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Lucio Soibelman Named Chair of USC Viterbi's Astani Department

Brazilian-born specialist comes to USC Viterbi by way of MIT and Carnegie Mellon
Eric Mankin
January 16, 2012 —

USC Viterbi School of Engineering Dean Yannis C. Yortsos has announced the appointment of Lucio Soibelman as chair of the School’s Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The appointment, effective January 1, 2012, has an expected term of three-and-a-half years.

Lucio Soibelman
Lucio Soibelman: from Brazil to MIT to Carnegie Mellon to the Viterbi School Astani Department.
Soibelman joins USC after more than seven years as professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His academic career began six years previously at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he became associate professor. He earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering Systems from MIT after 10 years of experience in private industry in his native Brazil.

His research focuses on developing information technologies and knowledge discovery techniques for construction engineering management and sustainable infrastructure design, with emphasis on smart energy-efficient buildings, intelligent water grids and structural-health monitored systems.

Soibelman received the NSF CAREER Award in 2001, the 2010 ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Award and the American Council on Education Award. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Advanced Engineering Informatics and as co-chief editor for the ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering.

He succeeds Erik A. Johnson, who served as interim department chair beginning October 15, 2011.

“I am grateful to Erik for his leadership during the interim time period,” said Yortsos in making the announcement. “I am looking forward to working closely with Lucio to advance the department to yet another level of excellence."

Established in 1906, the Astani Deparment faculty includes 23 professors and 43 lecturers. The Department has approximately 420 students comprised of 225 undergraduate and 195 graduate. It has strong research programs that attract $5 million in annual research funding from government and industry.

In 2007, alumnus Sonny Astani (MS ISE'78), an inventive homebuilder deeply involved in the renaissance of downtown Los Angeles, made a $17 million gift to name the deparment, which offers Ph.D. degree programs in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a broad range of Master's programs in Structural Engineering, Structural Mechanics, Environmental Engineering, Construction Engineering, Construction Management, Water Resources Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Transportation Engineering and Environmental Quality Management.