Civil and Environmental Engineering

Contact Information

Kaven Hall, 201
Phone: +1-508-831-5492
Fax: +1-508-831-5808

Leonard D. Albano

I enjoy teaching civil engineering fundamentals in 1000 and 2000-level courses, and then revisiting those fundamentals in upper level and graduate courses as a base for presenting advanced topics and fostering deeper learning. This emphasis on fundamentals can be challenging to undergraduates because they may not appreciate the relevance. Consequently, I integrate design projects into my undergraduate coursework to provide a context for learning and to emphasize my expectations for learning and actively applying the course material.

I also work to align my approach to MQPs with my classroom philosophy, guiding students to build from their background learning experiences and to integrate new knowledge and skills. The key ideas for an MQP typically come from the students and their motivation to investigate certain aspects of civil engineering. Observing the evolution of an MQP from a few ideas in A term, to a substantial body of work and report by the end of C term is a wonderful experience, and the student energy on Project Presentation Day is invigorating.

Research Interests

  • Structural Fire Safety
  • Structural Engineering and Performance-based Design
  • Integration of Design and Construction
  • Structural Engineering Education


  • BS, Civil Engineering, Tufts University, 1982
  • MS, Civil Engineering, Northwestern University, 1983
  • PhD, Structural Engineering, MIT, 1992

Featured Publications

  • Quinn, K.A. and Albano, L.D. (2008). “Problem-Based Learning in Structural Engineering Education,” Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 134(4), pp. 329-334.
  • Albano, L.D. (2006). “Classroom Assessment and Redesign of an Undergraduate Steel Design Course: A Case Study,” Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 132(4), pp. 306-311.
  • Albano, L.D. and Fitzgerald. R.W. (2006). “Structural Design for Fire Conditions: Who Is Responsible?” Structure Magazine, May, pp. 14-15.
  • Johann, M.A., Albano, L.D., Fitzgerald, R.W., and Meacham, B.J. (2006). “Performance-Based Structural Fire Safety,” Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 20(1), pp. 45-53.
  • Moore, A.E., Albano, L.D., Fitzgerald, R.W., and Meacham, B.J. (2005). “Defining Design Fires for Structural Performance,” Metropolis & Beyond: Proceedings of the 2005 Structures Congress and the 2005 Forensic Engineering Symposium, April 20-24, 2005 , New York, NY, Reston, Va.: American Society of Civil Engineers.

Professional Highlights

  • 2000 Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Academic Distinguished Leadership Award, 1998
  • WPI Trustees Award for Outstanding Teaching,1996
  • WPI Tau Beta Pi Award for Academic Advising
  • P.E. Registration, Massachusetts
  • ASCE, Sigma Xi, Chi Epsilon, and Tau Beta Pi memberships
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