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The Department of Civil Engineering inaugurated its new building with classrooms, offices, and laboratories for research and the practical training of undergraduate and graduate students of the Faculty of Engineering and Science.

The inauguration of this new space for the Department of Civil Engineering of Universidad de La Frontera (UFRO) is an important milestone for the development of the undergraduate and graduate students and researchers of the Faculty of Engineering and Science.

These new classrooms and laboratories target the fields of soil mechanics, geophysics, hydrology, transportation, and structures, and reinforce the university’s commitment to academic excellence, offering its students and researchers a top-quality training to be able to face future challenges in the field of engineering.
“We will use these new installations for both undergraduate and graduate training and research. For this reason, it is a significant progress for our university, especially for our students – for their training and technical competence,” the deputy rector, Dr. Renato Hunter Alarcón, emphasized.

The dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Dr. Jorge Farías Avendaño, added that this infrastructure is a fundamental pillar for the students. “These new installations will allow them to better face new technologies in the field of construction and design, and to be successful in their future work environments,” he explained.

The project included the extension of the existing building’s second floor, with a workspace specifically for the administration of the department and offices for collaborative work of the department’s professionals and administrative staff; as well as the construction of an annex building with three floors. The first floor consists of laboratories for experimentation and analysis, the second floor offers spaces for research and academic development, with laboratories and classrooms for thesis students, and the third floor is designed to meet future academic needs, with an ideal environment for teaching, learning, and research.

This project started about ten years ago and was implemented under the leadership of Dr. Viviana Letelier González, who highlighted the work and support of the academics, professionals, and administrative staff behind this important initiative. “These new spaces position our Department of Civil Engineering not only at the regional level but also in the south of Chile. The new state-of-the-art equipment will allow us to provide high-quality training and research, thus contributing to the global state of knowledge,” she commented.

Undoubtedly, the most benefits are for the students, as for example Mariluz Huiriqueo Antivil, the head of the Civil Engineering Student Centre, who comments: “This magnificent equipment and the new installations are so important for our development as future professionals, and also for our practical training. We learn the theoretical part in the classroom and now, we can put that knowledge directly into practice. That is a great benefit that prepares us for our future work.”


During the inauguration activities, the civil engineer of Universidad de Chile with a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Washington (USA), Dr. René Garreaud Salazar, gave a lecture on “Atmospheric rivers: the good, the bad and the ugly…”. In his presentation, he explained the phenomena of atmospheric rivers in Chile and their meteorological relevance, as well as the characteristics of beneficial rivers in terms of their water balance and snow cover, and of extremely dangerous rivers and their consequences.

Written by: Melanie Tapia Caba
Faculty of Engineering and Science
Translated by: UFRO Communications Office