Colorado State University officials today announced that longtime administrator and Colorado State alumnus Steven R. Abt has been appointed interim dean of the university’s renowned College of Engineering. Abt currently serves as executive associate dean in the college and director of the university’s Engineering Research Center. Abt will begin his duties as interim dean on March 8.
"Dr. Abt has excellently served our university for more than 25 years through his exceptional leadership, research, teaching and outreach efforts. He has made many significant contributions to the engineering college and to the university as a whole," said Provost Peter Nicholls. "I am confident that Steve will bring to his new appointment the dedication and vision that he has consistently demonstrated throughout his career at Colorado State and will continue leading the College of Engineering to high levels of success."
Abt, a professor of civil engineering who has more than 27 years of general engineering experience, earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, master’s degree in water resources and doctoral degree in hydraulics, all from Colorado State. After serving in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and working as a consulting water resource engineer in Denver, Abt joined the Colorado State faculty in 1976.
Throughout his tenure, Abt has served in several administrative posts at the university, including civil engineering administrative officer, interim head of mechanical engineering, office of equal opportunity representative for engineering, civil engineering academic coordinator, director of the Hydraulics Laboratory and other leadership positions.
Abt is active in research with interests in hydraulic modeling, river mechanics, dam safety, flow measurement, erosion and sedimentation, stream monitoring, environmental aspects of rivers and tailings management. He has published more than 330 journal articles, proceedings and reports and has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on projects totaling more than $13 million. Abt has served on more than 150 graduate committees and advised 100 graduate students.
Abt has served in the U.S. Army Reserve, Corps of Engineers, since 1973, and in 2002 he was promoted to Brigadier General. Of the approximately 206,000 members in an active status of the U.S. Army Reserve, only 70 serve at this high rank. As a reservist, Abt has held several leadership positions, including commander of the U.S. Army Facilities Engineer Group, heavy equipment platoon leader, combat heavy engineer company commander, liaison officer to the U.S. Military Academy, health command civil engineer and other positions.
Abt is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and also is a member of the International Erosion Control Association, American Water Resources Association and the Transportation Research Board. Abt has been honored with several awards for his work including the Haliburton Engineering Teaching Award, Dow Chemical Outstanding Young Faculty Award, Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation Fellowship Award, Jack E. Cermak Undergraduate Advising Award and the Oliver Pennock Award for Outstanding Service to Colorado State University, among other accolades.
Abt will succeed Neal Gallagher, who recently announced he will be leaving the university to take on a new position as dean of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Central Florida. A national search for a permanent dean is under way.