Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering James Kaklamanos has been honored by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of this year's 10 New Faces of Civil Engineering worldwide.
The New Faces program recognizes the next generation of civil engineering professionals, 30 years and younger, who have demonstrated the potential to lead the field to new heights. Ten honorees are chosen in each of two divisions, professional and collegiate.
Kaklamanos is being honored in the professional category, for his exemplary work with students. He serves as faculty adviser to Merrimack’s ASCE student chapter and has been active in the ASCE Geo-Institute, the Seismological Society of America and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.
“In true Merrimack College spirit, I promote a comprehensive approach to engineering education with high levels of student-faculty interaction inside and outside the classroom,” Kaklamanos said. “Merrimack has given me the chance to flourish as a teacher-scholar, and I am truly humbled to receive this honor. It’s a privilege to represent Merrimack, ASCE and the engineering profession.”
Kaklamanos, who describes his teaching style as “engaging and challenging,” said he employs strategies to “encourage higher-order thinking, establish context through real-world examples, promote student-student and student-faculty interactions, and make learning enjoyable and fun.”
He adheres to three interrelated primary duties: educate and inspire the next generation of civil engineers, conduct research and contribute knowledge to the field of earthquake engineering, and engage in service to the institution and profession.
“As an engineering educator, I have the opportunity to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering — just as I was inspired — and help them discover their passions, which is truly rewarding,” he said. “My job allows me to not only share knowledge, but also to generate new knowledge in the process.”
Kaklamanos’ research focuses on the improvement of models for predicting earthquake-induced ground motions. With a greater understanding of the level of ground motion expected during earthquakes, engineers will be better able to design earthquake-resistant structures, and ultimately improve sustainability by reducing the loss of life and property during earthquakes.
“I strive for students to apply the principles of engineering to real-world problems in an interdisciplinary context, and to realize the importance of engineering in our everyday lives and the broad societal issues that engineers are tasked with solving,” Kaklamanos said. “Students enjoy learning when they truly care about that subject, and my teaching style is designed to foster student learning and the development of an underlying appreciation of the material.”
Merrimack’s master of education in higher education program celebrated the 10 year anniversary of its first graduating class. The higher education program, one of the first master’s degree programs offered by the College, helped pave the way for the development and expansion of Merrimack’s robust—and still growing—graduate education division.