Patricia J. Culligan, dean of Notre Dame Engineering, receives 2021 H. Bolton Seed Medal for expanding boundaries of geoenvironmental and sustainability engineering

H. Bolton Seed Medal

Patricia J. Culligan, professor of civil engineering and the Matthew H. McCloskey dean of Notre Dame’s College of Engineering, is the recipient of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Geo-Institute’s 2021 H. Bolton Seed Medal.

The medal is awarded annually for outstanding contributions to teaching, research, or practice of geotechnical engineering, ordinarily for an individual’s cumulative distinguished contributions to the designated subject area.

Culligan was recognized for “expanding the boundaries of geoenvironmental and sustainability engineering to enhance human health and the environment.” She is the first woman to be awarded the Bolton Seed medal since it was established in 1993.

“It’s a great honor to receive this medal,” Culligan said. “I’m delighted to highlight the important role geotechnical engineers play in supporting human health and the environment.”

Patricia J. Culligan holding the H. Bolton Seed Medal

The Seed Medal is named for H. Bolton Seed (1922-1989), professor and member of the National Academy of Engineering, who is recognized for his contributions to geotechnical engineering.

Culligan became Dean of the Notre Dame College of Engineering in August 1, 2020. She previously was the Chair and Carleton Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University, as well as the founding associate director of Columbia’s Data Science Institute. She is internationally recognized for her expertise in water resources and environmental engineering. Her research focuses on sustainable urban infrastructure, social networks, and the application of advanced measurement and sensing technologies to improve water, energy, and environmental management.

Culligan is a Chartered Engineer registered with the UK Engineering Council, and she is a Fellow of both the American Society of Engineers and the British Institution of Civil Engineers.

She presented (virtually) the 2021 Seed Lecture, titled “Quantifying the Performance of Urban Green Infrastructure,” on May 13 as part of the International Foundation and Construction Equipment Expo (IFCEE) 2021 conference. Watch the 2021 Seed Lecture (video).

— Joan Fallon, College of Engineering