Shobha K. Bhatia is Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith professor and professor of civil and envi-
ronmental engineering at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. She has made significant con-
tributions to both engineering research and engineering education. Her engineering research has
focused on the application of geosynthetics and natural materials in waste containment, road and
building construction, and erosion control. She has more than 80 publications; has received funding
from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the United States Environmental Protection Agency
(USEPA), the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), and many other pri-
vate organizations; has participated in national and international conferences; and has served in
numerous capacities, such as vice president of the North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS),
member of the Technical Coordination Council (TCC), and member of the International Activity
Council of the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). She has also
been extensively involved in engineering education. She is codirector of the Women in Science and
Engineering (WISE) initiative at Syracuse University. She has also been part of national initiatives
to increase the number of women in leadership positions in academia through her projects funded
from the NSF ADVANCE program. She played an important role in the NSF-funded Engineering
Education Scholar Program, which was designed to prepare young faculty for academic careers. She
is also the recipient of a NSF Faculty Achievement Award for Women for excellence in research and
leadership in training future engineers and has received several national and international awards,
including the International Network for Engineering Education and Research (iNEER) Award
for Excellence in Fostering Sustained and Unique Collaborations in International Research and
Jennifer Smith is an assistant professor of construction management and wood products engineer-
ing at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-
ESF) in Syracuse, New York. She recently completed her MA degree in public administration from
the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and a PhD degree in civil engineering from Syracuse
University. Her engineering research has focused on characterizing geotextiles for use in filtration
applications and the fundamental properties and performance of sustainable natural fibers, such as
wood, straw, coconut, and jute for erosion control. In addition to taking courses in environmental
Author Biography
economics and policy, her policy research has focused on the social impacts of natural fiber use, in
particular how globalization can be used to create opportunities and sustain women coir workers in
Kerala, India. She has more than 20 publications, several of which have received awards, and is a
member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Geo-Institute Committee on Geo-
technics of Soil Erosion and the North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS). She has 8 years
of experience as a geotechnical engineer for local engineering firms and is a licensed professional
engineer in New York. She currently teaches courses in sustainable construction and construction

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