Below are some candid responses from various members of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty to help you get to know them better.

Dr. Douglas J. Gabauer

Dr. Michael A. Malusis

Dr. Jessica T. Newlin

Dr. Mike Toole


Dr. Douglas J. Gabauer

1) What inspires you most about teaching?

For me, I look forward to witnessing the instant when a student has an epiphany while wrestling to understand a difficult concept. Those moments add real context to the often abstract aspiration of positively influencing the lives and future careers of students.

2) What got you interested in the field of Civil/Environmental Engineering

I’m not sure that there was one particular event that triggered me to pursue Civil and Environmental Engineering but I certainly attribute my interest in engineering to my childhood obsession with figuring out how everything worked (and taking apart nearly everything I could get my hands on in the process). The primary appeal of Civil Engineering for me is the opportunity to improve the everyday life of the general public in a wide-reaching, and often tangible, manner.

3) What makes an education at Bucknell University special compared to other institutions?

Bucknell does a fantastic job of providing students the opportunity to work closely with faculty – both in the classroom and in collaborative student-faculty research – as well as conduct their studies in a global setting. Combining this with faculty members that have a strong commitment to teaching as well as scholarship provides the motivated Bucknell students a one-of-a-kind experience.

4) What is your specialty sub-discipline and what topics or research areas are you most interested in?

My area of expertise within Civil Engineering is Transportation Engineering and, more specifically, Transportation Safety. My research focuses on reducing the consequences of crashes that occur when a vehicle leaves the roadway. Topics I am most interested in include developing better ways of predicting the type and severity of occupant injury in roadside crashes, understanding how minor guardrail damage affects crash performance in a subsequent impact, and monitoring the field performance of roadside safety devices such as guardrail. I am also very interested in developing methods that use novel data sources, such as Event Data Recorders in cars (analogous to an airplane’s "black box"), to investigate existing or emergent transportation safety issues.

5) Besides teaching and research, what other activities do you spend time on?

An ideal day away from the office would start with an early morning chairlift ride to about 14,000 feet above sea level, a hike across the ridge with a snowboard under my arm, followed by a steep descent into untouched waist deep powder… (Repeat previous steps until the sun goes down). When I’m not strapped to my snowboard, you might find me running around the Lewisburg area or at the gym lifting weights. In the remainder of my spare time, I dabble in art – primarily pen and ink, enjoy playing guitar and bass, watching live music, and just hanging out with friends and family.


Dr. Michael A. Malusis

1) What inspires you most about teaching?

The opportunity to mentor and inspire future civil engineers.

2) What got you interested in the field of Civil/Environmental Engineering

As a student, I wanted to take advantage of my natural interests and abilities in math and science to solve problems. I also wanted to help people and contribute to the betterment of society. Civil engineering has allowed me to do both.

3) What makes an education at Bucknell University special compared to other institutions?

(1) The opportunity for students to work closely with faculty in coursework and on research projects, (2) our high-quality laboratories and emphasis on hands-on student training, and (3) the high caliber of our faculty and students.

4) What is your specialty sub-discipline and what topics or research areas are you most interested in?

My primary areas of expertise are geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. My research is largely experimental in nature and is focused on improving the long-term performance of engineered soil and geosynthetic barriers for in-situ waste containment (e.g., cutoff walls) and ex-situ waste containment (e.g., earthen liners/covers and polymeric geomembranes).

5) Besides teaching and research, what other activities do you spend time on?

I enjoy spending time with my wife (Lisa) and two boys (Mitchell and Nathan). I also play soccer in a local club and enjoy golf and fishing. I like music and can play a little guitar, but I am a novice and have found it much easier to master Guitar Hero than the real thing. Lastly, I am an avid supporter of Philadelphia pro sports teams, especially the Flyers and the 2008 World Champion Phillies!


Dr. Jessica T. Newlin

1) What inspires you most about teaching?

I have been fortunate to have many excellent mentors, and I appreciate the chance to return the favor to another generation of engineers. For me, teaching provides the opportunity to offer guidance to many aspiring civil engineers. I believe in the importance of the civil engineering profession to society, and hope to convey that to the students in my classrooms.

