Carnegie Mellon University

Lay the Groundwork for Your Career

Rising Stars is a workshop designed for doctoral students and postdocs who are interested in advancing women teaching and research careers in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Launched at MIT in 2012, this workshop has been hosted at several universities. As a participant, you will be able to interact with faculty members from top institutions and receive advice for advancing your career. You will start building your professional network with scholars in the field.

This workshop will include both in-person and remote sessions focusing on different academic paths, securing a faculty appointment, and thriving as a new faculty member. Participants will get personalized feedback and be able to pair with a faculty mentor to review their application materials. 

Working in small groups throughout the curriculum will facilitate relationships among each other and with faculty. Many of these sessions will include active discussions and interactions and will require commitment from participants to complete the sessions. 

We invite early-career researchers in CEE to join us for this exciting online experience held over multiple sessions during the next academic year. 


Civil and Environmental Engineering at CMU offers a unique innovative interdisciplinary education and research environment centered on developing imaginative solutions to real-world engineering problems. Learn more about our research and academics.


Rising Stars Workshop Schedule

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Participants arrive in Pittsburgh and will gather for an informal evening reception meet and greet. 

Friday, September 30, 2022

After introductions and welcoming participants to our Pittsburgh campus, panel sessions will explore various academic paths, life as a faculty member, developing a professional network, and working with mentors. 

Participants will be able to share brief presentations about their research throughout the day. Dinner reception. 

Saturday, October 1, 2022

In this half-day session, participants will review the faculty search process and discuss their next steps.

Friday, January 27, 2023

In this remote, half-day session, panelists will discuss the interviewing in the faculty search process. Panel sessions led by department heads, and junior faculty will provide strategies for negotiating offers.

Friday, March 17, 2023

This half-day session will be held remotely and focuses on research and career success. Discussions about launching and managing your academic career, locating and writing grants, ERC activity reporting, and presentations will be held over multiple panel sessions.


Dave Dzombak
Hamerschlag University Professor Emeritus

"CEE@CMU is pleased to host Rising Stars 2022!  We are planning a rich, diverse, interactive program that will provide you with new insights as you plan the start of your teaching and research career."


Susan Finger
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Associate Dean, Integrative Design Arts & Technology (IDeATe)

"We look forward to welcoming you to CEE at Carnegie Mellon and to helping you prepare for your future in research and teaching."


Sarah Christian
Associate Teaching Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

"We are excited to host the Rising Stars in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. We are looking forward to bringing together women at the forefront of our field, sharing our experiences, and providing guidance as you embark upon your academic career."


We invite applications from all senior PhD students or recent doctoral recipients in civil and environmental engineering who are committed to the success of women in academia. Up to 20 candidates will be selected from the submitted applicants. Individuals already holding faculty positions in Fall 2022 will not be considered. Applicants who are currently graduate students or postdocs in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at CMU are not eligible. 

Once you have submitted your application, you will be notified within 72 hours, via email, that we have received your packet. Please note that you will not be able to access your application packet after it has been uploaded.

If you have any questions regarding the application process please email the Rising Stars coordinator.

Application Materials


Upload your 2022-23 CEE Rising Stars application packet via the Box Link by June 30, 2022 and include the following items in a single PDF:

  1. Application Form: Download and complete the Application Form. 
  2. Cover Letter: up to one page explaining what you hope to gain from this experience.
  3. Personal Statement: up to 300 words explaining your areas of research and teaching interest.
  4. CV: submit your current CV.

All documents should be submitted as a single pdf and using the following naming convention:

‘Last Name.First Name.Rising.Stars.2022’

Reference Letter

A letter of recommendation is required from a faculty member having a deep familiarity with your research, such as your research advisor. Please include their contact information on your application form. The review committee will reach out to your reference directly. 


Workshop Committee


Burcu Akinci
The Paul Christiano Professor and
Department Head, Civil & Environmental Engineering


Susan Finger
Associate Dean

Sarah Christian
Associate Teaching Professor


Fethiye Ozis, P.E.
Assistant Teaching Professor