College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Announcing new promotions to civil, construction and environmental engineering faculty

Three faculty members' headshot for a photo
Three faculty members' headshot for a photo

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa have awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professors Cassandra Rutherford and Christopher Day and promoted Omar Smadi to full professor in the Department of Civil, Construcion and Environmental Engineering at Iowa State University.

Chris Day headshot

Chris Day is a faculty member in civil engineering at Iowa State University. His research background is in transportation operations, with a focus on performance measures for traffic signal systems and other road facilities. Automated traffic signal performance measures, a major product of his prior research, has been widely implemented across the US and internationally. Day’s current research focuses on further applications of new data sets in traffic control, operation, and analysis, with a particular interest in connected and automated vehicles and equivalent data from infrastructure-based sensing and their integration with traffic signal systems.

Cassie Rutherford headshot

Cassandra Rutherford has established a recognized research and teaching program which has advanced the characterization of soil subjected to dynamic loading, geo-hazard mitigation, ground improvement and the design of deep foundations; she is passionate about helping society overcome geo-hazards (floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, slope failures) and invest in future renewable energy options (tidal current turbines and wind turbines).

She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the United States Universities Council on Geotechnical Education and Research (USUCGER) Early Career Educator Award, and the Joseph C. and Elizabeth A. Anderlik Faculty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. She is an American Society of Civil Engineers Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Fellow and Mentor. Rutherford is also active in outreach to K-12 students through STEM programs and engineering education. Her research program has been supported by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, and several state and local agencies.

Rutherford joined CCEE in 2017 after having been a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned a BS, MS, and PhD in Civil Engineering, all from Texas A&M University.

Omar Smadi graduated from Yarmouk University in Jordan with a BS in CE in 1987. Following graduation, he joined the University of Oklahoma in the Fall of 1987 as an MS student, and then joined Iowa State University in the Fall of 1988 as an MS student. Smadi received his MS and PhD from ISU with a specialization in Transportation Engineering.

Furthering the world of transportation, Smadi started working full time as a researcher at what is now InTrans in May of 1994 and still works in that capacity. In July of 2014, he joined the faculty as an associate professor, and is now also the director of CTRE at InTrans, as well as the associate chair for Research and International Collaboration, the chair of the ISU Faculty Senate Documents Committee, and a member of the ISU Faculty Senate Governance Council.