Richard L. Corsi has been named chair of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE). He began his role leading the top-ranked department on Nov. 18.

“Rich has displayed exemplary leadership during the development of the CAEE strategic plan, and I look forward to working with him as chair of the department,” said Sharon L. Wood, interim dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering.

Corsi joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1994. He is co-director of the Center for Sustainable Development and the E.C.H. Bantel Professor for Professional Practice.

“I am honored to serve as chairman of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, and to follow in the footsteps of such exceptional chairs who have served before me,” Corsi said. “Our community of faculty, staff, students and alumni has a rich history of positive contributions to society. And as we look to the future, our community is well positioned to play leadership roles in addressing increasingly complex grand challenges defined by scales that span Central Texas to the entire planet.”

Corsi stresses that to effectively address these challenges the future will require stronger partnerships between engineers, planners, scientists and policymakers.

“Our CAEE community aspires to be leaders in developing innovative solutions to challenges that connect future infrastructure and systems for rapidly growing cities, in meeting demands for water of sufficient quality for society and in developing energy conservation measures for construction, buildings, transportation systems and materials critical to civil infrastructure,” he added.

Corsi has served as principal investigator on more than 70 research projects, totaling approximately $12 million. A world-renowned expert on indoor air quality, Corsi researches sources and control of indoor air pollution and human exposure to toxic chemicals indoors. He has studied a wide range of indoor sources of air pollution, from dishwashers to paint, microcomputers to moth crystals, and methamphetamine residue to motor vehicle interiors. His team also completed a multi-year study of building disinfection chemistry following the 2001 anthrax attacks.

He and his students also study building chemistry and innovative control strategies to improve the health of buildings, including the application of materials that passively remove harmful pollutants from indoor air, without the energy penalties associated with conventional air pollution control technologies. Corsi and his students have published more than 300 journal/conference papers, reports and book chapters. Corsi, who teaches undergraduate courses in fluid mechanics and courses related to indoor air quality at both the undergrad and graduate levels, has received numerous awards for teaching and mentoring of students.

He is a member of the prestigious Academy of Fellows of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate, past president of Indoor Air 2011, a Distinguished Alumnus of Humboldt State University and past director of a highly interdisciplinary NSF IGERT program on Indoor Environmental Science and Engineering at UT Austin.

Corsi earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis in 1989.


Richard Corsi holds the E.C.H. Bantel Professor for Professional Practice.

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cover of Texas Engineering magazine with group of students
cover of Texas Engineering magazine with group of students