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Feb. 20: James H. Garrett Jr. Named Professor of the Year by Engineering Society


Chriss Swaney

Carnegie Mellon's James H. Garrett Jr.
Named Professor of the Year by Engineering Society

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's James H. Garrett Jr. has been named Professor of the Year by the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).    

Garrett, who received the award Feb. 17 at a gala dinner at the Engineering Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP), was honored for his outstanding teaching ability and his significant contributions toward improving professional aspects of civil engineering education.     

James Garrett Jr."Jim Garrett embodies all the best qualities of a civil engineering professor, including being an excellent teacher, an excellent researcher, an excellent mentor and an outstanding member of the ASCE," said Lawrence G. Cartwright, a teaching professor in Carnegie Mellon's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.    

Garrett has been a professor in the university's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 1990. He was named head of the department in 2006. He also served as the associate dean for academic affairs in Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering from 2000 to 2006.     

"While I am delighted to receive this award from my civil engineering colleagues, I also realize that many of my colleagues are just as deserving of this award as I am, and so I also feel very fortunate to have been selected," Garrett said. "The engineering profession has seen many changes, and it is my goal to continue to push the envelope when it comes to advancing the profession with all the new technology now available."    

A visionary, Garrett is co-founder of a new center developed to deliver "nervous systems" for critical infrastructures. What Garrett and his colleagues in the Center for Sensed Critical Infrastructure Research (CenSCIR) envision for our infrastructure is similar to the human nervous system, in which various senses feed valuable data to be processed for instant use or future reference.     

"We want our infrastructure systems to sense aches and pains due to attacks or deterioration, and proactively (or reactively) cause some form of response in a more timely manner than we currently see," Garrett said.

Garrett has also developed mobile hardware and software systems to support information collection and access during construction management and bridge inspection processes.     

In addition to his leading-edge research, Garrett has received many other prestigious accolades, including the ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Award in 2006 and the 1990 Moisseiff Award for his co-authored paper, "Knowledge-Based Standard-Independent Member Design." In 1994, he spent six months in Germany as a Humboldt fellow working with professors in computer-aided civil engineering projects at the University of Karlsruhe and the Technical University of Munich.    

Garrett received his bachelor's (1982), master's (1983) and doctor's (1986) degrees in civil engineering from Carnegie Mellon.