2) What got you interested in the field of Civil/Environmental Engineering

I got into civil engineering by luck! I liked math and science in high school but couldn’t decide if I liked science or engineering for college. All of the advice I was getting told me to go into engineering because it’s easier to get out than get in! As an undergraduate at Bucknell (’98), I had a semester exploring all engineering disciplines and ended up in civil engineering. I believe my interest in issues related to the interaction between environment and society led me to this major. (Plus, I had a crazy idea that I wanted to design the natural habitat for animals in zoos!)

3) What makes an education at Bucknell University special compared to other institutions?

Bucknell was my undergraduate university of choice! After spending time at other institutions for graduate school, I have a great appreciation for my education at Bucknell. It is a small school, but it is very good at using its resources to provide opportunities for its students that rival those at larger universities with more resources. Students also get the benefit of smaller class sizes and the opportunity to get to know their professors as mentors.

4) What is your specialty sub-discipline and what topics or research areas are you most interested in?

My sub-discipline specialty is water resources engineering. I am most interested in characteristics of flow in streams and rivers. I have been involved in research that ranges from creating stable bridge crossings over stream channels to the transport and storage of solutes (nutrients) in stream channels and wetlands. With my involvement in research on the restoration of stable channels and on characterizing the transport of nutrients in stream systems, I guess I am trying to "design natural habitat" – just not in zoos!

5) Besides teaching and research, what other activities do you spend time on?

I have a wonderful and supportive family. My 2-year old son loves to come to campus to see "Bucky the Bison." I also enjoy spending time outdoors near a stream (of course) or in the garden (working on my green thumb).


Dr. Mike Toole

1) What inspires you most about teaching?

Prior to coming to Bucknell, I worked as a naval officer, a construction manager, and a forensics engineer. They were all enjoyable jobs but I didn't wake up each day knowing I had a shot at making the world a better place. Now, through my teaching and research, I do.

2) What got you interested in the field of Civil/Environmental Engineering

Mine is a quirky but perhaps not unusual story. My PSAT math score was high while my verbal score was low, so my high school guidance counselor stated I would probably make a good engineer. I choose civil engineering because I thought it would let me be outdoors a lot.

3) What makes an education at Bucknell University special compared to other institutions?

I truly believe that Bucknell offers one heck of an undergraduate education. There are not too many other universities where faculty are serious scholars yet are so committed to their teaching too, both in and out of the classroom. There are tremendous laboratories here--and a lot of courses that require students to use them! There are opportunities for undergrads to perform research with faculty and even to co-author academic papers. The balance between academics and varsity sports is good. And what a gorgeous (and safe) campus and outstanding facilities we have…

4) What is your specialty sub-discipline and what topics or research areas are you most interested in?

My subdiscipline is construction management and engineering, which I consider to be very important because it focuses on the implementation of the designs my design engineer colleagues create. If the construction of a design goes poorly, it doesn’t matter how good the design was! It is my opinion that too many design engineers do not know enough about how the construction process works. My research areas are construction innovation, construction safety and project management simulation.

5) Besides teaching and research, what other activities do you spend time on?

I spend a fair amount of my time outside of the classroom on various service activities. On campus, I am a Co-Director of the Institute for Leadership in Technology and Education at Bucknell, the Engineering member of Faculty Council, and a member of the National Speaker Series Task Force. Off campus, I am involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers, OSHA and NIOSH helping to research and diffuse designing for construction safety (also known as prevention through design). I interact on a regular basis with representatives from dozens of national engineering and construction organizations, which is both enjoyable and good for my teaching. I have also leading a project to put in a two-mile long waterline to a small Nicaraguan community called El Porvenir (through the Bucknell Brigade), which should be finished very soon. I spend my non-work time with my wife and two kids (Rebecca, age 18 and Thomas, age 15), refereeing soccer games, playing on a competitive over 30 men’s soccer team and fishing on local streams.

Close

Places I've Been

The following links are virtual breadcrumbs marking the 27 most recent pages you have visited in Bucknell.edu. If you want to remember a specific page forever click the pin in the top right corner and we will be sure not to replace it. Close this message.