In June 2006, following a departmental search, professor Michael Accorsi was appointed Head of the Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department. He succeeded professor Erling Smith, who served as Head for six years before accepting the position of Interim Dean of the School of Engineering. The CEE department is home to 18 faculty members and approximately 60 graduate students. In 2005-06, the department had research expenditures of $2.1 million.
Dr. Accorsi earned his Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL and began his career at UConn in 1986. He holds a joint appointment with the Mechanical Engineering Department and also currently serves as Interim Director of the Connecticut Transportation Institute, a unit of the School of Engineering.
Dr. Accorsi performs research in the general area of computational solid mechanics, with specific application to composite materials, structural acoustics, and recently, parachute mechanics. He has performed novel work in the area of computer simulation of parachute dynamics with support from the Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, NASA and the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center. Dr. Accorsi received the Commander’s Educational Award for Excellence from the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Command in 1998 for his research on parachutes and is currently a co-principal investigator on a DoD Common High Performance Computing Software Initiative project on Airdrop Systems Modeling. He is co-inventor on one U.S. patent.