Rachel Adams, recent graduate of the School of Civil and Construction Engineering, examines a structure in Nepal, following the 2015 Gorkha earthquake.

Earthquake Spectra, a leading journal on geotechnical engineering, recently published an article by Ben Mason, associate professor of geotechnical engineering in Oregon State University’s College of Engineering, recent graduate Rachel Adams, and colleagues from Caltech and Nepal. The article, Observations and simulations of basin effects in the Kathmandu Valley during the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake sequence, describes the Kathmandu Valley geology, analyzes motion from the initial earthquake and aftershocks, and identifies different factors responsible for the unusual ground motion that occurred in the region.

While publishing as a co-author is an accomplishment on its own, Adams had other notable achievements while at Oregon State.

During her graduate work, Adams accompanied Mason, her major advisor, on two research trips to Nepal. Their first trip occurred on the one-year anniversary of the Gorkha earthquake where Adams and Mason attended a workshop – with attendees from throughout the world – focused on reconstruction efforts. Through the gathering, they connected with Nepalese engineering professionals from government, academia, and industry who were eager to stay up to date on the best practices for their field.

“There is a large desire to improve education for engineering students and professionals, and consequently make improvements to infrastructure design and construction,” said Adams.

Through connections made with Nepalese colleagues, Mason and Adams identified topics for an earthquake engineering workshop, aimed at sharing current best practices on U.S. geotechnical engineering methods. In September of 2016, Mason, Adams, and researchers from other U.S. universities, presented the workshop at the National Society for Earthquake Technology – Nepal in Kathmandu.

“It was so valuable to interact with the engineering professionals in Nepal, and see their unique challenges for site investigations and construction in the very dense Kathmandu Valley,” said Adams. “We were there not only to teach and help to improve conditions, but to learn from them as well.”

Adams, who was an Evans Fellow in Oregon State’s Humanitarian Engineering program, participated in the Nepal activities with funding from the Evans Family Fellowship. The program supports research and travel for graduate work in humanitarian engineering through a generous donation from Dick and Gretchen Evans.

Much of the research in the Earthquake Spectra article employed data from previous trips to Nepal by Mason and the article’s lead author, Domniki Asimaki of Caltech. Together, they collected perishable data immediately following the earthquake – in an activity known as earthquake reconnaissance. As part of her graduate research, Adams worked with Mason and Asimaki on processing and reducing the data and making subsequent observations and interpretations. Essentially, the team investigated how the geology of the Kathmandu Valley changed the recorded earthquake motions, which is particularly relevant for the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

For Adams, who began her academic career at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon, the quest for knowledge and helping others took her to unexpected places.

“It was amazing to be able to be submerged in a culture so different from the U.S., but also discover that the people there had many of the same goals as us,” said Adams. “They have proved to be an extremely resilient community, which is a great example for the Pacific Northwest with the impending Cascadia Subduction Zone event.”

Earthquake Spectra, the professional journal of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), is published quarterly in both printed and online editions in February, May, August, and November. EERI established Earthquake Spectra with the purpose of improving the practice of earthquake hazards mitigation, preparedness, and recovery.

In September 2017, the School of Civil and Construction Engineering recognized three faculty members for their contributions to students and the greater school.

Meghna Babbar-Sebens, associate professor of water resources engineering received the CCE Award for Excellence in Partnering, Andre Barbosa, assistant professor of structural engineering, the CCE Award for Research Excellence, and Kenny Martin, senior instructor, the CCE Award for Teaching Excellence.

Babbar-Sebens leads a $1.5 million project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The grant is part of the new NSF-USDA INFEWS program focused on accelerating discovery and innovation at the nexus of food, energy, and water systems. The project is a collaboration between Oregon State and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis IUPUI and at OSU, Babbar-Sebens collaborates with Ganti Murthy, associate professor in biological and ecological engineering, Jenna Tilt, assistant professor in geography, and Jeff Reimer, associate professor of applied economics. At IUPUI, Babbar-Sebens is working with Snehasis Mukhopadhyay and Arjan Durresi, both professors of computer and information science.

In summer 2017, Barbosa along with Oregon State colleagues and researchers from partner universities put an innovative two-story structure made of cross-laminated timber (known as CLT) panels through a series of seismic tests to determine how it would perform in an earthquake. The tests were conducted at the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure at University of California San Diego (NEHRI@UCSD) site, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. Through the tests, they produced data that can be used in the design of a new generation of wood-frame high-rises, such as a four-story parking structure designed for Springfield, Oregon, and the 12-story Framework building in Portland. Scheduled to open in 2018, the 90,000-square-foot Framework structure will be the tallest mass-timber building in the United States.

Martin teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in engineering mechanics and structural engineering. In addition to teaching courses in statics, wood design, and temporary structures, Martin serves as a mentor and advisor to a number of graduate students, who appreciate his efforts greatly. “I really like Kenny Martin,” said student Alyssa Martin. “I had him for statics and he was one of the ones that really worked with me, just to kind of make sure I understood the whole concept of statics – and that you carry with you.”

These three faculty members are working to establish OSU as the partner of choice, lead research that will change the world, and provide a transformational experience for students – and ultimately create a better future.

Congratulations! The Oregon State University student team of Nathan Jones and Alessandra Hossley took first place, earning the Mohr-Circle Award in the 2017 GeoPrediction competition at the annual meeting of the ASCE Geo-Institute. Oregon State has won first place three out of the past four years in the competition, taking home the first place trophy in 2014, 2016, and 2017.

The objective of the GeoPrediction competition is for student teams to develop an accurate prediction of geotechnical behavior given detailed information regarding subsurface, boundary, and initial conditions, as well as the geotechnical, structural, and hydraulic loading. After developing their prediction, student teams present their methodology and findings to a panel of judges comprised of geotechnical practitioners and faculty.

2017 GeoPrediction Competition
The student team of Nathan Jones and Alessandra Hossley took first place, earning the Mohr-Circle Award in the 2017 GeoPrediction competition at the annual meeting of the ASCE Geo-Institute.

“The 2017 GeoPrediction challenged student teams, consisting of one graduate and one undergraduate student, to predict the time-settlement performance and lateral deformation of a highway embankment constructed over soft, compressible clays, using surcharge pre-loading and prefabricated vertical drains,” said Jones, a master’s student in geotechnical engineering. “Estimates of embankment settlement were made at 10, 20, and 30 days after construction began, while lateral displacements of the embankment toe were made to 50-feet below the existing ground surface.”

Advised by Armin Stuedlein, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, Jones and fellow team member Hossley, who is pursuing a dual bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and forest engineering, began working on their prediction in September 2016 and submitted their detailed report in January. OSU was one of eight teams selected to attend the conference and compete for the Mohr-Circle Award.

“This was my first time participating in the GeoPrediction competition and I enjoyed the experience of synthesizing a variety of data for the prediction as well as the overall experience of presenting at a professional conference,” said Hossley.

University of Texas at Arlington placed second and the Middle Eastern Technical University of Ankara, Turkey placed third.

View the student team research poster.

Congratulations to transportation engineering graduate students Jason Anderson and Masoud Ghodrat Abadi. The Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (Pactrans) formally recognized Anderson as an Outstanding Student of the Year and Abadi as the winner of the Michael Kyte Award at the Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting.

Anderson is a graduate research assistant in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering. Previously, he completed his bachelor of science and master of science at Oregon State and is now in the first year of his doctoral studies. Anderson’s current research interests include transportation safety through use of behavior modeling and network design and resiliency using operations research methods.

“Jason’s determination and skill have contributed to the success of many of the projects that he has worked on,” said David Hurwitz, associate professor of transportation engineering. “For example, in a recent study, he implemented statistical techniques to determine where large-truck crashes were likely to occur in their relation to existing parking facilities on U.S. 97.”

Ghodrat Abadi is a third year transportation engineering Ph.D. student and currently serves as a graduate research assistant in the Driving and Bicycling Research Laboratory.

“Masoud embodies all of the characteristics expected in a recipient of this prestigious award,” said Hurwitz. “The Michael Kyte award places a particular emphasis on contributions to transportation engineering education, and he has repeatedly demonstrated exemplary performance leading individual lectures in civil engineering classes.”

Since joining Hurwitz’s research group, Ghodrat Abadi has served as the lead graduate student on three significant research projects including an NSF-funded study to develop conceptual traffic signal questions founded in qualitative engineering education research methods, an ODOT-funded study to design an improved red light extension system for isolated signalized intersections, and a PacTrans-funded study to evaluate conflicts between trucks and bikes in loading zones in urban environments.

Ghodrat Abadi is a current member of the TRB Committee on Transportation Education and Training, vice president of the OSU ITE Student Chapter, and served as a co-chair for the 2015 Region X Student conference.

PacTrans, of which Oregon State is a member, is a consortium of transportation professionals and educators from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho and is the Regional University Transportation Center (UTC) for Federal Region 10. Through the UTC program, the USDOT awards grants to universities across the U.S. to advance state-of-the-art transportation research and develop the next generation of transportation professionals – of which Anderson and Ghodrat Abadi are well on their way to becoming.

The Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans), of which Oregon State University is a member, was awarded $14.35 million over 5 years from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to fund research toward improving the mobility of people and goods across the Pacific Northwest.

PacTrans is a consortium of transportation professionals and educators from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho and is the Regional University Transportation Center (UTC) for Federal Region 10. Through the UTC program, the USDOT awards grants to universities across the U.S. to advance state-of-the-art transportation research and develop the next generation of transportation professionals. PacTrans focuses on using technological advances to develop data-driven, sustainable solutions for the diverse transportation needs of the region.

“This new grant will serve as a force multiplier for the impact of transportation mobility research currently taking place at Oregon State University,” said David Hurwitz, associate professor of transportation engineering and associate director at Oregon State for PacTrans. “The traveling public in Oregon – and the Pacific Northwest more broadly – will benefit directly from these efforts.”

