Thornton B229E
Thornton B229B
UVA CEM Program


Diana Franco Duran is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She manages the newly initiated Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) concentration. Dr. Franco Duran received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Universidad Industrial de Santander (Colombia). Her primary research interest is in engineering education, focusing on teaching and learning. Specifically, she is interested in:

  • Evaluating the impact of contemporary pedagogy on enhancing students’ learning process.
  • Understanding how to promote effective learning environments that help students to develop the competencies required by the construction industry.
  • Developing assessment forms that constitute evidence about the knowledge acquired and skills developed by students.


Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2020

M.S. Civil Engineering, Universidad Industrial de Santander, 2016

B.S. Civil Engineering, Universidad Industrial de Santander, 2013

The construction industry demands professionals and leaders that make substantial contributions to the field in both research and practice. Thus, the learning environment should guarantee that students will gain the knowledge and skills they need as future professionals.

Research Interests

Engineering Education
Teaching and Learning
Competency Development
Contemporary Pedagogy


UVA SoTL Scholar 2021–2022
Outstanding Reviewer. Journal of Civil Engineering Education – ASCE 2021
ASCE, JCEM Feature Paper: Review of Resource-Constrained Scheduling Algorithms. 2019
1st Place ACOFI Award: Engineering Teaching is Stuck in the Past: How to Move Forward from the Traditional and Obsolete Approach? 2018
3rd Place University Synchro Software Challenge: Improving Road Infrastructure and Minimizing Mobility Impacts by Accelerated Bridge Construction. 2018
Outstanding PhD Student: Vecellio Construction Engineering and Management Program. 2018