PULLMAN, Wash.–Michael Katona, chief scientist at the Air Force’s environmental quality laboratory in Florida and former professor of civil engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has been named Chair of WSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to begin in August. He succeeds Rafik Itani, who has held the position for eight years and now resumes teaching and research in the department.
Katona, 56, has held positions in academe, industry and federal government over the past 27 years. He has won awards for advancing civil engineering science in the structural, geotechnical, environmental and transportation fields. He earned a doctoral degree in structural mechanics and numerical analysis from the University of California at Berkeley in 1976, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in civil and stuctural engineering and mathematics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
His research areas include modeling and numerical analysis, and soil structure interaction and dynamics. In 1984 he was named a Presidential Young Investigator by the National Science Foundation in recognition of his research and development of CANDE, an automated computer program for the design and analysis of buried structures, such as culverts. He also is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Chairman of the Transportation Research Board’s Council for Design and Construction, and a member of the Civil Engineering Research Foundation’s National Research Council, among numerous other prestigious activities.
“We are enthusiastic that Dr. Katona’s background will enable the further building of academic-industry-government partnerships to promote innovative education and research programs in WSU’s College of Engineering and Architecture,” says Robert Altenkirch, college dean.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Until Aug. 16 Prof. Katona may be reached at
904/283-6272, email mike_katona@ccmail.aleq.tyndall.af.mil