“Through this grant, Oregon State will conduct further world-class research toward increasing mobility and accessibility,” said Jason Weiss, professor and head of the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State’s College of Engineering. “Our region presents diverse challenges and this award will contribute to optimizing freight and passenger movement, connecting rural and urban communities, and more.”

Previous research at Oregon State funded through PacTrans includes improving cyclist safety by considering levels of stress, evaluating the potential to perform bridge inspections with unmanned aerial vehicles, preventing accidents during the construction of transportation infrastructure, and reducing the occurrence of lane departure crashes.

The University of Washington leads PacTrans. Other university partners include Boise State University, Gonzaga University, Oregon State University, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Idaho, and Washington State University.

During October, 22 graduate students in transportation engineering traveled to Washington where they participated in two conferences. On Friday, Oct. 14, they attended the PacTrans Annual Meeting on the University of Washington campus and on Saturday, Oct. 15 the Region 10 University Transportation Center (UTC) student conference. At both events, students gained professional experience by attending technical sessions, networking with regional transportation professionals, and presenting in hybrid poster sessions.

PacTrans is a consortium of transportation professionals and educators from five universities located around the Pacific Northwest. It focuses on using technological advances to develop data-driven, sustainable solutions for the diverse transportation needs of the region. This year, Haizhong Wang, assistant professor in transportation engineering served as the OSU representative on the organizing committee for the annual meeting, which had 217 registered participants plus additional attendees joining throughout the day.

Through the UTC program, the U.S. Department of Transportation awards grants to universities across the U.S. to advance the state-of-the-art in transportation research and develop the next generation of transportation professionals.

The Region 10 UTC student conference is unique in that it is planned entirely for students, by students. The goal is to provide a conference geared toward students’ needs, particularly those who plan to enter engineering practice following graduation. Zachary Barlow, a second year master’s student working with David Hurwitz, associate professor of transportation engineering and associate director of PacTrans, served on the conference organizing committee. OSU ITE student chapter members – led by graduate student David Covey, second year master’s student working with Erdem Coleri, assistant professor in infrastructure materials and transportation engineering – also contributed to the success of the trip by coordinating travel logistics for the large group.

OSU earned high marks at the student conference with Hisham Jashami, a second-year PhD student in transportation engineering who also works with Hurwitz, receiving first place in the student poster competition. The awards were determined by a voting committee comprised of Washington State Department of Transportation employees and student participants.

Thanks to events such as these, OSU students have impactful, experiential learning opportunities, which contribute to their success while in school – and beyond.

Merrick HallerMerrick Haller, professor of coastal and ocean engineering and associate head of graduate affairs, has been awarded a 5-year, $1.4 million research grant from the Office of Naval Research to investigate hazardous tidal currents in coastal inlets. Under the grant, “MINERS: Multiple Inlet & Estuary Remote Sensing,” Haller and David Honegger, postdoctoral scholar in the Nearshore Remote Sensing Group, will collect radar observations at seven inlets and estuaries across the U.S. for the purpose of better understanding the dynamic current fronts that develop on the ebbing and flooding tides and how they impact the U.S. Navy’s undersea acoustics operations.

“This is an exciting project for us for several reasons,” said Haller. “Navigational inlets are dynamic places that are often dangerous for fishing boats and cargo ships, so our observations will contribute to improved maritime safety. The U.S. Navy is also interested in these data because they show how fresh water coming out of the estuaries interacts with the salty ocean water forming internal tidal bores. These highly turbulent features are hazards to underwater vehicles and disrupt underwater acoustic communication systems.”

Haller joined Oregon State in 2001. He teaches hydraulics, coastal engineering, and ocean wave mechanics. His research program centers around the remote sensing of waves and currents in the nearshore ocean in order to better understand and forecast coastal hazards such as rip currents and breaking waves. Other efforts relate to the interaction between waves and wave energy converters and quantifying the downstream effects of wave energy arrays.

2016 ITE Transportation Education Council Innovation in Education Award At the August 2016 Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) international annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif., four members of the ITE University Transportation Curriculum Project (UTCP) including David Hurwitz, associate professor in transportation engineering, received the Transportation Education Council Innovation in Education award. Hurwitz, along with project members Kristen Sanford Bernhardt, Rod Turochy, and Rhonda Young received the national honor in recognition of their innovative work over the last seven years on challenges related to undergraduate transportation engineering education.

The group tackled their project by identifying barriers to the adoption of improved and innovative teaching methods, developing course materials, and building of a community of practice for transportation educators throughout the country. The group received their award not only for their innovative methods but also for their perseverance in absence of a funding stream.

“It has been a personally and professionally rewarding experience working with my colleagues, Drs. Young, Turochy, and Sanford Bernhardt, to produce an educational impact worthy of national recognition,” said Hurwitz.

University-based transportation engineering education plays an important role in the recruitment and development of transportation professionals. Through their efforts, the UTCP is working to attract and retain undergraduate transportation engineering students and better prepare them for practice or graduate school.

Big Beam 2016Oregon State University earned third place among competitors throughout North America at the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Big Beam Contest. The contest objective is for student teams to fabricate and test a precast/prestressed concrete beam with the help of local PCI members. The beam must be made primarily of concrete without any trusses, arches, or other non-flexural members. Prizes are awarded to the top 20 performers in consideration of efficient design, highest load capacity, and other categories.

The Oregon State team from the College of Engineering’s School of Civil and Construction Engineering was comprised of Tyler Oathes, Cody Tibbits, Neil Schweitzer, Taylor Kiefel, Anh Nguyen, and Jonathan Kopp with faculty advisor Keith Kaufman, and PCI producer Knife River – Prestress of Harrisburg, Ore.

Congratulations to the students on an outstanding performance and thank you to PCI producer Knife River for your continued support of student learning at Oregon State.

 

2017 National Student Steel Bridge CompetitionOregon State University is pleased to host the 2017 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC), May 26-27, 2017. The event, which began in the 1980s as a competition between three universities, is a cooperative effort between the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In advance of the national event, 18 ASCE student chapters host conference competitions with approximately 200 schools from throughout North America participating. The top teams from the conference competitions advance to the national competition.

This national competition provides students with:

  • design and management experience
  • the opportunity to learn fabrication processes
  • the excitement of networking with and competing against teams from other colleges and universities

At the NSSBC, student teams erect and test bridges that they have designed and fabricated to meet client specifications while optimizing performance and economy. Steel Bridge teams compete to be the best in aesthetics, lightness, stiffness, construction speed, construction economy, and structural efficiency. As the national host school, Oregon State students will lead the event planning and work with faculty advisors on fundraising, recruitment of judges, publicity, facilities and contracts, program, technical set-up, registration, and volunteer coordination.

Student Directors

Chelsea Farnsworth and Oscar Gayet

ASCE Student Chapter Faculty Advisor

Tom Miller

OSU NSSBC Faculty Advisor

Judy Liu

Coleri_Spotlight_16_17In his research, Assistant Professor Erdem Coleri explores sustainable pavement materials, energy-efficient pavement design strategies, and infrastructure health monitoring using wireless sensor networks – research that has immediate and practical applications and results in savings for road users and governmental agencies.

Coleri, who received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, joined Oregon State University in September 2014 after working as a postdoctoral scholar and a project scientist at the University of California Pavement Research Center and as a consultant for a wireless traffic detection system provider. Coleri credits the encouragement of others for placing him on his career path. “I was inspired to pursue engineering by my sister Sinem Coleri Ergen who is also a professor at Koc University now” said Coleri. “She is an accomplished electrical engineer and was my role model as I began my studies in college.”

Coleri earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. It was during an internship at University of California, Berkeley that another role model, Dr. Carl Monismith – known to many as the grandfather of pavement engineering – encouraged Coleri to obtain his Ph.D. in that field. “Prior to working with Dr. Carl Monismith and Dr. Bor-Wen Tsai at UC Pavement Research Center, I had not planned on a career in research and academia, but my experience with them inspired me to pursue my doctorate.”

In his current research, Coleri is in phase two of a project for the California Department of Transportation, where he is modeling the effects of different pavement types on vehicle fuel economy under a sub award from UC Davis. Ultimately, their research could lead to improved roads and improved fuel economy.

In another recent project, Coleri and his research group are working with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to develop low cost methods to improve tack coat performance for highway structures. Tack coat is a critical layer of adhesive that is applied between the layers of a road. There are major budget implications for improperly applying tack coats during construction – a road that is expected to last 20 years may only last seven. To assist in the road construction process, Coleri developed a user-friendly smartphone app in collaboration with a student from the OSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The app predicts the tack coat set time after the user enters the temperature, emulsion type, rate, and wind speed. Coleri and his research group also recently developed two field test devices, the Oregon Field Tack Coat Tester and Oregon Field Toque Tester, which evaluate the long-term performance and bond strength of tack coats without destructively removing core samples from the roadway. Additionally, in their newly relocated and updated pavement lab, Coleri and his group are working on two ODOT projects to improve performance of recycled asphalt pavements and reduce cracking of pavement structures.

Prior to his current research, Coleri worked toward developing a wireless sensor network that estimates the weight of moving vehicles from the pavement vibrations caused by vehicular motion. To classify the vehicles and estimate weights, a server processes wireless output from a network of sensors that measure pavement vibration and vehicle speed.

Through these and other efforts, Coleri’s research is helping to increase efficiency and safety in the fields of pavements, transportation, and materials. In recognition of his work, Coleri was named the OSU John and Jean Loosely Faculty Fellow in 2016 – and is on his way to becoming a role model for early career engineers.

Masoud Ghodrat Abadi
Ph.D. Student Masoud Ghodrat Abadi
Zach Barlow
M.S. Student Zach Barlow

Two CCE graduate students in transportation engineering have been named to standing committees of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). Ph.D. student Masoud Ghodrat Abadi is a member of the Committee on Education and Training and M.S. student Zach Barlow is a member of the Committee on Transportation History.

