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Hisham Said Joins Civil Engineering Faculty

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Today’s civil engineer faces a seemingly limitless number of decisions in completing a project. Questions of safety, cost, sustainability, and scheduling make for a daunting task. But with his background in structural engineering and his research in computational and quantitative methods for optimizing construction operations and civil infrastructure systems, Hisham Said, civil engineering’s newest faculty member, is just the one to help students take on this Herculean mission.

“Civil and construction engineers deal with huge problems that have millions, or even billions, of potential solutions,” he said. “But by using optimization and simulation algorithms, engineers can quickly and intelligently make informed decisions on anything from managing onsite logistics during construction to designing for specific levels of LEED certification.

Mark Aschheim, chair of civil engineering, welcomes Said’s arrival, noting growing student interest in construction and the increasing importance of management of the construction supply chain, as the use of computerized building information models become more pervasive.

Said will be teaching a class on sustainable construction as well as another course, Engineering Business and Economics (CENG 208) that will bring civil engineers together with students participating in the Sustainable Energy master’s degree program. “I am excited about this new collaborative course,” he said. “It is an innovative approach that will give students the skills they need to analyze the types of financial decisions they may face in their careers.”

According to Said, Santa Clara’s collaborative environment was a big draw for him, as were SCU’s Jesuit tradition and focus on teaching. “Here, you feel something unique, because there is a strong commitment to academic excellence and a philosophy of teaching students to be of service to the community. The aim is to connect students with how they can use what they have learned to serve the good—that is a unique mixture.”

Credit: Nicole Morales