Carnegie Mellon University

Costa Samaras

February 15, 2019

Samaras Named Professor of the Year by ASCE Pittsburgh

Professor Costa Samaras was recently named the 2019 ASCE Pittsburgh Section’s Professor of the Year. Samaras is known for his ability to get students excited about engineering. Students and graduates value him as both a mentor and a friend because of his dedication to preparing them for a career in engineering—and his personal commitment to lifelong learning.

“Professor Samaras is welcoming and supportive with all of his students and colleagues. He is a humble person motivated by a spirit of service and has unique abilities to connect with and inspire students,” says CEE department Dave Dzombak.  

Samaras led the development of the Master’s concentration on Climate Change Adaptation for Infrastructure, one of the first graduate programs of its kind in the nation.

His instructional focus on climate change earned Samaras a Wimmer Fellowship from the Carnegie Mellon Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation. The fellowship allowed Samaras to develop digital, open source instructional materials for climate change adaptation classes. The resources, available with a Creative Commons license, allow educators globally to collaborate and develop materials to reinforce classroom instruction.

Samaras’ research focuses on topics relevant to modern civil engineering—including design, construction, and operation of infrastructure that utilizes new technologies, minimizes environmental impacts, and addresses future climate change impacts.

Samaras currently directs the Center for Engineering and Resilience for Climate Adaptation and is an affiliated member in CMU’s Scott Institute of Energy Innovation. He also is an adjunct senior researcher at the RAND Corporation.   

ASCE’s “Professor of the Year” award recognizes an instructor who continually demonstrates outstanding teaching ability. The winner is chosen after a committee reviews letters of recommendation from faculty, staff, and students. Awardees are selected because of their commitment to the profession and to cultivating young talent—students in formative stage of their career. Additionally, awardees must contribute to the field through publications, research, or practice and participate in ASCE at the local or national level.

The entire CEE community congratulates Professor Samaras for earning this prestigious award. His award will be presented on February 16, 2019 during the ASCE Pittsburgh Engineers’ Week banquet.