“Attaining formal membership on a standing committee sponsored by the Transportation Research Board is a significant recognition for any transportation professional,” said Associate Professor David Hurwitz. “The recent appointment of the two students is indicative of the strength of their early career performance.”

The mission of the TRB is to promote innovation and progress in transportation through research. Standing committees identify research needs and priorities, review papers, encourage the incorporation of research findings into practice, and develop special programs such as conferences and workshops.

The Committee on Transportation History promotes the importance of preserving important historical archives among transportation professionals. It also serves as a forum for historians, curators, and governmental archivists to exchange information and advance the preservation of transportation history.

“It is a privilege to work alongside professionals with diverse talents who are all committed to preserving and documenting transportation history for future generations,” said Barlow. “As the youngest member of the committee, I am excited to learn from the more experienced members and gain a greater appreciation for the multi-disciplinary nature of the transportation industry.”

The Committee on Education and Training works to improve communications among the academic community, the private and public sectors, and governmental agencies and works to develop improved educational offerings at all academic levels.

“It is a great honor to serve as a young member on the committee,” said Abadi. “It is also a tremendous opportunity for me to gain valuable experience through active collaboration with experts and professionals in the field of transportation education.”

Abadi and Barlow are advised by Hurwitz and are part of the Hurwitz Research Group in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering.

Shane Brown

As an engineering professional who spent five years in private practice prior to earning his Ph.D., Associate Professor Shane Brown knows first-hand about the skills, concepts, and qualities needed to thrive as a practicing engineer. In his research, Brown aims to identify new ways to help students understand the fundamental concepts they will need to succeed in the engineering workplace.

Brown, who earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Oregon State, joined CCE in 2014 after teaching at Washington State University and managing projects at private firms. His research examines why particular engineering concepts are harder to learn than others and how educational institutions can develop environments that facilitate understanding, particularly within solid and fluid mechanics and transportation. He also explores differences in ways of knowing and how core concepts are used in engineering practice.

Currently, Brown is working with 20 researchers and engineering instructors from different colleges and universities to discover new teaching approaches for the course Mechanics of Materials. Specifically, the project will help students acquire a deeper understanding of fundamental engineering concepts such as stress, strain, and equilibrium – concepts that play a vital role in the safety of the built environment. “Theoretical contributions related to learning fundamental engineering concepts and the link between education and practice are vital to preparing students for an innovative and creative workforce,” said Brown.

In another effort to enhance instruction, Brown serves as co-principal investigator for ESTEME@OSU, a project supported by the Nation Science Foundation which is working to broadly implement innovative evidence-based instructional practices – specifically, interactive engagement in lecture and formal cooperative learning – into core biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and physics undergraduate courses. Last year, Brown also led the development of a new Engineering Education research program in CCE. Engineering Education offers master of science, master of engineering, and doctoral degrees and focuses on understanding and improving student learning in engineering and better aligning engineering education with engineering practice.

In recognition of these many contributions to student learning, Brown received the OSU Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in September 2015. Among the reasons he was selected for the honor include his exceptional effort to ensure the quality of the students’ classroom experience and his direct and significant impact upon and involvement with students.

In addition to obtaining a thorough understanding of the fundamental concepts of their field, Brown said, “I recommend that students meet professionals. Ask them what they do to be successful. Be an advocate for yourself.”

1015_Spotlight_BorelloAssistant Professor Daniel Borello joined the structural engineering program at CCE in 2014 after earning his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Since I am the product of two teachers, I have always had a passion for education,” said Borello. “I entered college with the goal of becoming a physics teacher, however, my career path changed when I was inspired by the application of physics in structural engineering.”

Today, Borello combines experimental testing and numerical simulations to study the behavior of large structures, particularly steel buildings. “I’ve always been drawn to large structures,” said Borello. His other research interests are in sustainable infrastructure and mitigating the impact of earthquakes through innovative, replaceable structural systems including steel plate shear walls, self-centering systems, and supplemental energy dissipation devices. “By facilitating economical yet resilient materials and systems, I aim to enhance the life cycle and safety of large structures while improving access to such structures in developing countries,” he added.

Borello also aims to enhance access to critical information in the event of a natural disaster. Last year, he served as the primary investigator on a project funded by the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium which proposes to develop a low-cost wireless sensor to assess the condition of bridges following a natural hazard. Using off-the-shelf hardware, Borello will configure sensors to measure structural demands and develop models that will predict damage based on the measurements. The sensor could be widely deployed throughout the Pacific Northwest to provide first responders immediate information on the state of major transportation routes.

In addition to conducting research, Borello teaches Design of Steel Structures to junior and senior students and Advanced Steel Design at the graduate level. Recalling his own first term of his master’s program, Borello advises students to “enjoy the opportunity to spend undivided attention on your research – don’t waste it!”

Borello also encourages undergraduates to get involved with activities and to “reach out to faculty if you need it. We’re here to help you succeed.”

Chris BellA familiar presence in every corner of campus, Associate School Head Chris Bell’s 35-year career at Oregon State has taken him from CCE to the College of Engineering to INTO OSU – and even to Reser Stadium, where he serves as chief marshal of the annual commencement ceremony.

Originally from England, Bell received his Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham. “I’ve been a transportation fanatic since I was eight years old,” said Bell. After earning his doctoral degree, he served as a lecturer at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

“My Ph.D. research was sponsored by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers on the permanent deformation of asphalt pavements,” said Bell. “At the time, the research was more sought after in the U.S. than in the U.K., and through my advisor, I had an opportunity to connect with Gary Hicks at OSU.”

In 1981, Bell joined OSU as a visiting professor in CCE, specializing in highway and transportation engineering. In 1983, he was hired as a regular assistant professor.

After earning a promotion to professor and directing the Transportation Research Institute for six years, Bell transitioned to the College of Engineering in 1997 as an associate dean, where he managed internships, awards, and international programs as well as graduate studies and industry relations. Following 11 years in that role, Bell became the director of academic programs for INTO OSU, an initiative that began in 2008 with a mission to increase the number of international students and to improve the overall level of service for that population. Not long after completing his three-year tenure, INTO OSU succeeded in more than doubling the number of international students, exceeding the university’s goals.

“My job was to take the lead on the academic programs for the INTO OSU program,” said Bell. “It was a gratifying project to work on and it was a really good thing for OSU.”

In 2011, Bell returned to CCE as associate school head, with research interests in pavement materials and design, pavement-vehicle interaction, and truck operations and safety. Soon after his return, OSU was invited to join the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans) – one of 10 Regional University Transportation Centers nationwide – which was established in 2012 with an initial grant of $3.5 million from the US Department of Transportation. Bell is now finishing his term as the PI for OSU’s PacTrans efforts and as a member of the board of directors. “The universities in the PacTrans consortium have contributed heavily in safety and environmental sustainability research to address both regional and national transportation issues,” said Bell.

The current PacTrans project portfolio at OSU spans a variety of focus areas, not just transportation engineering. Examples of this research are the use of mobile lidar to identify potential landslide locations and drones to perform highway bridge inspections.

“I’m excited about what we do in this school – a lot of our research plays into transportation and to making major contributions in civil engineering as a whole,” said Bell.

Through his various roles on campus, Bell will leave a long legacy of outstanding contributions to our students and the university. As he retires in June 2016, be sure to see him one last time as chief marshal, when he leads the commencement procession for thousands of graduates, which in his own words, “is an amazing day with everyone so excited and upbeat about graduating.”

Geo_Video_0316 (1 of 1)Geo_0216 (2 of 2) copy

CCE student teams won first place in two competitions at the Geotechnical and Structural Engineering Congress held February 14-17, 2016 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Mentored by faculty member Ben Mason, the GeoVideo student team of Youssef Bougataya, David Bailey, Rachel Adams, and Sharoo Shrestha placed first for their video, “Soil Structure Interaction During Earthquakes.” The GeoVideo competition received 10 entries with six invited to present at the congress.

“During earthquake shaking, buildings interact with the soil they sit atop, and the soil interacts with the buildings it supports, which is a phenomenon called seismic soil-structure interaction. During many seismic design scenarios, the potential effects of seismic soil-structure interaction, regardless of whether the effects are beneficial, neutral, or detrimental, are ignored,” said Mason. “The students did an excellent job communicating why seismic soil-structure interaction effects are important using a table top demonstration. I look forward to showing their video during my classes.”

In the GeoPrediction competition, the CCE team of Bougataya and Nathan Jones won first place out of nine presenting teams and 18 international submissions. For the competition, teams were required to predict the deflection profile of a 90-foot-deep, tied-back excavation in downtown Seattle, constructed in 2004. In scoring, the prediction and documentation in the report was worth 75 percent and the presentation of the work was worth 25 percent. The team was advised by CCE faculty member Armin W. Stuedlein and three geotechnical practitioners and professors scored the presentations. Each team had 5 to 10 minutes to present their work and answered technical questions for 5 minutes following presentations. Arizona State University took second place and Middle East Technical University of Ankara, Turkey placed third.

“The students faced tough competition, but worked diligently to study the difficult geology of Seattle and how the history of glaciation impacted the strength and stiffness of the soil being excavated,” said Stuedlein. “According to the lead designer of the deep excavation, OSU’s team produced a better lateral displacement profile than their own models, calibrated with 40 years of experience in that geology!”

The congress was unique this year in that the Geo-Institute (G-I) and Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) came together to create the first-of-its-kind congress by combining both institutes’ annual conferences into one event.

Congratulations to the teams on an excellent job well done!

SURF 2016

CCE is pleased to announce the new Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, which will provide approximately 10 fellowships to support hands-on research toward increasing community resilience in response to Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquakes and tsunamis. During the seven-week program, students will participate in a specific project related to CSZ hazards, learn about engineering for natural hazards resilience, and develop research skills to increase graduate school opportunities.

Application deadline: Friday, Mar. 11, 2016, 1 p.m.

