and engineering programs - bringing its total giving to WSU Tri-Cities to $2.2 million over a decade. The CH2M HILL faculty fellow in engineering, Yonas Demissie, was just hired from Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois and will start teaching this fall.
In August 2010, WRPS increased its overall commitment to the campus to $700,000 specifically toward the goal of WSU Tri-Cities becoming a destination campus for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. The WRPS faculty fellow in engineering, Srinivas Allena, joined the campus last fall from New Mexico State University.
"We are fortunate to have two new donations to announce,” Carwein said. "These donations further strengthen our growing engineering program by providing much needed laboratory equipment for course work and by easing the financial burden of our students.”
The new donations are:
- Bechtel National Inc. is giving $30,000 for equipment in a new civil engineering laboratory.
"As a major international engineering and construction company, Bechtel recruits from a field that is spread across the globe. But nothing feels as good as recruiting right here at home,” said Frank M. Russo, project director, Bechtel National Inc., waste treatment plant project. "The new civil engineering program lets graduates take their final year right here in the Tri-Cities. That’s good for the success of students who have to remain in the Tri-Cities for their schooling.”
Fluor Corporation is donating $10,000 in the form of two $5,000 engineering scholarships for new and returning engineering students. The recipients will be announced this summer.
"The Fluor Foundation, now marking its 60th year, has a long history of investing in the communities where our employees live and work,” said Tony Umek, vice president and executive project director, Fluor. "We are committed to preparing youth to compete in today’s global economy, and it’s especially gratifying to see our support making a difference for deserving students in the Tri-Cities.”
At WSU Tri-Cities, the electrical, mechanical and civil engineering programs have 144 undergraduate students enrolled this spring. Including the computer science undergraduate and graduate programs, and engineering graduate students, the College of Engineering in the Tri-Cities has nearly 260 students. Applications are being accepted for freshman and transfer students who want to attend WSU Tri-Cities this fall semester.
About Bechtel National, Inc.
Bechtel National, Inc. is designing and building the world’s largest radioactive waste treatment plant for the U.S. Department of Energy at the Hanford site in southeastern Washington state. The $12.2 billion waste treatment and immobilization plant, also known as the "vit plant,” will immobilize the radioactive liquid waste currently stored in 177 underground tanks using a process called "vitrification.”
Vitrification involves blending the waste with molten glass and heating it to high temperatures. The mixture is then poured into stainless steel canisters. In this glass form, the waste is stable and impervious to the environment and its radioactivity will dissipate over hundreds to thousands of years. The vit plant will cover 65 acres with four nuclear facilities - pretreatment, low-activity waste vitrification, high-level waste vitrification and analytical laboratory - as well as operations and maintenance buildings, utilities and office space.
About CH2M HILL
Headquartered near Denver, Colo., employee-owned CH2M HILL is a global leader in engineering, procurement, construction, management and operations for government, civil, industrial and energy clients. With $7 billion in revenue and more than 30,000 employees, CH2M HILL is an industry leading program management, construction management and design firm, as ranked by Engineering News-Record (2008).
The firm’s work is concentrated in the areas of energy, water, transportation, environmental, nuclear and industrial facilities. The firm has long been recognized as a most admired company and leading employer, including being named by FORTUNE as one of the 100 best companies to work for and one of America’s most admired companies. Visit http://www.ch2mhill.com
About Fluor Corporation
Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) designs, builds and maintains many of the world's most challenging and complex projects. Through its global network of offices on six continents, the company provides comprehensive capabilities and world-class expertise in the fields of engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance and project management.
Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Fluor is a FORTUNE 200 company and had revenue of $23.8 billion in 2011. For more information, visit http://www.fluor.com
About Washington River Protection Solutions
Washington River Protection Solutions, owned by URS Corporation and EnergySolutions, with integrated subcontractor AREVA, is a prime contractor to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection and is responsible for reducing the risk posed by the waste stored in Hanford’s aging underground tanks.
WRPS is working to transfer the waste stored in 149 leak-prone single-shell tanks - some of which date to World War II - to newer, safer double-shell tanks. It is also preparing for delivery of the waste to Hanford’s waste treatment plant, where it will be converted to a stable glass form for permanent disposition.
About Washington State University Tri-Cities
WSU Tri-Cities is located along the scenic Columbia River in Richland, Wash. Established in 1989 with upper division and graduate programs, WSU Tri-Cities expanded in 2007 to a four-year undergraduate campus offering 18 bachelor’s, 10 master’s and six doctoral degrees. As the most diverse campus in the WSU system, WSU Tri-Cities provides a supportive atmosphere for students from all walks of life, including veterans and first-generation college students. Learn more at http://www.tricity.wsu.edu
or call 509-372-7250.