College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Mujumdar donates start-up funds for innovative Iowa State Hazard Mitigation and Community Resilience Program

Mujumdar (center) with Dean Rajala (left) and Sritharan (right) following reception events. Photo by Bill Beach.
<i>(Pictured from left)</i> Rajala, Mujumdar and Sritharan gather for a photo prior to reception events. <i> Photo by Bill Beach. </i>
(Pictured from left) Rajala, Mujumdar and Sritharan gather for a photo prior to reception events. Photo by Bill Beach.

Generous donation leads to greater collaborative research and multi-disciplinary approach to managing disasters

Vilas Mujumdar has made a generous donation to the Hazard Mitigation and Community Resilience Program (HMCR) at Iowa State University (ISU). The College of Engineering hosted a reception in Marston Hall today to recognize Mujumdar’s gift.

“This program will strengthen our cross-campus partnerships as an incentive to foster deep and lasting research collaboration to develop and maintain a sustainable infrastructure and environment,” said Sarah Rajala, the James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering. “I would like to thank the person who helped make this possible – Vilas Mujumdar, a friend of our college and Iowa State University.”

Sri Sritharan, ISU College of Engineering’s Interim Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Wilkinson Chair of Interdisciplinary Engineering, gave remarks following Rajala’s comments. Mujumdar also spoke at the reception.

The HMCR Program establishes a network that will supply faculty and students working in a wide variety of areas — from risk assessment, hazard mitigation, and environmental damage to condition assessment, smart structures, decision sciences, and community resilience — greater support. Furthermore, the program aligns with the college’s research goals of excellence and encourages strategic collaboration to strengthen cross-campus partnerships.

Sritharan, who is a professor of structural engineering in the civil, construction and environmental engineering department, is instrumental in the formation of the HMCR Program. Mujumdar’s gift will foster the growth of the HMCR Program and encourage its multi-disciplinary approach.

Mujumdar has served as the director of the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Centers – Natural Hazards program. He has held the positions of president, CEO, and partner in numerous engineering firms and served as chief of operations for California’s Division of the State Architect. A celebrated leader in the engineering field, Mujumdar shoulders responsibilities in various organizations, including the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), the Pan American Union of Engineers Associations, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Foundation.

He is affiliated with such professional societies as the Institution of Structural Engineers (U.K.), the American Concrete Institute, the Prestressed Concrete Institute, and the Structural Engineering Institute. He holds his doctorate in public administration/public policy (seismic risk), his master’s degree in structural engineering, and his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He also holds a Master of Business Administration in finance. Read more here.

Mujumdar previously visited ISU in 2014 to give the T.A. Wilson Distinguished Lecture entitled, “A Total Complex Community System Approach to Developing Resilience in Infrastructure Systems to Natural Hazards.”