Learn more and apply: cce.oregonstate.edu/surf2016

Andy Truong
Andy Truong

In December, CCE student Andy Truong was named a recipient of the 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Leadership Award. Out of the 328 ASCE student chapters, 12 Student Leadership Awards were awarded – 10 domestic and two international – based on the strength of the nomination form, without regard to region.

The ASCE Student Leadership Award is granted to an ASCE student member who has demonstrated leadership in a chapter through various activities such as serving as an officer, leading special events, and interacting with university administration. During the past three years, Andy has served the chapter in three key officer positions and as co-captain and captain of the ASCE concrete canoe team. In the role of captain, Andy not only introduced an innovative construction technique but also initiated new methods of team communication and organization.

Congratulations to Andy on this outstanding achievement!

Jason H. IdekerAssociate Professor Jason H. Ideker has been appointed to the editorial board of Cement and Concrete Research, a leading journal which aims to publish the best research on cement, cement composites, concrete, and other allied materials that incorporate cement.

The journal is designed to reflect current developments and advances being made in the general field of cement-concrete composites technology and in the production, use, and performance of cement-based construction materials.

“As a long-time reviewer for CCR, I am really excited to be appointed to the editorial board. It represents a great challenge but also an opportunity to shape the quality and content of our technical publications in the field of cement and concrete science and engineering,” said Ideker.

Ideker is the second representative from Oregon State on the editorial board; School Head Jason Weiss also serves as a member.

Ideker’s research interests are in the area of early-age volumetric change of cement-based materials and concrete durability. His research group investigates ways to reduce early-age cracking in high performance concrete and to understand volumetric change in alternative cementitious systems. As an internationally recognized expert in alkali-silica reaction (ASR), Ideker and his team explore ways to improve and develop new ASR test methods that accurately reflect field performance.

Amber BergerAfter earning her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Washington State University, School of Civil and Construction Engineering Instructor Amber Berger worked for eight years in private industry, earning her Professional Engineer license in 2010. As a structural engineer in Seattle, Berger developed structural plans and coordinated comprehensive building designs for a variety of projects including the Nintendo of America corporate headquarters.

Following her time in Washington, Berger worked at NuScale Power in Corvallis as a civil structural engineer, writing and reviewing nuclear building design criteria. “Working on nuclear projects at NuScale was a totally different ballgame than my previous experience,” said Berger. NuScale designs small modular reactor nuclear plants; a technology initially developed at the Oregon State University.

After gaining experience in private industry, Berger returned to academia in 2014, completing a Master of Science in Civil Engineering with Professor Shane Brown. In her research, Berger studied whether or not engineering students understand critical concepts in their field, with a thesis titled “Student Misconceptions in Axial, Bending, and Torsional Load Cases.”

Today, Berger teaches students – and works to help them understand the concepts they need to know for their careers – in CEM 383 Structures and Orange LEAP. “I like to connect the classroom to the field and use real-world examples of applications rather than just math in my instruction,” said Berger.

Orange LEAP is new to CCE this fall and is a series of classes aimed at increasing the number and diversity of engineering graduates. The courses are designed for students with less math experience than traditional engineering students and features application-oriented, hands-on approaches that teach the most relevant math used in core engineering courses.

Through both her personal teaching style and the new Orange LEAP curriculum, Berger plays an important role in increasing the number of motivated and successful CCE graduates.

Associate Professor of Geomatics Michael Olsen
Associate Professor of Geomatics Michael Olsen

This year, Associate Professor of Geomatics Michael Olsen was named editor-in-chief of the ASCE Journal of Surveying Engineering. The Journal of Surveying Engineering is the leading journal in the field and covers the broad spectrum of surveying and mapping activities encountered in modern practice as well the role of surveying engineering professionals in an information society.

“I am honored by this opportunity to serve as editor of the prestigious Journal of Surveying Engineering,” said Olsen. “I am excited to help the journal continue to advance and incorporate the latest innovative research in geomatics and its important role and impacts throughout engineering and many other fields.”

Olsen’s current areas of research include terrestrial laser scanning, remote sensing, GIS, earthquake engineering, hazard mapping, and 3D visualization. He teaches geomatics engineering courses at OSU where he has developed innovative courses in 3D laser scanning, Digital Terrain Modeling, and Building Information Modeling.

While completing her undergraduate studies in pulp and paper engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology – Roorkee, India, CCE Assistant Professor Meghna Babbar-Sebens became keenly aware of water management issues and identified her interest in water resources and environmental systems analysis.

“My undergraduate studies triggered a passion to pursue a career that would address issues related to sustainable management of water in our environment,” said Babbar-Sebens.

Throughout her studies, Babbar-Sebens excelled in courses that employed mathematics and computational thinking in solving engineering problems. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she was motivated to learn more and decided to pursue graduate school. She joined the Master of Science degree program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she used interdisciplinary optimization techniques based on evolutionary principles to solve complex groundwater management problems. Her research gave her the opportunity to consider original and creative ideas that were based on concepts she had learned in mathematics, computer science, operations research, and water resources engineering. Following her master’s, Babbar-Sebens continued to conduct further research at the University of Illinois on groundwater contamination and monitoring issues, earning a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2006.

As a postdoctoral research associate at Texas A&M University, Babbar-Sebens expanded her research to surface-water and water quality issues, applying a variety of modeling techniques to simulate aquatic contaminants at the scale of streams and watersheds.

Today, Babbar-Sebens examines how innovations in computer science and information technology can address the critical water challenges of our times. Babbar-Sebens and her collaborators have developed a web tool, Watershed REstoration using Spatio-Temporal Optimization of Resources (WRESTORE), which enables stakeholders to view and design various conservation options – such as wetlands and buffer strips – in a simulated watershed environment. Using interactive optimization methods, WRESTORE presents the best possible solutions that users will most likely prefer, based on their feedback within the web tool.

Babbar-Sebens and her research group are also examining the effectiveness of green infrastructure practices in mitigating flooding and improving urban water quality. At the OSU-Benton County Green Stormwater Infrastructure Research Facility, Babbar-Sebens and her team are identifying how a network of sensors can be used to rapidly assess site-scale performance of bioswale designs. Her team is also monitoring and examining site-scale practices to develop better prediction models for watershed-scale processes.

Through interdisciplinary approaches, Babbar-Sebens is conducting research that will assist communities in their efforts to design more resilient watershed landscapes.

1015_Spotlight_Barbosa

 

Assistant Professor Andre Barbosa, who joined the CCE structural program in December 2011, is pursuing a variety of research interests that will contribute to a safer and more resilient built environment. Through research, outreach, and advocacy, Barbosa aims to increase overall community resilience.

Prior to earning his Ph.D. at the University of California San Diego, Barbosa worked for seven years in private industry, designing buildings and bridges – and much of that experience serves as the foundation for his current research that spans reinforced concrete, steel, and timber.

“What I’m most excited about today is CLT (cross-laminated timber) and its potential in Oregon and in the U.S.,” said Barbosa.

Presently, Barbosa is conducting research on CLT as an alternative to other building materials such as steel or concrete. More commonly used in Europe, CLT is beginning to be adopted in the U.S. because it features considerable savings in cost and construction time and is renewable as compared to traditional materials, especially for mid-rise building construction. CLT is formed by adhering panels of wood under high pressure and is assembled in perpendicular layers to prefabricated specifications. As one of the world’s premier timber producing regions, Oregon could benefit economically from an increase in CLT as a popular building material.

Barbosa’s research also focuses on performance-based engineering (PBE), a concept in which structures can be designed to not only withstand a major hazard such an earthquake, but also remain functional immediately following the event. Many structures built to contemporary standards withstand hazards with life-safety as a primary concern; yet the structures can suffer immense damage that makes them uninhabitable after an extreme event. “After a major event, we want the community and their activities to continue,” said Barbosa. Barbosa plans to provide engineers with continued education on PBE tools and techniques geared towards improving structural performance and resilience.

Currently, Barbosa is working on improving local resilience by assisting a Corvallis community group in their efforts to retrofit existing structures to withstand earthquakes. The majority of U.S. structures are privately owned and have not been retrofitted appropriately, thus efforts to increase awareness of the importance of retrofitting is vital for communities. With the same goal of improving community resilience to extreme hazards, Barbosa is developing research as a co-PI in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Risk-based Community Resilience Center of Excellence.

In addition to his local efforts, Barbosa has conducted international research, including a recent trip to Nepal as part of a National Science Foundation-Rapid Response Research team that he led this summer. The team assessed the damage of reinforced concrete structures with masonry infills as well as masonry buildings by acquiring structural data through ambient vibration testing, ground-based LiDAR, and other more traditional damage assessment methods. In collecting the data, Barbosa provided valuable information to assist the local rebuilding efforts in Nepal and also acquired pertinent data that will be used to assess current US guidelines on existing structures.

Through all of Barbosa’s efforts he seeks to increase the resilience of local, regional, and international communities through a combination of research, outreach, and advocacy.

As part of its Homecoming festivities, the Oregon State University Alumni Association will recognize CCE alumnus Tom Skoro as an alumni fellow on October 23. Skoro was one of six alumni to receive the distinguished honor.

After graduating from Oregon State in 1981 with a bachelor’s in construction engineering management, Skoro worked continuously in the heavy construction industry, primarily with Kiewit Construction Group. Inc. He has varied construction experience but has specialized in bridge construction, including high-tech segmental construction. Skoro resides in Vancouver, Wash., and is a senior vice president of Kiewit Corporation.

The OSUAA established the alumni fellows program in 1988 to help OSU colleges recognize their eminent alumni. Honorees have distinguished themselves in their professions and communities.

1015_Spotlight_ArochoAfter earning her Ph.D. in civil engineering from North Carolina State University, Assistant Professor Ingrid Arocho joined the School of Civil and Construction Engineering in January 2015.

Prior to OSU, Arocho conducted research on construction site emissions from diesel powered equipment. In her work, she studied how contractors can use different equipment combinations and project schedules to reduce total emissions and environmental impact from construction projects.

