Civil engineering professor Faisal Hossain wins 2011 Caplenor Award

Posted by Lori Shull - Thursday, December 08 2011


The innovations and discoveries Tennessee Tech University professor Faisal Hossain has made in civil engineering have earned him the 2011 Caplenor Faculty Research Award, one of the university’s highest awards.

Hossain joined the TTU faculty in 2004. Since then, he has researched the effects of dams and reservoirs on local climate; developed new models for using satellites to monitor and improve the prediction of rainfall; and raised awareness of the international transboundary flood problem.

“The research conducted by Dr. Hossain since joining our faculty is truly cross disciplinary and offers potential to fundamentally change the civil engineering profession,” said David Huddleston, professor and chair of TTU’s civil and environmental engineering department.

“His contribution to the body of knowledge also stands to benefit the impoverished people of developing nations adapting to a changing climate of increasing water scarcity, natural hazards and insurmountable hydro-political hurdles.”

Hossain’s work has led to $1.75 million in grants and led to more than 100 publications and professional presentations.

“It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Faisal – he is an energetic, personable, extremely knowledgeable and excellent researcher,” said C.K. Shum, a professor and distinguished university scholar at the Ohio State University. “He has demonstrated his effectiveness in conducting high-caliber research in hydrology and has attracted significant amounts of external funding from various funding entities including the NASA, the National Science Foundation and industry.”

The Caplenor Award, first presented in 1984, is TTU’s premier research award and is named in honor of Donald Caplenor, former associate vice president for research and dean of instructional development. Caplenor died in 1979.

In his seven years at TTU, Hossain has published 85 peer-reviewed papers and led 30 technical seminars or presentations. He also reviews proposals for the National Science Foundation, and serves or has served as a regular reviewer for more than 20 journals. He was the associate editor of the Journal of American Water Resources Association from 2006-10. Hossain is chief editor for Water Encyclopedia, and he recently served as a guest editor for the book, Satellite Rainfall Applications for Surface Hydrology.

“Faisal Hossain is an innovative researcher and outstanding teacher,” said College of Engineering Dean Joseph Rencis, who also holds the Clay N. Hixson Chair for Engineering Leadership. “Among other recognitions, this past summer he presented to the U.S. Congress on how dams impact water supply, irrigation and hydropower.”

In that presentation, Hossain recommended the drafting of a policy to allow more flexible management of the nation’s dams.

During his time at TTU, Hossain has received other awards, including the 2010 Education Excellence Award from the National Association of Environmental Professionals and the 2009 Outstanding New Faculty Research Award from the American Society of Engineering Education. 

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