UTEP Engineering Wins National Award for Third Consecutive Year

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Department of Civil Engineering has been named a 2013 winner of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Engineering Award for connecting professional practice and education. This is the third consecutive year the department has been recognized with this prestigious award.

UTEP’s project, “The Multidisciplinary Design of a Sustainable, Environmentally Friendly and Affordable House,” is the work of more than 40 graduate and undergraduate students from civil, electrical and mechanical engineering who were challenged to design a sustainable house with three major objectives: energy efficiency, environmental friendliness and affordability. Students from construction management, computer science, liberal arts and business were also part of the team that worked with professors from UTEP and El Paso Community College, as well as licensed professional engineers and architects in the El Paso community.

Students are in the process of constructing the house they designed that will be on display in Irvine, Calif. for the October 2013 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The event will bring together teams from universities around the world who will compete to develop an innovative solar home with a target construction cost of $250,000 or less. The homes will be judged on architecture, comfort, market appeal and community involvement leading up to the event.

“Working on this project, the students learned that engineers have a broader role than just providing solutions to technical problems,” said Carlos Chang Albitres, Ph.D., assistant professor of civil engineering and director of the Engineering in Practice Program. “In a world that is constantly evolving, professional engineers are called to serve as stewards of our resources in order to preserve a healthy living community and contribute to a better quality of life.”

The NCEES award recognizes college engineering programs for engaging their students in collaborative projects with licensed professional engineers. The award was established in 2009 to promote understanding of the value of licensure and to encourage partnerships between the engineering profession and education. EAC/ABET-accredited programs from all engineering disciplines throughout the nation were invited to submit projects that integrate professional practice and education.

“This third consecutive award validates the quality of our students’ work,” said Richard T. Schoephoerster, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering. “The NCEES projects reflect the college’s emphasis on engaging students in real-world, interdisciplinary experiences and the value of professional licensure.”

UTEP and Seattle University are the only universities to have won in three consecutive years.



NCEES (the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing professional licensure for engineers and surveyors. It develops, administers, and scores the examinations used for engineering and surveying licensure in the United States. It also facilitates professional mobility and promotes uniformity of the U.S. licensure processes through services for its member licensing boards and licensees. These services include the records program, study materials, credentials evaluations, exam administration, and more. For more information visit http://ncees.org


About UTEP College of Engineering

The College of Engineering is a national leader in engineering education and a leading producer of doctoral, master’s and baccalaureate degreed Hispanic engineers. The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is the second oldest academic institution of The University of Texas System. Washington Monthly magazine ranked UTEP as No. 12 in the nation in its 2012 College Guide and Rankings. The magazine’s rankings were based on a combination of social mobility, research production, commitment to service and cost-effectiveness of degree completion. For more information, visit engineering.utep.edu.