Currently, Arocho is conducting safety research with Professor Chris Lee on transportation construction-related accidents. In their work, Arocho and Lee are using the method of fault tree analysis to understand how accidents occur and to identify the best ways to prevent them.

“I am pleased to take part in research that will promote safer workplaces,” said Arocho. “I also look forward to continuing research on equipment fleet management and construction site sustainability.”

Arocho teaches Project Management for Construction CEM 443/543 and is a member of the Transportation Research Board.

 

1015_Spotlight_ArrasSenior Lecturer Tracy Arras joined the School of Civil and Construction Engineering in 2011 and today serves as an ESTEM@OSU Action Research Fellow. Arras’ research is centered on strengthening problem-based learning in undergraduate education, which she applies in all of her courses but the ESTEM@OSU fellowship is primarily focused on the class Engineering Graphics and Design CCE 201.

For many students in CCE 201, the course is the first opportunity to apply their engineering training to a real-world problem. For their term project, students work in teams to retrofit a city block for the implementation of greenwater infrastructure devices. Throughout the course, the teams design and develop their proposal which includes a thorough cover letter that describes their proposed plan as well as set of engineering drawings, known as a sheet set.

“For their professional development, I recommend students participate in as many hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that they can and develop a portfolio of their projects,” said Arras.

Arras’ technical interests are principally in the area of geographical information systems (GIS), water resources and the integration of GIS for water resource applications. Her technical interests also include the development of innovative and effective pedagogic approaches to engage freshman and sophomore students.

Arras holds a Ph.D. in water resources engineering from OSU and previously served as an associate professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

  On Monday, Oct. 5, the School of Civil and Construction Engineering (CCE) hosted the first lecture in a new Distinguished Lecture Series, presented by Kiewit. The event featured veteran builder and award-winning historian Paul Giroux who gave his talk, Great Builders, to an audience of 600 guests. In Great Builders, Giroux shared his unique… Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Will Mau

Construction Engineering Management

CEM Student Will Mau
CEM student Will Mau leads a tour of the new Learning Innovation Center (LInC) building on campus. Mau served as a project engineering intern with the general contractor for the project.

Why did you choose Oregon State?

I chose Oregon State primarily because of the university’s excellent engineering program, but the beautiful campus atmosphere in Corvallis and ideal distance from my hometown of Eugene helped make OSU the perfect school for me.

 

How did you choose the field of Construction Engineering Management (CEM)? 

I chose CEM with help from my advisor Katie Whitehead, and my introductory Fall Term General Engineering course that walks undecided engineering students through the many engineering programs that OSU offers. I had a strong interest in Civil and Construction engineering, and the blend of business, engineering, and project management that CEM provides is exactly what I was looking for.

 

What projects are you currently working on?

I worked this summer as a project engineering intern for Fortis Construction, a general contractor out of Portland that handles a lot of projects for OSU including the ILLC, Tebeau Hall, and most recently the Learning Innovation Center (LInC). This summer, I was involved in the closeout stages of the LInC building, a project that began the month I arrived on campus as a freshman and will be complete and open for classes this fall.

 

What are you some of your future career goals? 

My future career goals are to become a project engineer involved in the construction of buildings in sectors such as higher education, healthcare and data centers. I plan to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration after getting experience in the industry, in order to one day become a project manager for large contracts like the LInC project that I had the opportunity to be involved in this summer.

 

Any advice for incoming OSU students? 

My advice to incoming OSU students is: Don’t be afraid to explore your options when it comes to your major. I came to Corvallis knowing only that I wanted to be an engineer, but had no idea what kind. Use the resources the university provides and discover what you’re passionate about. Once you find the right fit, learning is no longer a task; it becomes a really enjoyable and engaging experience.

Congratulations to CCE faculty members Shane Brown and Jonathan (Jack) Istok on receiving awards at the 2015 University Day Faculty and Staff Awards Recognition event. Professor Shane Brown received the OSU Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, which honors unusually significant and meritorious achievement in teaching and scholarship which enhances effective instruction. Professor Jonathan Istok received the Richard… Continue reading

On August 7-8, OSU hosted the executive committee meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Geomatics Division (GMD). Committee members from CCE included Assistant Professors Dan Gillins and Mike Olsen, and Associate Professor Chris Parrish as well PhD Graduate Student Michael Dennis. The focus of the meeting was to develop a new version of the ASCE Engineering Surveying Manual – last updated in 1984. This manual, to be edited by Prof. Gillins is intended to provide important concepts for practicing engineering surveyors and will cover significant advances in geomatics over the past few decades and their role in civil engineering. Topics at the executive committee meeting included discussions on model law and the future of surveying as well as ASCE’s newly formed Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI), which takes effect October 1, 2015.

ASCE Executive Committee Geomatics Division
Executive Committee of the ASCE Geomatics Division

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 11.57.13 AM

On Thursday, August 13 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. PST, Andre Barbosa and other members of the NSF-RAPID project team will discuss recent observations in the 2015 Nepal (Gorkha) Debriefing, hosted by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER).

Join the debriefing online at: bit.ly/1MoxIJv 

Learn more about the NSF-RAPID Grant for Post-Disaster Data Collection.

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) announced that Oregon State University earned second place amongst competitors from throughout the nation in the annual Big Beam Contest. The OSU CCE student team was comprised of Karryn Johnsohn, Jason Anderson, and Curtis Blank and was advised by Keith Kaufman of the Knife River Corporation.

The objective of the Big Beam contest is for student teams to fabricate and test a precast/prestressed concrete beam with the help of local PCI members. The beam must be made primarily of concrete without any trusses, arches, or other non-flexural members – and prizes are awarded in consideration of efficient design, highest load capacity, and other categories.

OSU has a long history of performing well in the competition. Since the contest began in 2001, OSU has captured four national championships. This year, OSU placed second in North America, ahead of 18 other recognized teams.

Congratulations students on your excellent work!

CCE 2015 Big Beam Team
CCE 2015 Big Beam Team

CH2M-Hill, in association with Oregon State University’s (OSU) College of Engineering and School of Civil and Construction Engineering, sponsored and conducted the 46th annual model bridge contest on Saturday. The competition was originally named for one of CH2M-Hill’s founders, Holly Cornell, a 1938 graduate of OSU’s Civil Engineering Department, who provided a grant for the contest. The contest requires high school students to make a basswood bridge to a specification with the intent to carry as much load as possible.

The competition is intended to promote interest in engineering and provides an opportunity for high school teachers to introduce the concepts of design and testing of engineering structures to their students. Also, a considerable amount of skill is required to construct the models, and the students learn the importance of working to a specification.

The contest is “staffed” by professional engineers from CH2M-Hill and students from OSU’s School of Civil and Construction Engineering, many of whom are members of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) stude¬nt chapter. OSU students help with setup, cleanup, registration, weighing, measuring, testing, and distribution of refreshments.

In total, students from five high schools participated in the 2015 contest: ACE Academy, Riverdale, Springfield, Nestucca, and Yoncalla.

CH2M-Hill and OSU hope that the contest inspires some high school students to study engineering at the University. However, the organizers consider their effort worthwhile if everyone enjoys the day at OSU and the interaction with college students, faculty, and practicing engineers. In attendance were approximately 29 high school students, 20 teachers and parents, 21 OSU student volunteers, two ASCE practitioner advisors, and the ASCE, faculty advisor. Our judges again this year were Devin Altman from CH2M-Hill and Dusty Andrews from Knife River.

The 2015 contest involved a number of ASCE student helpers from 7:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. 129 bridges were tested. Rules for the International Bridge Contest were used again this year. The most efficient bridge carried more than 5,000 times its weight of 9.4 g! Students from Riverdale placed first, second and third in the Conde McCullough Region and Nestucca placed first, second and third in the Holly Cornell Region.

The students finishing in first and second place in each region are eligible to enter the International Contest to be held later this year.

— Tom Miller, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering

The Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering placed three teams among the top three in their respective categories at the 28th Annual Associated Schools of Construction Region 6 and 7 Student Competition, held Feb. 4-7 at the J.A. Nugget Casino Resort in Reno, Nev.

OSU captured one team titles at the event, winning the Marine contest, while the Mixed Use and Mechanical teams each finished third.

The marine victory was the fifth for OSU and the third in the last four years. Marine team members for the competition included OSU students Chris Duty, Erik Green, Jordan Hamilton, Rian Leitgeb, Jakob Neuenschwander, and Michael Wilson.

OSU students Nathan Hufendick, Timothy Johnston, Chelsea Laird, Robert Maxey, Arron Min, and Cody Schmelz formed the mechanical team as OSU captured a top-three finish for the fourth consecutive year.

Finally, Tyler Binns, Tyler Hurlbutt, Vincent Matteson, Jeff Nakashima, Devon Renard, and Andrew Riley led the school to a third-place finish in the mixed use competition.

OSU also fielded teams in commercial building, heavy civil, multi-use structures, risk, and pre-constriction, rounding out an impressive showing by the school at the annual event.

The school’s participation at this year’s event was made possible through faculty and staff support in addition to the generous contributions from a number of industry partners. Industry sponsors for the competition included: Kiewit, Kerr Contractors, PMCA Oregon, AGC Oregon-Columbia Chapter, Andersen Construction, JE Dunn Construction, Traylor Brothers, Walsh Construction, Fortis Construction, Whitaker/Ellis, Walsh Group, and Todd Hess Building Company.

The annual student competition, which features thousands of students from institutions in 13 states, is held by the ASC, the professional association for the development and advancement of construction education, where the sharing of ideas and knowledge inspires, guides and promotes excellence in curricula, teaching, research and service. This year’s competition featured over 1000 students competing for 44 institutions.

Congratulations to OSU PhD transportation student Masoud Ghodrat Abadi on being selected as the recipient of the 2014-15 Bill Kloos Scholarship. Masoud was selected for the award after his submission of the Busy Beaver board game (a transportation related board game) displayed a creative and unique way to share the transportation engineering field with others.

