In June, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio visited Oregon State to learn about recent advances in improving the health of transportation infrastructure, reducing carbon emissions, and enhancing traffic safety.

Jason Weiss, school head and the Miles Lowell and Margaret Watt Edwards Distinguished Chair in Engineering and Burkan Isgor, professor of infrastructure materials and the John and Jean Loosley Faculty Fellow, presented a portfolio of projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the built infrastructure. This includes work with Solidia, a startup company that has developed a cement that captures carbon from the atmosphere during a process of carbonation curing instead of the traditional hydration curing.

Additionally, Oregon State received $1.3 million in funding from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy to develop computational tools to evaluate the feasibility of using industrial byproduct materials to make low-energy cements.

During his visit, DeFazio said he learned a lot from the presentations and a tour of the Driving and Bicycling Simulator Laboratory, and that Oregon State researchers could be resources to him as chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Oregon State researchers talk with Rep. DeFazio in a campus infrastructure materials lab.
Jason Weiss, school head and the Miles Lowell and Margaret Watt Edwards Distinguished Chair in Engineering and Scott Ashford, Kearney Professor and dean of the College of Engineering talk with Rep. Peter DeFazio in the Kiewit Materials Performance Lab.
Rep. Peter DeFazio tours the Driving and Bicycling Simulator Laboratory with director David Hurwitz, associate professor of transportation engineering, and graduate students in the Hurwitz Research Program.
Dylan Horne, a doctoral student in transportation engineering.
Dylan Horne

Doctoral student Dylan Horne is one of 20 graduate students in the nation to be selected by the Eno Center for Transportation (Eno) to attend the Eno Future Leaders Development Conference in Washington D.C. as an Eno Fellow.

“The conference is the next step in my journey as a transportation leader, advancing my understanding of national transportation decision makers and policy,” Horne said. “In Corvallis, I’m advocating for Vision Zero, a transportation policy that sets the safety of all road users as the highest priority for our transportation systems by striving for zero road fatalities or serious injuries.”

In Washingon D.C., the conference will include a week of meetings with federal officials and leaders of business and non-profit organizations and will provide graduate students with a first-hand look at developing national policies.

Locally, Horne leads the Benton County Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund committee, which is tasked with developing a framework to allocate new transit funding across the county.

“My leadership and innovative ideas are helping to create a data-driven process for new investment,” Horne said.

Additionally, Horne chairs the Corvallis Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, a citizen group advising the city council on active issues.

“My vision for a safer, healthier, sustainable transportation future is clear, and the Eno Conference will extend this conversation that I am having locally to a national forum,” Horne said.

About Eno

William Phelps Eno (1859-1945), a pioneer in his field in the U.S. and Europe, founded Eno in 1921. Mr. Eno promoted safe mobility by ensuring that traffic control became an accepted role of government and traffic engineering a recognized professional discipline.

Eno focuses on all modes, with the mission of cultivating creative and visionary leadership for the sector. It pursues this mission by supporting activities in three areas: professional development programs, policy forums, and publications.

NSF Seafloor Instrumentation Workshop 2018
John Selker, professor of biological and ecological engineering and Chris Parrish, associate professor of geomatics and Eric H.I. and Janice Hoffman Faculty Scholar at the seafloor instrumentation workshop in July 2018.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Oregon State hosted a seafloor instrumentation workshop, “Integrating Science Needs with Advanced Seafloor Sensor Engineering to Provide Early Warning of Geohazards: Visioning Workshop and Roadmap for the Future,” which integrated the expertise of leading scientists and engineers to advance seafloor sensor development and widespread deployment.

Integrating autonomous marine vehicles, computer science, geotechnical engineering, marine geomatics, robotics, and more, the two-day workshop charted the future for instrumenting the seafloor to provide real-time data. One key focus was to develop strategies to enable early warning of geohazards. Participants explored the development of sensors to measure seafloor deformation, temperature, and fluid flow with high resolution over broad areas, strategies for transmitting the data to land quickly and efficiently, and methods for obtaining energy from the environment.

Oregon State University President Ed Ray and David Hurwitz, associate professor of transportation engineering.
Oregon State University President Ed Ray and David Hurwitz, associate professor of transportation engineering at the 2018 University Day awards dinner.

