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College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Launches Department of Environmental and Sustainable Engineering

Dr. Yanna Liang will lead new CEAS Department of Environmental and Sustainable Engineering.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Aug. 7, 2017) –Yanna Liang is passionate about two broad, but connected concepts: environmental protection and sustainable development.

She will focus on both in her new position at UAlbany.

Liang has been appointed by Dean Kim Boyer to lead a new Department of Environmental and Sustainable Engineering in the University’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS). She will serve as department chair and professor starting this fall.

“We all live and interact with each other in one big environment. And currently, as we all experience the dire consequences of climate change, we urgently need the expertise of engineers,” Liang said. “Students in our program will be equipped with the state-of-the-art knowledge, skills, information and tools necessary to develop solutions for the most critical environmental issues.”

Environmental engineers are dedicated to protecting the environment by reducing waste and pollution. Their work includes making sure our water is safe to drink, as well as improving recycling efforts, public health, waste disposal and air pollution control. They also ensure organizations are compliant with environmental laws and regulations.

According to the NYS Department of Labor, environmental engineers can expect job market growth to exceed 20 percent across the state, and greater than 12 percent nationally, within the next five years.

At UAlbany, Liang is already in the process of hiring faculty and developing an undergraduate degree program – with M.S. and Ph.D. programs expected to follow.

“The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ definition of engineering is ‘science in service to society.’ In order to serve society better, we must embrace the concept of sustainability,” Liang said. “I am looking forward to developing our program offerings and teaching the next generation of environmental engineer professionals.”

Yanna Liang works in SIUC lab.

Liang has served as a professor at Southern Illinois University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 2007.

Liang received her bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Suzhou University of Science and Technology and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the same area from Utah State University.

She worked for the Environmental Protection Agency in China and the U.S. for more than eight years before joining Southern Illinois University’s (SIUC) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an assistant professor in 2007.

At SIUC, Liang secured more than $1.68 million in external research and published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal papers and invited book chapters. She is a registered professional engineer, adjunct professor at Suzhou University of Science and Technology, ASCE ExCEED Teaching Fellow and has won various awards from nationally recognized associations in the environmental engineering discipline.

“We are tremendously excited that Dr. Yanna Liang is joining UAlbany,” said Boyer. “She is an accomplished engineering scientist and scholar who will build our next engineering department. It’s a significant step because environmental and sustainable engineering is the first discipline to take us beyond our roots in computer science and electrical and computer engineering. The department Yanna will lead grows the college’s footprint, offering educational and research programs critical to the nation and highly attractive to prospective students and the job market they will enter.”

You can learn more about Professor Liang by visiting her University faculty page. Interested students are also encouraged to email her:

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