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Chi Epsilon names UTA civil engineer president

Monday, March 26, 2018 • Media Contact: Herb Booth

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Jim Williams, a UTA civil engineering professor, has been named president of Chi Epsilon, the national civil engineering honor society.

The organization has 141 chapters across the country and has initiated more than 132,000 members.

Jim Williams

Jim Williams, UTA civil engineering professor, was elected president of the Chi Epsilon national organization.

Williams, who will serve a two-year term, was elected at the biennial Chi Epsilon Convention earlier this month. The event was held at The University of Texas at Arlington.

“I’m honored and a little bit surprised,” said Williams, who has been at UTA since 1986. “Our goals are to strengthen existing chapters, develop new chapters, and expand leadership opportunities for our members. We also plan to sharpen our focus on engineering ethics. We have to remember our responsibility to the public in everything we do.”

UTA has about 35 members but Williams hopes to grow the membership.

Ali Abolmaali, chair of the UTA Civil Engineering Department and Chi Epsilon member, said Williams’ election will boost the University’s acclaim nationally.

“Jim truly cares about our students and tries to make our students exemplary in every respect,” Abolmaali said. “His election to this national post helps accomplish his goals for those students. It will significantly impact the ranking and prestige of the department.”

Jay Garris, Chi Epsilon director of relations, communications and technology, said he believes the national organization, which is hosted in Nedderman Hall on the UTA campus, can make great gains over the next few years.

“We turn 100 years old in 2022,” Garris said. “Certainly, we’ll strengthen the relationship between UTA and Chi Epsilon since we’re both in the same building and share the same goals.”

Glenn Goss, Chi Epsilon executive director, said Williams will bring fresh ideas to the post.

Goss, who earned his doctorate in civil engineering from UTA in 1995, said one goal is to start international Chi Epsilon chapters.

“We changed our name at the convention to reflect the international flavor of Chi Epsilon,” said Goss, who believes the organization should reflect its membership. “We’ve received requests from schools in Mexico, the Emirates and other countries to join. We feel like being known as the international civil engineering honor society better represents who we are.”

Chi Epsilon’s vision recognizes students and graduates for their academic achievements while seeking to foster excellence, connectivity and engagement among those in the civil engineering community to improve the world.