Rebecca Lynn Li
Gambian students from the Department of Civil Engineering surveying the riverside walkway of Shu-Yan Expressway
The Department of Civil Engineering in Taipei Tech has had a 100-year history since Taipei Tech was established in 1912. In 1997, the Civil Engineering Department of Taipei Tech became the first university department in Taiwan to establish a graduate program in civil and disaster prevention engineering – the Graduate Institute of Civil and Disaster Prevention. “Our greatest turning point”, said Department Chair of Civil Engineering, Professor Shong-Loong Chen (陳水龍), “is when our university became a research university.” In 2012, the Department of Civil Engineering was ranked 117 worldwide by the QS World University Rankings by subject.
A defining feature of Taipei Tech is the amount of research that is conducted on campus every day. In the Department of Civil Engineering, each professor, with their different backgrounds and area of expertise, lead their students in conducting a wide range of research geared towards building sustainable infrastructures that will meet the challenges presented by the ever-changing environment. As Taiwan is prone to natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes every year, research is guided by the general goal of disaster prevention. Researchers are provided with funding and equipped with state of the art equipment, such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and LiDar. The categories of research include structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, construction management, eco-engineering, disaster mitigation, information technology, water resource engineering, and hazard mitigation.
Gambian civil engineering students on a field trip to Beitou Hot Springs Museum
The Department of Civil Engineering is also home to students that are part of the continuing education programs and many international students from around the world. “Attending classes either during nighttime or on the weekends, the Taipei Tech Civil Engineering Department students are very motivated in their studies,” said Professor Shong-Loong Chen (陳水龍) when describing the students enrolled in the continuing education programs. “They are sometimes students who discover their true passion after entering the workforce”. The largest group of international students in the Department of Civil Engineering are Gambian students in the Gambian Civil Engineering Class. First established in 2008, the Gambian Civil Engineering Class aims to train talented Gambian civil engineers who will contribute in the socioeconomic development of Gambia. Last year, the first 24 Gambian students finished their four-year bachelor’s degree and this year, the Department of Civil Engineering welcomed a second group of Gambian civil engineering students to Taiwan.
In the Department of Civil Engineering, students with vastly different backgrounds come together to learn and thrive. They are given opportunities for internship with industries outside the university during the summer to gain experience, and they work with renowned faculty members to conduct the most innovative research. With disaster prevention as the core of its research, the Department of Civil Engineering carries on their tradition of excellence in teaching and conducting research into the next century.