Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty and Staff
Christina Curras, PhD
Professor, Department Chair and Civil Engineering Program Coordinator
Dr. Curras' research and teaching interests focus on geotechnical engineering, pedagogy, and student success initiatives. She is the Principle Investigator for the NSF STEP grant, which funds the operation of CenterPOINT and provides student support through jobs, mentoring, and stipends for research and professional travel. Prior to joining UW-Platteville she worked at Woodward Clyde Consultants in Oakland, CA, and at the California Department of Water Resources.
She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the GeoInstitute, and is on the National Civil Engineering Department Head Coordinating Council.
Philip Parker, PhD, PE
Professor, Environmental Engineering Program Coordinator, & College of EMS Assistant Dean of New Ventures
Dr. Parker directs the activities of the Center for Infrastructure Transformation and Education (CIT-E), an international online community of practice and funded by the National Science Foundation. He conducts research in the area of agricultural runoff and has supervised undergraduate research assistants. Dr. Parker is also the program coordinator for the online Master of Science in Engineering program.
He is a registered Professional Engineer and a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), the American Waterworks Association, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He also serves as faculty advisor for the UW-Platteville ASCE Student Chapter.
Gretchen Bohnhoff, PhD, PE
Dr. Bohnhoff's research focuses on the intersection of environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, and groundwater engineering. Her research has a common theme of sustainable and novel solutions to waste containment, and fate and transport of contaminants in the geoenvironment. Her current research is an investigation of the long-term behavior of polymer modified bentonite for containment barrier applications.
She is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Wisconsin. Dr. Bohnhoff is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Water Resources Association (AWRA), and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). She also serves as faculty advisor for Chi Epsilon, the Civil Engineering Honors Society.
Dan Enz, PhD, PE
Dr. Enz's research interests range from integrated risk management of construction projects to performance specifications of construction aggregates. Prior to joining UW-Platteville he worked as a design/project engineer for a construction aggregate mining company, as a structural engineer for various consulting firms, and served as the director of operations research for a mining company. He is a veteran of the United States Army/Army Reserves and served as a construction officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Dr. Enz is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Wisconsin.
Kristina Fields, PhD
Dr. Fields has been collaborating on cycling infrastructure with a partner university in the Netherlands and had the opportunity to study in The Netherlands. This resulted in the creation of a short term study abroad civil engineering course. She is the faculty advisor for the Institute for Transportation Engineering UW-Platteville chapter and has been the chair of the City of Platteville Community Safe Routes Committee. She was also awarded a Federal Highway Administration Eisenhower Teaching and Research Fellowship in 2005.
She is passionate about pre-college engineering outreach and was the curriculum manager for UW-Platteville's Sky's the Limit pre-college outreach program for young women, offering hands-on STEM exposure through projects with faculty, students, and industry professionals.
Gerald Mahun, PLS
In addition to teaching for UW-Platteville, Mahun has taught for Purdue University, Penn State University, and Madison Area Technical College (MATC), where he also served as the program director for the Civil Engineering Technology department. Mahun has also worked for the Wisconsin DOT, National Geodetic Survey, and the Bureau of Land Management. He has presented more than thirty workshops and seminars on various aspects of surveying.
Mahun is a licensed Professional Land Surveyor for the state of Wisconsin. He is a member of the National Society of Professional Surveyors and the Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors (WSLS). He has been a member and chair of committee for both organizations and served on the WSLS Board of Directors.
Sam Owusu-Ababio, PhD, PE
Dr. Owusu-Ababio's research involves highway pavement design, management, and performance issues. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Institute of Transportation Engineers, and Engineers without Borders. He currently serves on the Rigid Pavement Technical Oversight Committee of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Wisconsin.
Michael Penn, PhD, PE
Dr. Penn's research and teaching interests focus on water quality, waste handling and minimization, and infrastructure management. He is a founding member of the Center for Infrastructure Transformation and Education (CIT-E) and lead author of the textbook Introduction to Infrastructure.
He is a registered Professional Engineer and certified soil tester in the state of Wisconsin.
Austin Polebitski, PhD, PE
Dr. Polebitski's doctoral research focused on the links between urban residential water use, changing urban landscapes, and climate change. Currently his research interests include urban and rural water use, water resource systems management, the use of forecasting tools in short and long term decision making, and the impacts climate change will have on statewide natural resources. Prior to joining UW-Platteville he was a research assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and worked for King County's Solid Waste Division.
He is an active member of the Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI), the American Water Resources Association (AWRA), and the International Conference on Engineering and Ecohydrology for Fish Passage. He is a registered Professional Engineer.
Bob Schmitt, PhD, PE
Dr. Schmitt has thirty years of construction industry practice, research, and teaching experience. Prior to joining UW-Platteville he worked for design firms, contractors, and public works agencies as a cost estimator, project manager, and materials testing engineer. He is a Fulbright Scholar through the U.S. State Department and continues teaching masters courses in construction technology for the Universidad de Piura in Peru.
His research and teaching interests focus on construction equipment, productivity improvement, cost estimating, and statistically-based sampling and analysis construction materials and performance. Dr. Schmitt is a registered Professional Engineer and member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Concrete Pavement Association, Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, and faculty advisor for the local student chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America. He has co-authored the textbooks Construction Planning, Equipment, and Methods (8th Ed., 2011) and Moving the Earth: Excavation Equipment, Methods, Safety, and Cost (7th Ed., 2018).
Keith Thompson, PhD
Professor and Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs
Dr. Thompson's research and teaching interests focus on structural concrete mechanics, bridge engineering, and infrastructure management. His research also includes the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in which he worked on projects related to curriculum development, methods of learning assessment, retention initiatives, and academic and career success for underrepresented minority, female, and first generation students in STEM fields.
Prior to joining UW-Platteville he taught at Penn State University and Auburn University. Dr. Thompson is a founding member of the Center for Infrastructure Transformation and Education (CIT-E).
Danny Xiao, PhD, PE
Dr. Xiao's research interests include pavement materials (aggregates, concrete, and asphalt mixtures), mechanistics empirical pavement design, and infrastructure asset management. He is currently investigating the impact of different deicing and anti-icing materials on the durability of concrete pavements, a research project sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Prior to joining UW-Platteville he worked as a transportation engineer and a research associate at the Louisiana Transportation Research Center and at the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.
Dr. Xiao serves as a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Flexible Pavement Design Committee and Statistical Methods Committee. He is a registered Professional Engineer and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).