The scholarship is offered by the Oregon Section of ITE and the Bill Kloos Scholarship Fund to provide financial assistance to students pursuing degrees in transportation engineering or other related fields. It is named after William C. Kloos, who was the Signals and Street Light Manager at the City of Portland for 25 years. Bill was a talented leader, innovative problem solver and mentor to many throughout his career. One of Bill’s unique talents was public speaking and presenting technical information to a wide range of audiences. This scholarship was developed in order to promote the innovative thinking and communication skills of the future transportation professionals.

Candidates are evaluated based on a scholarship “Application” in the form of an essay, presentation/poster, Powerpoint presentation, or video that focuses on transportation/traffic engineering.

Masoud’s selection marks the third time in four years an OSU transportation student was selected for the honor. OSU grad student Jennifer Warner received the scholarship last year.

The PacTrans University Transportation Center recently released a five-minute video about a collaborative research/outreach project led by OSU CCE assistant professor David Hurwitz. The goal of the PacTrans outreach project featured in the video was to examine driver distraction among teenagers in the Pacific Northwest to identify tasks they consider to be distracting and compare that to their self-reported engagement in these same tasks while driving. The group, which includes members from all five PacTrans institutions, recently completed their first journal article, which has been accepted for publication.

During the video, Justin Neill, OSU MSCE ’14, is pictured operating the OSU driving simulator and Sarah McCrea, OSU second-year MS student, closes out the video.

OSU CCE professor David Trejo gave an invited lecture for The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society at the 2015 Middle East – Mediterranean Materials Congress, held in Doha, Qatar. Professor Trejo’s presentation was entitled “Quantifying Material, Environmental, and System Variables Influencing the Structural Performance of Reinforced Concrete Structures Affected by Alkali Silica Reactions.”

Visit the conference website for more information about the talk.

Congratulations to Jennifer Warner, second year MS student at OSU, as she was presented with the 2014 Michael Kyte Outstanding Student of the Year award at the PacTrans Reception during the 94th Transportation Research Boards Annual Meeting.

Each year, Federal Region 10 University Transportation Centers give out the Michael Kyte Outstanding Student of the Year Award to honorees based on accomplishments in three areas: technical merit and research, academic performance, and professionalism and leadership. Warner is advised by OSU CCE assistant professor, Dr. David Hurwitz.

OSU CCE alum David Linton (’10), currently a project engineer at Mackenzie, will be accepting the 2015 Raymond C. Reese Research Prize at the Structures Congress in Portland in April for the paper “Evaluation of Tsunami Loads on Wood-Frame Walls at Full Scale,” published in the Journal of Structural Engineering.

The project was conducted at the O. H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory as part of NSF’s NEES program. Co-authors include Prof. Rakesh Gupta in (College of Forestry), Prof. Dan Cox (College of Engineering), Prof. John van de Lindt (Colorado State University), Mary Beth Berkes (’10 Ocean Engineering), and Milo Clauson (College of Forestry).

This paper addresses tsunami loads on wood buildings through full-scale experimentation and is a crucial topic in the design of tsunami-prone structures, which has not received adequate attention in the field. The authors placed full-scale walls in a tsunami testing facility to investigate how a flexible structure performed when subjected to a solitary wave bore. The hydrodynamic conditions (water level and bore speed) and structural response (horizontal force, pressure, and deflection) were observed for a range of incident tsunami heights and for several wood wall framing configurations.

For each tsunami wave height tested, the force and pressure profiles showed a transient peak force followed by a period of sustained quasi-static force. The observed ratio of the transient force to quasi-static force was found to be close to 2.2. This value was compared with the measured forces with predictive equations from the literature and observed wood wall performance under such extreme loading. It was found that existing equations predicted the measured forces on the vertical wall within an accuracy of approximately 20%.

The study represents a significant step toward understanding the complex nature of wave structure interaction, particularly the performance of light-frame wood construction, which is commonly used around the world. Given the paucity of full-scale experimental data, the advances made by this paper are considered seminal and will most probably influence the field of tsunami engineering in the future.

The Raymond C. Reese Research Prize is awarded to the author or authors of a paper that describes a notable achievement in research related to structural engineering.

A computer algorithm detected this past landslide in the Stillaguamish Valley of Washington.

Photonics.com recently highlighted research conducted at the Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering with the discovery that algorithms could speed LiDAR assessments of landslide risks. An excerpt of the article appears below:

Created by researchers at Oregon State University and George Mason University, the Contour Connection Method (CCM) is based on lidar data and requires minimal user input. The developers say it can analyze and classify landslide risk in an area of 50 or more square miles in about 30 minutes, a task that would otherwise take an expert several weeks to months to complete. 

To view the complete article on photonics.com, follow this link.

The Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering will host a pair of facility open houses on Thursday, Oct. 16, to introduce two new water research Oregon BEST laboratories. An open house and ribbon cutting for the Multipurpose Hydraulics Research Facility will take place at 11:45 a.m. at the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory followed by an open house at 4:00 p.m. for the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Research Facility at the Benton County Avery Facility.

The Multipurpose River Hydraulics Research Facility features a recirculating system with the ability to test two simultaneous and independent experiments with flows of up to 35 cubic feet per second. The facility is ideal for the construction and testing of river and low head pressurized hydraulic structures, and it can also be used for a wide range of research projects, including flood control, reservoir sedimentation, density currents, erosion and scour, aquatic habitat, stream restoration, fish passage and dam removal.

The $600,000 facility, led by OSU water resources professor Arturo Leon, consists of a re-circulating system with a 20-m x 8-m concrete slab (platform for experiments), two independent head tanks, a sediment catchment, a clean water sump, pumps, and impulsion and return pipe lines. Partners for the lab include United State Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon BEST, OSU, and Northwest Research Associates.

To RSVP for the open house, contact OSU professor Arturo Leon.

The OSU-Benton County Green Stormwater Infrastructure Research Facility is a three-celled stormwater research facility for field-scale experiments and testing on green infrastructure (e.g., raingardens, bioswales, etc.). The cells provide the ability to test various stormwater treatment technologies and treatment of various stormwater contaminants. These cells are also instrumented with multiple sensors to enable better data collection and modeling.

Pollutants captured at the $110,000 facility include tractor leaks, fuel tank spills, raw asphalt, road fill sediment, parking lot sediments and chemicals, and road paint spills. In addition to stormwater treatment, this facility supports long term research on stormwater quality to inform current and future projects for treating stormwater using ‘low impact development’ technology.

“The data from this facility will enable us to develop clear recommendations for cities that are facing the overwhelming choices in green stormwater technologies,” said OSU water resources professor Meghna Babbar-Sebens, who is co-director of the facility with Leon. “The facility also provides capabilities for conducting short term as well as long term experiments on different types of innovative green technologies.”

Those in attendance will be able to learn about the partnership project to enhance water quality, provide long-term research and support stormwater and water quality education and outreach. Partners in the project include Benton County, Oregon State University, Oregon BEST, State of Oregon Water Resources Department, and the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium.

To RSVP for the stormwater research facilty open house, contact Meghna Babbar-Sebens or Benton County Projects Coordinator Adam Stebbins.

5619603229_809ddb56c5_oA task force that studied implementation of the Oregon Resilience Plan submitted to the Oregon legislature an ambitious program to save lives, mitigate damage and prepare for a massive subduction zone earthquake and tsunami looming in the future of the Pacific Northwest.

The recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force on Resilience Plan Implementation, if enacted, would result in spending more than $200 million every biennium in a long-term initiative.

The program would touch everyone from energy providers and utility companies to their customers, parents and school children, businesses, builders, land use regulators, transportation planners and fire responders. It would become one of the most aggressive efforts in the nation to prepare for a costly, life-threatening disaster that’s seen as both catastrophic and inevitable.

“We have a clear plan for what needs to be done, and now is the time to take our first significant steps forward,” said Scott Ashford, dean of the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, chair of the Governor’s Task Force, and an expert on liquefaction and earthquake engineering who has studied disasters all over the world, similar to those that Oregon will face.

“The scope of the disaster that the Pacific Northwest faces is daunting,” Ashford said. “And we won’t be able to accomplish everything we need to do in one or two years, but hopefully we won’t have to. What’s important is to get started, and the time for that is now.”

The task force making these recommendations included members of the Oregon legislature; advisers to Gov. Kitzhaber; private companies; the Oregon Office of Emergency Management; Oregon Department of Transportation; the Oregon Health Authority; city, county  and business leaders; the Red Cross and others.

The Oregon Resilience Plan, which was completed in early 2013, outlines more than 140 recommendations to reduce risk and improve recovery from a massive earthquake and tsunami that’s anticipated on the Cascadia Subduction Zone, similar to the one that hit Fukushima, Japan, in 2011.

The newest analysis identified specific steps that are recommended for the 2015-17 biennium. They address not only earthquake damage, but also the special risks facing coastal residents from what is expected to be a major tsunami.

One of the largest single steps would be biennial funding of $200 million or more for the OBDD/IFA Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program, with similar or higher levels of funding in the future. Funds could be used to rehabilitate existing public structures such as schools to improve their seismic safety; demolish unsafe structures; or replace facilities that must be moved out of a tsunami inundation zone.

It was recommended that additional revenue be identified to complete work within a decade on the most critical roads and bridges that form “backbone” transportation routes; that the state Department of Geology and Mineral Industries receive $20 million to update inventory and evaluate critical facilities; and that $5 million be made available through existing programs for tsunami resilience planning by coastal communities.

Utility companies regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission would also be required to conduct seismic assessments of their facilities, and be allowed through rate increases to recover their costs if they make prudent investments to mitigate vulnerabilities.

When I studied areas that had been hard-hit by earthquakes in Chile, New Zealand and Japan, it became apparent that money spent to prepare for and minimize damage from the earthquake was hugely cost-effective,” Ashford said.

“One utility company in New Zealand said they saved about $10 for every $1 they had spent in retrofitting and rebuilding their infrastructure,” he said. “There’s a lot we can do right now that will make a difference and save money in the long run.”

