Oskay named chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Çağlar Oskay has been named chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

He is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and holds a secondary appointment as professor of mechanical engineering. His primary research focus is on multiscale computational modeling and simulation of material and structure systems subjected to extreme environments and loading conditions.

Caglar Oskay

A faculty member at Vanderbilt University since 2006, Oskay directs the Multiscale Computational Mechanics Laboratory. He was named Chancellor Faculty Fellow in 2016 and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2017, and a Fellow of the Engineering Mechanics Institute in 2019.

Oskay assumes the leadership position having just completed a two-year appointment as director of the Engineering for Civil Infrastructure Program at the National Science Foundation, which supports fundamental research in infrastructure materials, architectural, construction, geotechnical, and structural engineering that can shape the future of the nation’s civil infrastructure. The program sets the tone for national priorities and investment in those areas.

“This is a very exciting time for civil and environmental engineering, with such a great focus on infrastructure, Oskay said.

At the School of Engineering, Oskay wants to strengthen the department’s areas of strength in smart materials, structures, and infrastructure systems; risk, reliability, and resilience; and water resources and environmental sustainability.

“We want to retain a critical mass of faculty in key areas to maintain and elevate our research leadership, while continually reorienting ourselves to address new and pressing problems,” he said. “I like to think of what is coming in the civil and environmental engineering as ‘Infrastructure 2.0’. By being forward-facing toward emerging problems, we will make significant contributions in sustainable environment and infrastructure, smart systems, and engineer solutions to combat the effects of climate change.”

In addition to the Bachelor of Engineering in civil engineering, the department offers minors in Engineering management and environmental engineering. The Master of Science, Master of Engineering, and Ph.D. are offered in civil engineering and environmental engineering. Also offered are the Master of Engineering in construction management and risk, reliability, and resilience engineering.

“We will be looking to create new and exciting educational opportunities to address both local and global demand for the unique and specialized expertise that only our faculty can provide,” Oskay said.

Oskay received his Ph.D. degree from the Civil Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2003. He worked as a research associate at the Scientific Computation Research Center and Civil Engineering Department at RPI before joining Vanderbilt.

He succeeds Daniel F. Flowers Professor of Engineering Douglas Adams, who will assume new duties at the university to be announced later this month. Adams has been chairing civil and environmental engineering since joining Vanderbilt in 2013.