Villanova’s Welker a New ASCE Fellow

Andrea L. Welker, Ph.D., P.E., ENV SP, F.ASCE, professor of civil and environmental engineering and associate dean for academic affairs, College of Engineering, at Villanova University, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.

Welker joined Villanova in 1999 after working at Gannett Fleming, in Pittsburgh. She was the first tenure-track woman hired, tenured and promoted to professor in her department. She is also the first female associate dean in the College of Engineering. She has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate-level classes and is an advocate for underrepresented minorities. She also started the Honors program, launched the Grand Challenge Scholars Program and created the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

She was one of the first researchers performing cross-disciplinary research on the geotechnical aspects of stormwater control measures (SCMs). When interest in stormwater began to increase, she recognized that the field was dominated by landscape architects and water resource engineers. However, many of the fundamental processes of stormwater control (e.g., infiltration and evapotranspiration) have long been studied by geotechnical engineers. Welker saw a need for her understanding and expertise in unsaturated soils in studying the effectiveness of SCMs. She has conducted research on individual SCMs such as permeable pavements, rain gardens and green roofs as well as on the larger-scale effects of SCMs on receiving water bodies.

Other research interests have included the use of recycled plastic pipe in railroad applications and recycled Superpave materials. Her work has been cited more than 860 times. She is currently part of a multistate, multiyear effort supported by the William Penn Foundation to ensure plentiful, clean water in the Delaware River Watershed. In addition, she is studying the effect of modern-day stormwater management on streams.

Welker is active in the Geo-Institute of ASCE. For many years she served as the Academic Liaison for the Delaware Valley Geo-Institute and was the inaugural chair of the Geo-Institute Continuing Education Committee. She was the founder and director of the Geo-Video student competition from 2015 to 2018. In 2008 she was recognized as the Delaware Valley Geotechnical Engineer of the Year. Welker is the immediate past chair of the Civil Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education after serving as Secretary and Treasurer, Freshman Director, Midterm Director, Senior Director, Program Chair and Chair.

She obtained her B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from Drexel University, and obtaining her Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Read her work at the ASCE Library.


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