Debra Reinhart

Assistant Vice President for the Office Research & Commercialization history month profiles

What is your current job title and responsibilities?
I am currently at the National Science Foundation as a program director for the Environmental Engineering Program.   This program has an annual budget of ~ 11M and a portfolio of ~ 160 awards.  At UCF, I am an Assistant VP for Research.  In this capacity I help faculty with research opportunities and support the VP for Research.  As a professor in the Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering Department, I teach and conduct research in the solid waste management field.

What is your history at UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
I graduated from FTU from the Civil and Env Engr Department.  I came back to UCF in 1989, moved through the ranks of Asst, Assoc, and Full Professor.  In 1994 I became Associate Dean of the CECS; I also served as interim Chair of CEE and interim director of the NSTC.

What is your favorite UCF memory?
My first day back from giving birth to my second child, my class gave me flowers and a card.

If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
Hire more faculty.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Have passion for whatever you do in life.  Don’t settle for a job you don’t like.

What is your favorite restaurant or food?
Anything with pasta in it.

What is your favorite book or movie or song?
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

 If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be?
An environmental engineering graduate fellowship.

If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF, who would you choose and why?
M.J. Soileau

Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
Marty Wanielista, Dean Emeritus of CECE

Name and describe a teacher from you past who truly inspired you.
Paul Hartman (deceased, faculty in CEE Dept when I was a student at FTU) was the best teacher I ever had.  He explained things so well and could understand what mistakes students would make and advise us around them.

What undergraduate class/program inspired you the most and why?
My physics courses at Rollins convinced me that I wanted to be an engineer.



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