Women in Engineering: Marwa Hassan

Editor’s note: March is Women’s History Month, and the LSU College of Engineering is dedicated to celebrating the influential women who work and study here. Each week, the college will feature a woman—a staff member, a faculty member, an undergraduate student and an alumna—who has made a positive impact on the college and the engineering, construction management or computer science field.

Dedication and hard work are among the keys to a successful career, says Marwa Hassan, associate professor in the Bert S. Turner Department of Construction Management.

Hassan, who also serves as the department’s graduate coordinator, knows first hand: She’s an award-winning professor, researcher and an expert in the field of advanced sustainable materials.

Originally from Egypt, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in construction engineering and civil and environmental engineering, respectively, Hassan moved to the United States to further her studies at Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she earned her doctorate in environmental design and planning.

As her studies progressed, so did her interest in the field of advanced sustainable materials, an area that has attracted much attention and support in the last decade, as engineers have become more careful to not disrupt the environmental balance as they work.

“I am specifically interested in multidisciplinary research that crosses boundaries and uses advanced materials to improve environmental, social, and economic performances of civil and construction materials and processes, hence, improving the construction industry as well our infrastructure sustainability,” she explained.

Her current research interests include sustainable construction, construction simulation, construction safety and nanomaterials. For example, she’s now working on a project that improves outdoor air quality by reducing unhealthy compounds and toxins often caused by construction projects.

Hassan joined the College of Engineering in Fall 2007 as an assistant professor. She was attracted to the position and to the university because she saw it as “a great opportunity to pursue my passion in teaching and research, build a nationally-renowned program here at LSU and contribute to the success of future generations.”

So far, she’s accomplished those goals—and she’s plotting more.

“As part of my academic and research career, my goal is to participate in undergraduate and graduate education through development and teaching of courses, conducting innovative research and tutoring undergraduate and graduate students,” she said. “In the long term, I aim to establish a nationally recognized program in sustainable infrastructure education and research in construction at LSU. I also aim to be part of a team that leads the integration of nanotechnology in construction in the US.”

Until then, she says, she will continue to enjoy working on innovative projects with her students and exploring new grounds for discovery and innovation here.

Asked what advice she had for other young women hoping to pursue a career in an engineering or construction management, she said, “Don’t hesitate.”

“Follow your passion and work hard,” she said, “and you will be successful”

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For questions please contact Sydni Dunn at sydnid@lsu.edu