Other key recommendations included:

  • Establish a resilience policy adviser to the governor;
  • Use the most recent tsunami hazard maps to redefine the inundation zone for construction;
  • Provide $1 million annually for scientific research by Oregon universities, to provide matching funds for earthquake research supported by the state, federal government or private industry;
  • Provide $500,000 to the Office of Emergency Management for educational programs and training aimed at managers, agencies, businesses and the general public;
  • Provide $500,000 to the Department of Education to lead a K-12 educational program;
  • Require water providers and wastewater agencies to complete a seismic risk assessment and mitigation plan, as part of periodic updates to master plans;
  • Require firefighting agencies, water providers and emergency management officials to create joint standards to use in a firefighting response to a large seismic event.

“Our next steps will include a lot of discussion, with the legislature, with business and community leaders, with the general public all over the state,” Ashford said. “The challenges we face are enormous but I really believe Oregonians are ready to take an important step toward resilience. This is our chance.”


Article via OSU News and Research Communications

Jennifer Warner captured first-place at the summit with her presentation on "Right Hook Crash Mitigations."
Jennifer Warner captured first-place at the summit with her presentation on “Right Hook Crash Mitigations.”

This past week, 12 students from the Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering attended the annual Oregon Transportation Summit in Portland, hosted by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium and Portland State University.  The summit brought together Oregon’s academic and transportation professionals to advance the state of the field by accelerating new research into practice and by shaping the agenda for future research. OSU’s trip was highlighted by graduate student Jennifer Warner’s first-place finish in the Three-Minute Thesis Competition, for her presentation on “Right Hook Crash Mitigations.”

“The summit was a huge success,” OSU graduate student Rachel Vogt said. “We were able to expand our knowledge of transportation while networking with professionals and academics from across Oregon.”

The summit featured a plenary session with Sue Groth from MinnDOT, Troy Costales from Oregon Transportation Safety Division, and Leah Treat from City of Portland, all of whom discussed “Envisioning Vision Zero” or reducing the amount of traffic related incidents to zero fatalities.  Their thought-provoking topics focused on the recent safety initiatives at the national, state, and local levels.  Additionally, the students had the opportunity to listen to the keynote speaker, Jarrett Walker of Jarrett Walker & Associates, give a talk on the benefits of considering the rational choices surrounding public transit, and how doing so can enrich our communities and our lives.

Five of the OSU students in attendance, (Sarah McCrea, Rachel Vogt, Jennifer Warner, Julia Kautz, and Medha Jannat) presented their ongoing research projects during the student poster session. Through this session, they were able to discuss their work with the leading professionals and researchers from Oregon.

Three students, (Dylan Anderson, Jasmine Pahukula, and Jennifer Warner), participated in the Three-Minute Thesis Competition, where students had three minutes and one slide to present their research work to a panel of judges and captivate the interest of the audience.

OSU_CCE_Bridge_team_1314_webCongrats to a team of Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering students as they captured the national title in the 2014 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Big Beam Contest! The squad, consisting of students Luke Cressman, Drew Nielson, Sandy Spencer, Jarrett Yanagida, and advised by Keith Kaufmann of the Knife River Corporation, took home a $2000 prize with the victory. In addition, the team will attend the 2014 PCI Fall Convention, held in National Harbor, Md., from Sept. 6-9.

OSU, which won the national title for the fourth time, also took home top spot in the region, placing ahead of Sacramento State, Northern Arizona, UC San Diego, and Washington.

The year-long contest consisted of  fabricating and testing a precast/prestressed concrete beam with the help of a local advisor. Prizes were awarded to the top performers in each zone in consideration of efficient design, highest load capacity, and other categories. For more information about the contest, visit the official rules.

OSU_ITE_Student_Chapter_leadersFor the first time in 67 years, the Western and Midwestern Districts of the Institute of Transportation Engineers  jointly held their annual meetings as the groups met in Rapid City, South Dakota, June 29 – July 2.

 This year, OSU sent four students leaders from the campus chapter to the conference; Rachel Vogt (President), Jennifer Warner, (Vice President) Andrea Mathers, (Secretary), and Sarah McCrea (Treasurer).  All participated in the annual Western District Student Traffic Bowl competition, a jeopardy style game, as Sarah and Andrea were also invited to participate in the Joint Professional Traffic Bowl.  Additionally, there was a student poster competition as Sarah presented a poster on “Information Signage.”  One highlight from the trip was the chance to visit Mt. Rushmore and watch the lighting ceremony.  Overall, the students learned valuable lessons and skills from the technical session and had a great time meeting and talking with professionals from across the country.

The meeting provided an opportunity for a robust and diverse technical program, vendor exhibit and opportunity to network with transportation professionals. During the four days, participants had to opportunity to attend 13.5 hours of technical sessions and transportation presentations.

For more information about ITE, visit the national organization’s website.

20140613_CivilAndConstructionEngineeringGrad_HO-033The OSU School of Civil and Construction Engineering handed out 181 undergraduate and 46 graduate degrees during the 2013-14 academic year as the class was honored at the annual CCE Graduation Ceremony on Friday, June 13, at the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus.

The event, separate from OSU Commencement, was an opportunity to recognize the hard work and positive impact the group had on the school during their time at OSU.  Many graduates will immediately enter the workforce (construction engineering majors have a near 100-percent job placement this year) while others are continuing on to graduate school in their discipline of choice.

As part of the ceremony, Patrick Burns (civil engineering) and Jason Powell (construction engineering management) were honored as they received the OSU CCE Student of the Year Awards.

Photos from the event, attended by over 1000 people, can be seen on the school’s new Flickr Photostream.

 

 

Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering graduate students Dylan Anderson and Rachel Vogt have been awarded 2014 Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowships. The highly competitive national awards are given as part of the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program (DDETFP), which was started in 1991 to attract qualified students to the fields of transportation education and research, and advance transportation workforce development.

Advised by OSU associate professor Katharine Hunter-Zaworski, Anderson is developing a manual to improve safety at rail public transportation platforms. The research, conducted under the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), will assist transit agencies to prevent and minimize public rail transit safety incidents.

Vogt, who is advised by OSU assistant professor Haizhong Wang, is working with the Oregon Department of Transportation to understand and address questions related to decreasing fuel tax  combined with increasing infrastructure costs. As Oregon continues to explore a Road User Charge (RUC), her research will focus on how various rate structures and implementation strategies may impact different socio-economic groups and regions of the state.

Approximately 150 to 200 Eisenhower Transportation Fellowships are awarded each year based on funding availability. Since its inception, the program has awarded over 2,000 Eisenhower Transportation Fellowships.

For more information about the program, visit the DDETFP website.

Annika O’Dea, a coastal and ocean engineering graduate student in the Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering, has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright scholarship, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars announced earlier this month. O’Dea, who will graduate from OSU with a master’s degree in civil engineering, will use the award to travel to Senegal and research coastal evolution and coastal hazards in the region.

“It is a great opportunity and I was really excited when I found out I had been named to the program,” O’Dea said. “West Africa faces a lot of erosion issues and has been impacted by rising sea-levels. The coast is heavily populated and is constantly changing. They are losing roads and buildings and the area will only get worse as sea-levels continue to rise.”

O’Dea’s research, which starts in October and is funded for one year, will look at how the coast has changed in recent years and predict how future changes in sea-levels could impact the area.

She learned she received the prominent award in late April as it was the culmination of a lengthy application process. Working with the OSU Fulbright Scholar Program and advisors Laurence Becker (associate professor, Geosciences) and Nick Fleury (head advisor, International Degrees), O’Dea submitted her application to OSU for review in September before submitting to the national organization in October.

While at OSU, O’Dea has worked with OSU CCE associate professor Merrick Haller on the nearshore impact of wave energy extraction and will present her thesis in a few weeks.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Since its inception in 1946, approximately 310,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the program.

The Oregon State University steel bridge team had an outstanding showing at the national competition as the team finished in ninth-place out of 49 teams at the event held on May 23-24, 2014, in Akron, Ohio. The OSU team consisted of Chelsea Farnsworth, Peter Mercer, Jessee Bogenoff, Chris Derbyshire and captains, Barry Maslen and Austin Williams and qualified for the national event by winning the regional competition at Portland State University.

The contest involved design, fabrication/welding, and timed construction of an approximately 20-foot span bridge evaluated on lightness, construction speed, and stiffness in supporting 2500 lbs of load. The OSU team improved its scores in a number of categories over their performance in regionals at PSU.

“I am tremendously proud of this year’s team as they excelled in all aspects of the project,” said OSU associate professor and ASCE student chapter faculty advisor Tom Miller. “Their success was truly a team effort. The support this year from the School of Civil and Construction Engineering, College of Engineering, OSU Student Foundation, OSU Department of Physics, ASCE Oregon Section, ASCE Capital Branch and a number of generous individual donors was wonderful and made the win at regionals, great performance at nationals and preparation for future successes possible.”

The competition, which saw 208 teams compete at the regional level, was sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Steel Construction.

The Oregon State University College of Engineering will host the 2014 OSU Engineering Expo on Friday, May 16, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Kelley Engineering Center. This year’s Senior Design Showcase features nearly 200 student-built projects from across the college’s six schools.

The Expo is a great learning opportunity for high school students who are interested in science and technology or may be considering a career in engineering.

In addition, the expo demonstrates the College of Engineering’s full support of the statewide initiative led by the Engineering and Technology Industry Council (ETIC) to address the issue of “T-shaped” professionals, a term referring to individuals who have depth of technical knowledge paired with skills, such as communication and teamwork, that cross over individual disciplines.

Projects from the OSU School of Civil and Construction Engineering to be featured at the expo include:

Sandy River Bridge – Students are designing a 200-foot boardwalk and bridge/overlook structure to replace a boardwalk that was destroyed in the floods of 2012. Sponsored by the City of Corvallis Parks and Recreation Department, the project will incorporate recycled materials from the previous boardwalk.  The students design documents will be used to secure grant funding to construct the project.

