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University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver - Undergraduate Viewbook

Faculty Profile

Stephan Durham

Stephan Durham
Stephan Durham, Assistant Professor

College of Engineering
and Applied Science
Assistant Professor
Civil Engineering



The best thing that could happen would be if students visited me in 10 or 15 years and said, “Thanks, I learned a lot; your class made me a better engineer." So I’m always looking for innovative ways to show how exciting subjects, such as even concrete and its importance as a structural material, can be. Yes, concrete! We drive on it, walk on it, work in it, live in it; you can make it any strength you want. So how do we improve it to improve our infrastructures, our cities, our homes? My students experimented to see how far concrete Frisbees can fly. Through a competition and subsequent analysis, they learned creative ways of making the disks lighter yet more durable. And, of course, they had a great time during the “launch sessions” on campus.

What I like about the University of Colorado Denver’s approach to the study of civil engineering is that students are able to start from a broad perspective and ground their studies with a strong core of engineering courses and ample hands-on research opportunities.

When I was 10 years old, my dad and I were driving down a street in my hometown in Arkansas; he pointed out a bridge, saying “I designed that.” I thought, how cool would that be, to become a structural engineer, too? Interconnected systems for buildings, bridges, dams, highways, pipelines, airports, rapid transit lines, pollution control systems and environmental remediation are part of the necessary fabric of keeping our cities and states running smoothly and efficiently. At UCD, we prepare students with the right skills and opportunities for today’s challenging job market. 

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