$100,000 CEI donation names UA facility conference room


Bentonville-based CEI Engineering Associates Inc. donated $100,000 to the University of Arkansas to support the new Grady E. Harvell Center for Civil Engineering Research and Education (CEREC). The $14 million facility’s student conference hall will be named CEI.

The 37,400 square foot research facility opened in the summer of 2021 at Arkansas Research and Technology Park. Harvell, a Little Rock-based businessman, earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1972 and is the president of W&W | AFCO Steel, based in Little Rock.

The CEI student conference room can accommodate 12 to 14 people and will be used for meetings with research sponsors and for the defenses of master’s and doctoral students. It will also allow virtual meetings and student defenses.

“One of CEI’s founders was a graduate of the University of Arkansas,” said CEI President and CEO Jeff Guerian. “Since then, hundreds of university alumni have followed in building and promoting our business. In partnership with CEI, these graduates continue to invest in and improve lives not only in Northwest Arkansas, but also have a platform to impact communities across the country. It is imperative to our mission that we continue to have access to the brightest and best students to challenge our thinking and keep our approach to problem solving fresh.

In addition to hosting several graduate-level courses, CEREC provides space for 15 faculty members and 75 students to conduct research.

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