The West Virginia University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has an Oxford engineer as a new professor and department chair.

Dr. Radhey Sharma, who took the post June 30, received his doctorate in geotechnical engineering from the University of Oxford. He also has a masters degree in soil mechanics and environmental geotechnics from Imperial College in London, a masters of technology degree in rock mechanics from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, and a bachelors degree in civil engineering with first-class honors from Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, India.

Sharma came to WVU from Louisiana State University where he was holder of Roy Paul Daniels Distinguished Professorship and coordinator of the Geotechnical and Geophysical Engineering Group.

He was also a member of the Louisiana Government Forensic Engineering Team that was charged with the investigation of the levee failures in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

I am humbled and honored to have an opportunity to serve the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at WVU ,Sharma said.I am excited about the opportunities for the department and look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of WVU and to build upon the strengths of the departments.

We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Sharma to WVU and to our College,said Gene Cilento, Glen Hiner dean of the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.With his high-quality educational background, outstanding scholarship and teaching, excellent service record and leadership skills, I am confident that the Civil and Environmental Department is poised for an exciting time and bright future.

Sharma is an international expert in unsaturated soils and serves on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including American Society of Civil Engineers ASCE Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering and GĂ©otechnique. Sharmas research program is focused on both fundamental and applied aspects of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering.

His specific interests include static and dynamic behavior of unsaturated and saturated soils and rocks; laboratory, in situ, field testing and instrumentation of geomaterials and geoinfrastructure, including highway embankments; geotechnical earthquake engineering, especially aimed at the geoinfrastructure analysis and design involving unsaturated soils; ground improvement; geoenvironmental engineering; and energy engineering; and gas hydrates and bio- and nano-modification of materials. His research in gas hydrates is aimed at energy extraction and sustainable sequestration.

Sharma has more than 75 publications in prestigious journals and conference proceedings. He received the Telford Medal, the top civil engineering award, from the Institute of Civil Engineers in London. He is member of numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Civil Engineering, the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering and the Geo-Institute of ASCE , among others. He serves on several national and international committees and has delivered several keynote and invited lectures worldwide, in addition to media interviews.

Darrell R. Dean, professor of civil and environmental engineering at WVU , has served as interim chair of the department since David R. Martinelli stepped down in 2007. Dean will remain on the faculty and return his focus to teaching and research.

We are extremely grateful to Dr. Dean for his excellent service to our college and University,Cilento said.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at WVU is highly regarded at the local, national and international levels, offering educational programs at the bachelors, masters and doctoral levels, in addition to maintaining an active research program in a wide range of subspecialties.