New Civil Engineering Department Faculty

POSTED ON: June 1, 2023

The Albert Nerken School of Engineering is excited to welcome two new Civil Engineering faculty members for the Fall 2023 Semester, Hejintao Huang and Dr. Jeong Eun Ahn. 

Hejintao Huang is a Ph.D. candidate in Geosystems Engineering at Georgia Tech, and fully expects to complete her degree requirements by July 2023. The overarching theme of her research interest is to create breakthroughs in principal understanding and develop core competency in exploring sustainable beneficial use options for waste materials, with the goal of designing and revitalizing more efficient, innovative, and resilient geosystems infrastructure. To pursue this interest, she has developed significant experience with materials characterization and an extensive background in geo-environmental engineering design, as well as life cycle assessment. Her work lies at the interface of geo-environmental engineering, materials science, and environmental geochemistry. Specifically, her research has investigated the engineering behavior and chemical/physical/morphological properties of two types of wastes: river dredged sediments sourced from Savannah Harbor and drill cuttings from the oil and gas industry.

Learning to be an effective instructor has been one of Hejintao's priorities while pursuing her graduate study. She has recurringly served as an active Instructor of Record and Teaching Assistant for Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering. Hejintao continued to investigate and develop her teaching skills through Tech to Teaching Certificate Program and the Blended and Online Learning Design (BOLD) Graduate Fellowship Program, in which she built a virtual field trip gallery for students enrolled in geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering. Hejintao is also the recipient of the 2022 CEE Student Leadership Award, the 2022–2023 CEE Future Faculty Fellow, and the 2020 CEE Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor.

Before studying at Georgia Tech, Hejintao received her B.S. from Bucknell University in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2016. In her spare time, Hejintao enjoys hiking, camping, and being creative with LEGO.

"Teaching at a highly respected primarily undergraduate institution has been my goal since entering Georgia Tech, and the opportunity to join The Cooper Union was a dream come true. I am motivated to work closely with undergraduate students on research and provide them with experiential, project-based, and interdisciplinary learning. I am passionate about helping future civil and environmental engineers understand how human-made structures interact with the natural environment, to make them aware of social and environmental justice issues in engineering, and to help them become the resourceful and innovative professionals they dream of being. I am also committed to creating an inclusive, supportive, and nourishing environment at The Cooper Union and devoting myself and guiding students to positively influence New York City and surrounding communities as "preeminent examples of all the virtues," fostering the mission by Peter Cooper. I can't wait to meet the students in the fall and be a part of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering community".

Dr. Jeong Eun Ahn earned her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from New York University Tandon School of Engineering , where her research focused on increasing coastal resilience. She developed a model that can identify zones providing favorable environmental conditions for oysters. Prior to her Ph.D. work, she received her bachelor's degree and master's degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Dongguk University, Seoul, South Korea, and Georgia Institute of Technology, respectively. 

She has served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University since Fall 2020. She has taught various courses, including Fluid Mechanics, Water Resources Engineering, Advanced Water Resources Engineering, and Watershed Engineering. She has worked with undergraduate students to conduct research by providing hands-on experience. She has also advised several graduate students. Her current research interests include environmental fluid mechanics, sustainability, and resilience. She has been developing and applying numerical model systems to investigate flows in the environment and to understand the impacts of extreme weather events and sea level rise on water resources and ecosystems. She has been actively involved in diverse research funded by USDA, NJDEP, NJWRRI, EPA, NSF, and DOE.  

“I am thrilled to join the Cooper Union. I strongly believe in Cooper's commitment to providing outstanding education for talented and diverse students. I am excited to make meaningful contributions to the Department of Civil Engineering and the Albert Nerken School of Engineering. I look forward to working with colleagues and students in multidisciplinary projects and research."   

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.