Faculty Profile: Soheil Nazarian, Ph.D.
Last Updated on March 03, 2020 at 12:00 AM
Originally published March 03, 2020
By UC Staff
Soheil Nazarian, Ph.D., sees value in straying from textbooks as part of his teaching method in order to provide opportunities for his students to solve real-world engineering problems. The 35-year teaching veteran maintains that a good engineer is one that understands nuance in addition to the ability to solve equations.
Name: Soheil Nazarian
Department/College: Civil Engineering, College of Engineering
What do you teach? I primarily teach courses related to the fundamental behavior and design with and on soils and earth materials.
How long have you been a teacher? Since 1985 (about 35 years).
What’s your favorite classroom activity or teaching technique? Talking about real-world issues that are not covered in textbooks. Providing opportunities to graduate students to solve real-world problems.
What background and experience do you have in your field of study that benefits your students? Working in construction industry and with transportation departments throughout the world has given me a perspective that the engineering decisions have to be carefully thought through and are often nuanced. Just knowing the equations does not make you a good engineer.
What do your students like best about your classes? I guess the frequency of quizzes throughout the semester! Besides that, you need to ask them.
What do you love most about being a teacher? I enjoy interacting with the students and seeing them develop into confident and competent engineers. It makes my day when employers often compliment us about the quality of our students.
What are your hobbies? I am somewhere in the mountains every Saturday with a group of awesome friends. I enjoy going to the gym as often as possible. I travel any time I get the opportunity.
When you’re not teaching, grading or preparing for classes, what are you doing? I spend my time with my colleagues and students within and outside UTEP at the Center for Transportation Infrastructure Systems (CTIS) working on a number of externally funded research projects.
What’s your favorite place on campus? I enjoy the Centennial Plaza and the Rec Center.
What’s your favorite UTEP event, and why? The Civil Engineering Homecoming Lunch when I get an opportunity to see several hundred alumni. I also enjoy participating in the potlucks and other activities that our Transportation Leadership Council (TLC) puts together. My favorite is the Homecoming tailgating arranged by CTIS and TLC.What advice would you give to an incoming UTEP student? Be persistent and work hard.