$100K gift from CEI names UA facility’s conference room

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 589 views 

Bentonville firm CEI Engineering Associates Inc. donated $100,000 to the University of Arkansas to support the new Grady E. Harvell Civil Engineering Research and Education Center (CEREC). The $14 million facility’s student conference room will bear CEI’s name.

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

The CEI Student Conference Room seats 12 to 14 individuals and will be used for meetings with research sponsors and for master’s and doctoral student defenses. It will also allow for virtual meetings and student defenses.

“One of CEI’s founders was a University of Arkansas graduate,” CEI president and CEO Jeff Guerian said. “Since then, hundreds of the university’s alumni have followed in building and fostering our firm. Partnering with CEI, these graduates continue to invest in and improve life not only in Northwest Arkansas but have a platform to impact communities across the nation. 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.”

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