CEE News Release

Dr. Susan Burns is now a Fellow

February 20, 2013

Civil Engineering Professor Dr. Susan E. Burns has been accepted as a Fellow by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE Fellows are practitioners, educators, mentors, and most of all leaders. They have distinguished careers that have contributed significantly to the civil engineering profession.

Burns selection as an ASCE Fellow puts her in rarified company: of ASCE's 140,000 members worldwide, only around 6200 have been recognized as Fellows.

"Susan is a true scholar, teacher, mentor, and colleague," said Karen and John Huff School Chair Dr. Reginald DesRoches. " She is very deserving of the honor of ASCE Fellow."

A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Burns is a licensed professional engineer and has been a member of the ASCE for  25 years.  She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil engineering at Georgia Tech, after which she joined the faculty at the University of Virginia. In 2004, she joined the faculty at Georgia Tech, where she is a professor in the geosystems group. 

Burns' research focuses on applications in geoenvironmental engineering, with particular emphasis on the interfacial behavior of organic- and inorganic-coated soils, the transport and behavior of microbubbles in otherwise saturated porous media, and the hydraulic conductivity and consolidation properties of fine-grained soils using seismic piezocone penetration testing (SPCPT). Funding for her research group has come from federal, state, and industry sources, including a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. Burns has also received major funding from the US Department of Energy, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Department of Education, the Virginia Transportation Research Council, the Georgia Department of Transportation, Southern Company, and other industrial sources.

Burns is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award, the Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award (ASCE), the Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award (ASCE), and the Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award (University of Virginia). Dr. Burns has served as the president of the United States Universities Council on Geotechnical Education and Research (USUCGER), an organization of approximately 400 professors of geotechnical engineering in the US and abroad.

She is a past member of the National Research Council's (NRC) Standing Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering, and a past member of the NRC's Committee on Assessment of the Performance of Engineered Waste Containment Barriers. She has chaired the American Society of Civil Engineers/GeoInstitute Geoenvironmental Engineering Committee, and is past member of the GeoInstitute Awards Committee.