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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Two Prominent Civil Engineering Professors to Retire

May 11, 2007

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in the University of Texas at Arlington will see the departure to two long-time professors soon. Drs. Syed Qasim and Max Spindler have chosen to retire after many years of commendable service to the university.

Dr. Syed Qasim, P.E., joined the College of Engineering in 1973. He is an internationally-recognized authority on water and wastewater quality and treatment and their related subjects – pollution control, hazardous waste management, treatment plant design and operation, etc. He has authored three books on these subjects and is working on a fourth.

Dr. Qasim has received several honors recognizing his accomplishments. He received Distinguished Research awards from the University in 1990 and 1991, Excellence in Research awards from the College in 1988 and 1989, and a Fulbright Fellowship in 1986. The Dr. Syed Qasim Endowed Professorship Fund has been established to honor his years of dedication and service. Kelcy Warren (BSCE ’78), co-chairman and co-CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, L.L.C., recognizing Dr. Qasim for his positive influence on UT Arlington students, is graciously contributing $100,000 to the fund and will match up to $100,000 in contributions from others.

In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Qasim originated and conducted short courses on water and wastewater treatment; these courses drew participants from across the U.S. and internationally. He was also asked to conduct similar programs in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuwait, Malaysia and India. He will continue to conduct these programs and do consulting work after he retires at the end of May.

Dr. Qasim’s fondest memory of his time at the university? “The achievements of my students,” he responded. “Many of them have gone on to achieve top positions in their professions. That’s the best I could ask for.”

Dr. Max Spindler, P.E., came to the College of Engineering in 1970. A noted expert on water resources, hydraulics and hydrology, and fluid mechanics, most of Dr. Spindler’s research involved physical model testing – scale models and corresponding Laws of Similarity.

Though he was involved in many research projects, most of Dr. Spindler’s efforts were directed to teaching and student activities. He shepherded the development of a student chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE) and was the faculty advisor for Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering honor society. Dr. Spindler was recently named Engineer of the Year by the Mid-Cities/DFW Chapter of the TSPE.

Dr. Spindler will continue teaching through the summer semester, but will retire in August. “I’m looking forward to traveling,” he said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do, but had little time for.” Of his career in teaching, he said “The thing I liked best was working with students and the enjoyment I felt in watching them grow as individuals and in their careers. That’s why I stayed in teaching.”

Dr. Nur Yazdani, chairman of the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department said “It is a great loss for the department to have two long-term and highly-regarded faculty retire at the same time. The significant growth of the department and its excellent reputation were due to a large extent to the hard work and dedication of these two stalwarts. Dr. Qasim is a ‘scholar’ in the truest sense of the word – a great teacher and motivator. Dr. Spindler is a outstanding teacher, consultant and a champion of student causes. Drs. Qasim and Spindler will be truly missed. Hopefully, we will have cooperative efforts where we can still utilize their expertise and goodwill.”

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