University of New Orleans civil engineering professor Norma Jean Mattei has been appointed interim dean of the College of Engineering. She takes over for Emir Macari, who stepped down earlier this month after three years as dean.
Mattei has been a faculty member in the department of civil and environmental engineering since 1995. She has held a number of leadership positions in the college and with national organizations. Mattei is the immediate past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers. When she became president in 2017, she was only the third woman in the 163-year history of the organization to hold the prestigious post. Last year Mattei was the first woman selected as a national honor member of Chi Epsilon, an honor society for civil engineering students and professionals. Of the more than 114,000 Chi Epsilon members nationwide, Mattei is the 64th to have been elevated to national honor member status.
Mattei is also serving a 9-year term as one of three civilian engineers on the Mississippi River Commission. In that role, she advises Congress and the executive branch on matters related to the Mississippi River watershed, from its headwaters in Minnesota to the Louisiana delta. She has served the state of Louisiana as a member of its licensing board for professional engineers and land surveyors and currently sits on the nominating committee for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority, the entity charged with maintaining the physical and operational integrity of the regional flood control and risk reduction system. She held multiple positions within the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) and is now an emeritus member, and she has been active in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) as well on the boards of several STEM-related educational organizations.
Mattei previously served as both department chair and interim dean of the College of Engineering. She was a design and project engineer in the New Orleans area before entering academia. Her technical research interests include large watershed management, material and structural testing, sustainable reuse of spent construction/fabrication materials, and residual stress measurement.