On Tuesday, November 19, 2013, Stephen E. Silliman, dean of Gonzaga University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, led a discussion ccalled “Reflections on Water in Benin, West Africa” in the McCarthey Athletic Center’s Herak Room for a free, public event sponsored by the Greater Gonzaga Guild.
A groundwater hydrologist, Silliman has traveled to Benin annually for more than 15 years to collaborate with experts at its national university on water resource management issues in both large cities and villages. In his former role as a professor and department chair at University of Notre Dame, and continuing as a Gonzaga dean, Silliman’s efforts to ensure safe drinking water for the people of Benin continues his professional focus on working for the common good. His talk covered what it takes to prepare engineering and science students to work in developing countries.
Recognized nationally for his teaching, service, and research, Silliman received the American Society for Engineering Education’s Outstanding Teaching Award as well as the ASEE’s Global Engineering and Engineering Technology Award. In 2011, he was selected as the National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation’s Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer in Ground Water Science, a program of international renown. He has presented speeches at more than 60 locations worldwide, including Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
Silliman holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Princeton University, and earned both a master’s of science and a Ph.D. from University of Arizona – both in hydrology. He has published and presented extensively on both groundwater flow and transport processes, and on engineering education.