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CCEE faculty honored at NC State 2022 Celebration of Faculty Excellence

The NC State Celebration of Faculty Excellence is held each spring to recognize outstanding faculty who have received prestigious state, national and international awards, accolades or other distinctions during the previous year. This year, the university honored nearly 40 faculty members during the 2022 Celebration of Faculty Excellence on May 4. This was the first time since 2019 that the event was held in person.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden recognized two CCEE faculty members — Drs. Morton Barlaz and Ashly Cabas — as part of the ceremony. 

Barlaz, Distinguished University Professor and head of CCEE, was recognized for becoming an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow. Each year, the AAAS Council — the policymaking body of the society — elects members who have shown “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.” Barlaz was elected for “distinguished contributions to the field of environmental engineering, particularly for advancing understanding of solid waste engineering and related fundamental biological and chemical processes.”

Barlaz earned his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin. His research focuses on solid waste engineering and management. Previously, Barlaz received the Perry L. McCarty Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Founders’ Award (2020); the Air and Waste Management Association’s Richard I. Stessel Waste Management Award (2018), the Frederick George Pohland Medal, Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Award (2015), was named a Kappe Lecturer by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (2010), received the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professor’s Distinguished Service Award (2003, 2009, 2021) and was named an international lecturer by the Waste Management Association of Australia (2008).

Cabas, an assistant professor, was recognized for winning a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, one of the highest honors given by NSF to young faculty members in science and engineering. Cabas and a team of CCEE researchers will study the response of soils to earthquake ground shaking at multiple scales and enable its incorporation into system-level probabilistic seismic hazard assessments for water distribution systems. 

Cabas earned her Ph.D. in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. Her educational impacts include the launch of the first Earthquake Engineering and Seismology Community Alliance in Latin America. Her team investigates earthquake-induced geohazards and the response of soils, rocks and foundation systems to seismic loading. Cabas’ work also focuses on the characterization of earthquake ground motions and their effects on the performance of critical civil infrastructure. Cabas was awarded the 2021 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Shah Family Innovation Prize, which honors individuals for creativity and innovation in earthquake risk mitigation. Her group’s work has also been recognized with the EERI best paper awards in 2014 and 2018. Cabas was recently elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the Seismological Society of America, and selected as a 2021 NC State Impact Scholar, 2021 New Faces in the ASCE Geo-Institute and Fellow for the NSF Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards and Disasters Researchers Fellowship Program.

2022 marks the eleventh year of the Celebration of Faculty Excellence. In recognition of all honored faculty, the university lit the Memorial Belltower red for the night on May 4.

For a full list of recognized faculty and awards presented at the event, check out this detailed recap from Provost’s Office News.