EWB Belize Water System Design – Students are designing an irrigation system to transport water for agricultural use to the Valley of Peace in Belize.  The irrigation system will include pumping, storage, and irrigation components using locally available materials. This project is sponsored by the OSU chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

ODOT US-97 MP190 Wildlife Crossing Proposal – Students are designing a structure to facilitate safe crossing of wildlife across US-97.  The project will result in not only reduced wildlife fatalities, but reduced automobile crashes, injuries and deaths.  This project is sponsored by the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The expo, in its 15th year, is free and open to the public and will also feature lab tours and a Robo*Palooza, which includes  the TekBot® Triathlon, an award-winning Mars rover, and FIRST robots from local high schools.

For more information about the expo, or to reserve a lab tour for over 20 guests, call 541-737-3101.

Alicia Lyman-Holt introduces students from Hillsboro, Ore., to the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory.

The O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory hosted a hands-on design challenge for approximately 1000 Oregonian students this past week in the Tsunami Structure Challenge (TSC).  The activity, led by education and outreach coordinator Alicia Lyman-Holt, was comprised of a presentation which set-up the “design” challenge, a design and build phase where groups of four students built structures out of available materials and concluded with a test phase where structures were subjected to tsunami conditions at the wave laboratory.

Following the testing phase, Lyman-Holt gave students a tour of the research facility, introducing students to lab equipment as well as teaching them about the importance of ongoing tsunami and wave research.

The TSC was designed around the engineering goals in the STEM standards for Oregon at the 8th-grade level, which encompassed the largest number of participants in the challenge.

For more information about the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory, or to schedule a tour, contact Alicia Lyman-Holt.

Arturo Leon, Ph.D., P.E, Assistant Professor in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University, has been named a Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer (D.WRE) of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE), a subsidiary of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The D.WRE certification is the highest post-license certification available in the water resources engineering profession and it is an accredited program by the Council of  Engineering & Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB).  The D.WRE represents strong professional ethics, a commitment to life-long learning and continuing professional development. Arturo will be inducted as Diplomate on June 2, 2014 at the 2014 ASCE-EWRI World Water & Environmental Resources Congress.

DSCN1781Last week, the OSU ASCE steel bridge team captured the team title at the  2014 ASCE Pacific Northwest Student Conference. With the victory in the steel bridge competition, OSU will advance to the ASCE national competition, held from May 23-23 in Akron, Ohio. The performance marked the first time in over 10 years the group has advanced to nationals. With a goal of raising $5500 for the trip to nationals, supporters can contribute to the trip by visiting the group’s fundraising website.

The victory in the steel bridge competition capped a solid weekend for OSU ASCE as the group placed second in the environmental competition and concrete bowling ball competition while the concrete canoe team placed third.

Portland State University hosted the 2014 student conference from April 25-27 as it featured over 350 students from universities in Alaska, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Montana.

A complete rundown of OSU results is below.

2014 ASCE Pacific Northwest Student Conference – OSU Results

Steel Bridge:
1st – Aesthetics
1st – Construction Speed
3rd – Lightness
1st – Overall
Concrete Canoe:
1st – Women’s Endurance
3rd- Men’s Endurance
2nd – Women’s Sprint
6th – Men’s Sprint
1st – Coed Sprint
3rd – Overall
Environmental Competition:
2nd – Overall
Concrete Bowling Ball Competition:
2nd – Overall
An additional congratulations for excellent work to:
Kristina Milaj in the Technical Paper and Presentation Competition.
The four ASCE members who participated in the Surveying Competition.

MCMEC_Open_HouseThe Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering, in partnership with OSU Wood Science and Engineering, introduced the newest addition to the Oregon BEST Green Building Materials Lab (GBML) with an open house for the state-of-the-art Multi-Chamber Modular Environmental Conditioning System (MCMEC) on Thursday, April 30.

The newly-installed unit, one of only three in North America and Europe, is designed to apply realistic environmental and accelerated weather conditions to full-sized research samples. With the capability of creating three separate chambers within the unit, researchers can simulate multiple conditions to the same sample, allowing for maximum flexibility in the design and setup of experiments.

“The ability to simultaneously test materials is what makes this unit unique,” said Jason Ideker, assistant professor in the OSU School of Civil and Construction Engineering. “For example, we now have the capability to do performance testing on a wall to see how it reacts to multiple environments at once.”

The open house served as an introduction of the unit to industry and government research partners. As a shared-use facility, the Oregon BEST GBML is available for government and outside companies to reserve for their own research.

“Oregon BEST was created to help stimulate the green economy,” Ideker said. “This lab can do specialized testing and analysis and will allow companies, from start-ups to large corporations, to do research they may not be capable of doing on their own.”

The approximately $850,000 unit was made possible primarily through grants from Oregon BEST and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

For more information about the Oregon BEST GBML, contact Jason Ideker, OSU assistant professor, at 541-737-9571.

Multi-Chamber Modular Environmental Conditioning System – specifications

Temperature range: -30°C to +40°C

Temperature control: +/- 0.5°C

Relative humidity: 10% to 90%

Dew point limit at -20°C

Water spray system: 5 liters/minute

Metal Halide Solar Array: 700 Watt/m2

Congratulations to the Oregon State University American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter for winning four awards handed out by the organization! The chapter was honored with the following:

2014 ASCE Distinguished Chapter Award for Region 8  (top chapter in OR, WA, AK, HI, ID, MT, NV, UT, AZ)

2014 Richard J. Scranton Outstanding Community Service Award  – Top chapter in the nation. The ASCE Student Leadership Award is granted to an ASCE Student Member who has demonstrated leadership in a Student Chapter/International Student Group through various activities (e.g., service as an officer, leading special events, interaction with university administration, and interaction with ASCE Sections/Branches). OSU ASCE was recognized for their work in Nicaragua.

2014 Outstanding Practitioner Advisor Award for Region 8  – Ken Archibald

2014 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award for Region 8  – Tom Miller

 

Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering professor Chris Higgins, Ph.D., P.E., the Slayden Construction Faculty Fellow, was honored with a Special Achievement Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) this week.

AISC’s Special Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated notable achievements in structural steel design, construction, research or education. It honors those who have made a positive and substantial impact on the structural steel design and construction industry.

Higgins was honored for his work on developing software imaging tools for use in the inspection of steel bridge gusset plates.

Jordan Beamer, Ph.D. candidate, was one of six students selected for the prestigious 2014 CUAHSI Pathfinder Fellowship. This fellowship provides funding for students to travel to another location in order to pursue collaborative work related to their thesis project.

Jordan’s PhD work focuses on quantifying coastal freshwater discharge into the Gulf of Alaska, and Prince William Sound in particular. He will be traveling to Fairbanks, Alaska, in order to collaborate with Dr. Anthony Arendt of the Geophysical Institute on the topic of glacial meltwater contributions to coastal runoff. Jordan is supervised

Thomas Mosier, Ph.D. candidate in WRE / MIME (dual major) was one of 12 US students admitted to the Third International Summer School in Glaciology, heldthis month in McCarthy, Alaska. The OSU grad student recently posted an update on his studies at the summer school in the blog “Lindsay in the Arctic,” and describes why his research is focused on the Karakoram and Himalayan Mountains in Asia.

Organized by the University of Alaska, the School brings together top PhD students studying glaciers and glacial processes and exposes them to top international faculty in the field. Thomas is supervised by Dr. David Hill, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Dr. Kendra Sharp, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Corporate and Commercial Photographer for Worldwide Assignments

Oregon State University Civil and Construction Engineering students Andrew Strahler (PhD) and Trevor Bineham (undergrad) won first-place in the Geo-prediction contest at the annual ASCE Geo-Congress in Atlanta, Ga.

The student competition was sponsored by the Geo-Institute to challenge and encourage undergraduate and graduate civil engineering students interested in geotechnical engineering.

As part of the contest, Strahler and Bineham were tasked with predicting the behavior of a real world geotechnical system.

A trio of Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering alums were honored at the annual Oregon Stater Awards, held on Friday Feb. 21.

Joshan W. Rohani, a project manager at David Evans and Associates, was named to the Council of Outstanding Early Career Engineers. Meanwhile, Lee R. Zink, area manager for Kiewit Infrastructure West, was named to the Academy of Distinguished Engineers and James R. Plasker, retired executive director of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, was named to the Engineering Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to all of the award-winners!

Risk_web

The Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering placed three teams among the top three in their respective categories at the 27th Annual Associated Schools of Construction Region 6 and 7 Student Competition, held Feb. 5-8 at the J.A. Nugget Casino Resort in Reno, Nev.

OSU captured two team titles at the event, winning the Marine and Mechanical contests while the Determining Project Risk squad finished in second-place.

The marine victory was the fourth for OSU and the second in the last three years. Marine team members for the competition included OSU students Nicholas Briesach, Jeffrey Brink, Chris Duty, Daniel Freitas, Evan Gross and Damien Pulley.

OSU students Lucas Brown, Robbie Mize, Jason Powell, Blain Rennels, Elijah Thibodeau and Chad Walker formed the mechanical team as OSU captured its third straight (fourth overall) win in the category.

Meanwhile, OSU juniors Thomas Bancroft, Sarah Cochenour, Erik Green, Sarah Leads, Jeff Nakashima, Barret Neumayr and Patrick Van Epps led the school to a second-place finish in the ‘Determining Project Risk” competition.

OSU also fielded teams in commercial building, heavy civil and multi-use structures, rounding out an impressive showing by the school at the annual event.

The school’s participation at this year’s event was made possible through faculty and staff support in addition to the generous contributions from a number of industry partners.

The annual student competition, which features thousands of students from institutions in 13 states, is held by the ASC, the professional association for the development and advancement of construction education, where the sharing of ideas and knowledge inspires, guides and promotes excellence in curricula, teaching, research and service.