University of Mississippi’s Cris Surbeck Honored by the American Society of Civil Engineers

Cris Surbeck, chair and professor of civil engineering at the University of Mississippi, has been selected as the winner of the 2023 Margaret S. Petersen Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The award is presented to a woman who has demonstrated exemplary service to the water resources and environmental science and engineering community. As part of this recognition, Professor Surbeck recently delivered the Margaret S. Petersen Lecture at the 2023 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress meeting in Henderson, Nevada.

“I had only a few female role models when I was a student,” said Dr. Surbeck. “I want to make sure that women and other underrepresented groups are equipped to join the world of engineering and help solve today’s big challenges.”

Professor Surbeck began her career in engineering consulting but made the transition to academia almost 20 years ago. In this role, she gets to combine her engineering practice and analytical skills to help students connect with course content. “Pushing students to achieve a variety of skills, along with treating them with friendliness and respect, has been effective in developing lasting relationships,” she said.

Professor Surbeck, who joined the faculty at the university in 2007, also serves as acting chair of the chemical engineering department at the University of Mississippi and earlier served as the associate dean for academics at the university’s School of Engineering.

Dr. Surbeck is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she majored in civil engineering. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of California, Irvine.

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