College Gets Two Distinguished Scholars This year the UA chose, for the first time, two faculty members from the same college to receive the UA Distinguished Scholar Award, and both of them were engineers. Erica Corral, associate professor of materials science and engineering, and Armin Sorooshian, associate professor of chemical and environmental engineering, received the honor, given to mid-career faculty who are leading experts in their fields and making innovative contributions to teaching and outreach. Introducing the Distinguished Scholars, UA Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Andrew Comrie said, “Our next awards are aimed at the rising generation of faculty, those we expect to become Regents’ Professors and Distinguished Professors in the coming years.”
Pillar Thriller—Erica Corral, left, and Armin Sorooshian receive Distinguished Scholar Awards at the UA Pillars of Excellence ceremony held on campus April 14.
“I am delighted to be nominated and recognized by my colleagues for this prestigious award,” Corral said. “I am thankful for the continued support from the University to pursue my academic and scholarly activities.”
Armin Sorooshian is leading several multi-university research projects for the U.S. Navy and NASA. He studies how aerosol particles interact in the atmosphere, particularly with clouds. The research has major implications for human and environmental health and monitoring climate change.
She and her students are developing ceramic and composite materials for coatings on aerospace vehicles, including the space shuttle, that can withstand extremely high temperatures without losing their shape or integrity, and nanocomposite materials with novel electrical and thermal properties for enhancing fuel efficiency and solar energy production.
“I am honored by this recognition and continued support by the UA of my work, especially since it was here in the College of Engineering that I received the undergraduate training that helped me reach this point,” he said. “I care deeply about our students, and they are the heartbeat that drives me in my teaching, research and outreach activities.”
Civil Engineers Laud UA Earthquake Engineer
piece of concrete, but many pieces stitched together. In a major earthquake, their connections can fail,” Fleischman said. “Our primary goal with this project was to show you could still build efficiently and safely with precast concrete flooring.”
Robert B. Fleischman, UA professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics, was the principal investigator on a research project that won the 2016 Charles H. Pankow Award for Innovation from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Fleischman came up with new ways to design concrete flooring structures, or diaphragms, that transfer seismic forces from the floors to columns and walls and down to the foundation. This involved making the diaphragms’ connections stronger and more flexible in the joints between the precast units.
Fleischman is receiving this latest honor for “Seismic Design Methodology for Precast Concrete Diaphragms,” a 10-year collaborative project completed in 2014 that has won several other awards. Robert Fleischman
He and members of his team accepted the Pankow Award from ASCE president Mark Woodson, a UA alumnus who earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1979.
Mover and Shaker—Robert Fleischman stands in front of a half-scale parking garage built on the shake table at UC San Diego’s Englekirk Structural Engineering Center, where he conducts seismic engineering research.
“Assembling concrete structures from precast pieces offers phenomenal benefits in cost
and time savings. The problem is that these precast structures are not one continuous
“We attacked a complicated problem and conducted computer simulation and experimentation to develop a design procedure – then proved it worked in largescale structural testing, and changed the building codes,” Fleischman said. “I think that’s why ASCE chose our project for this award.” 39:1 spring 2016 ARIZONAENGINEER 5