ResearchUNC Charlotte

Glenn Moglen Has A Forward-Looking Vision For Charlotte Engineers

The UNC Charlotte William States Lee College of Engineering is pleased to welcome Glenn Moglen, an accomplished researcher and esteemed leader, as the new chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Moglen assumed his role at UNC Charlotte during the fall semester of 2023.

With a robust background in higher education, Moglen has previously held faculty positions at Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland. His contributions to the field were recognized in 2013 when the American Society of Civil Engineers designated him as an ASCE Fellow. In 2016, he further earned the distinction of becoming a Fellow of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute, highlighting his peer-acknowledged leadership in environmental engineering. In addition to his academic endeavors, Moglen has garnered extensive professional experience through his service in federal organizations. Reflecting on his tenure with the National Weather Service, the US Geological Survey, and the USDA, Moglen stated, “I had the opportunity to participate in the research programs of three highly contrasting agencies with differing missions and challenges.”

Now at UNC Charlotte, Moglen is set to lead the research activities and academic initiatives of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, overseeing the launch of the new bachelor of science program in environmental engineering. Commenting on the uniqueness of the program, Moglen remarked, “Offering a separate B.S. in environmental engineering is unusual and demonstrates a commitment to a program focused on the specific engineering challenges we face in this area, including climate change, water quality, overabundance, and scarcity, emerging contaminants and more.” He added, “The demand for creative and well-trained engineers is assured, and industry partners are expressing tremendous excitement around this new degree.”

In his capacity as a researcher, Moglen will bring his expertise in hydrology, a critical aspect of civil and environmental engineering, to the department. Notably, he emphasizes the significance of acknowledging climate change as a key element in this field. “The reality is that climate change and urbanization both act to amplify the extremes of natural processes,” Moglen explained. “From a water quantity perspective, for example, floods are bigger and droughts are more severe. The best research anticipates these amplifications, lowering uncertainty. If we can anticipate, then we can design and plan effectively.”

Moglen’s commitment to managing natural resources stems from his childhood experiences, playing in a creek near his house. Recalling those moments, he shared, “I loved to see its variations in flow. I especially remember how summer thunderstorms could transform the creek from a quiet, lazy stream to a raging, muddy torrent. As soon as a storm would pass, I’d rush down to the creek just to see what it looked like. The drama of this was endlessly fascinating.” As an engineering undergrad, Moglen acquired the tools and techniques to study and design for those same resources. “Engineering gave me a language and a vocabulary that described my childhood observations. In a way, choosing this career has allowed me to figuratively continue to run down to the creek and see what it’s doing.”

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