Oregon State University kicked off the new academic year with University Day, an event which reunites campus colleagues, provides informative and fun activities, and recognizes faculty and staff for their exemplary efforts and achievements.

David Hurwitz, associate professor of transportation engineering received the OSU Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, which honors unusually significant and meritorious achievement in teaching and scholarship that enhances effective instruction.

“There are many faculty members at Oregon State University who epitomize teaching excellence in the classroom,” said Hurwitz. “I am genuinely humbled to be recognized as one among many.”

Hurwitz received the award in recognition of his use of current research in engineering education to improve classroom instruction, his unique and innovative technical courses, and his use of state-of-the-art research equipment – including the Driving and Bicycling Simulator – in the classroom. Students use the driving simulator to study driver responses to a wide range of situations and conditions. Since the simulator is one of only a small few of its kind in the U.S., Hurwitz’ students have unique abilities to connect road and signal design and traffic conditions to traffic safety and efficiency.

A colleague said, “Dr. Hurwitz’s enthusiasm for transportation engineering is contagious. He actively engages all the students in a lively and active classroom. He doesn’t lecture he teaches! He is truly a master teacher. But more than that he is a role model for graduate students who aspire to be educators. Dr. Hurwitz is mentoring Ph.D. students who will be the next generation of professors in the U.S. and abroad.”

A former student added, “To me, Dr. Hurwitz has been more than a teacher or an adviser, he has been a role model. I had always been interested in pursuing a teaching position but it was only after I met Dr. Hurwitz that I firmly decided to be a teacher. His passion for teaching, his enthusiasm for dealing with students and his capabilities and skills in delivering materials at the highest quality, made me want to follow him in every single step.”

Earlier in 2018, Hurwitz received the Sponsored Student Organization Advisor of the Year award for his work advising the OSU ITE Student Chapter. The award recognizes faculty and staff who take extra time to ensure their respective club/organization has success and develops a team atmosphere.

Congratulations, David Hurwitz and thank you for your dedication and many contributions to student success at Oregon State.

CCE students took home top honors at regional competitions and conferences throughout Spring 2018:

At the Transportation Research Board 97th Annual Meeting, Ellie Simpson, Hisham Jashami, Zach Barlow, and Scott Logan-Deeter earned second place nationally in the Traffic Control Device Challenge; Alireza Mostafizi received the PacTrans 2017 Michael Kyte Student of the Year award; and Kayla Fleskes received the PacTrans Student of the Year award.

At the ASC Regions 6 & 7 2018 Student Competition, the OSU mixed use team took first place, and the project management and mechanical teams earned third place finishes. Additionally, Aaron Bowen received first place in alternate team, Michael Jones best presenter in the alternates competition, Ryan Wager best presenter in the mechanical competition, Jack Powers best presenter in the pre construction competition, and Dallas Thompson best presenter in the electrical competition.

Awarded to only a few chapters nationally, the OSU ASCE Student Chapter received a 2018 Letter of Recognition for Community Service from ASCE for its exemplary community service benefiting others outside of their ASCE Student Chapter.

  • Professor Emeritus Hal Pritchett received the AGC Hal Pritchett Distinguished Service Award. The award, which was created by AGC Oregon Columbia Chapter President Brian Gray of Knife River and the chapter Executive Committee, is presented to an individual who embodies the attributes of Professor Pritchett. This individual’s loyalty, passion, and lifetime of distinguished leadership and service to the construction industry help to shape generations of construction professionals for years to come.
  • David Hurwitz, associate professor of transportation engineering was named the OSU Honors College Thomas and Margaret Meehan Eminent Mentor and received the OSU Outreach and Engagement Award for Excellence.
  • Matt Evans, associate professor of geotechnical engineering was named the Associate Editor of the Year by the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering.
  • Burkan Isgor, professor of infrastructure materials was named the Fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering.
  • Keith Kaufman, Knife River, faculty advisor was named the Prestress 2018 PCI Fellow.
  • Jason Weiss, head of the School of Civil and Construction Engineering, Miles Lowell and Margaret Watt Edwards Distinguished Chair in Engineering, Director of the Kiewit Center for Infrastructure and Transportation Research received the American Concrete Institute 2018 Robert E. Philleo Award.
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.

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.

 

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.”

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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!

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!

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.