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i ns i d e t h i s FAL L 2010 issue: ASCE Student Chapter page 2 Once a Bulldog, Always a Bulldog. page 2 New Faces page 3 The Top of the Class. page 3

CIVIL & Environmental


Positive change at MSU & for CEE It is with great pride to send you fall greetings through our new version of the Mississippi State Civil and Environmental Engineering newsletter. It includes departmental activities, faculty, staff and student recognitions, and updates on other civil and environmental engineering (CEE) accomplishments. Let’s begin by highlighting some recent achievements:

projects. Offering more convenience, the printers are networked so students can print from laptops. Interconnectivity and the new server gives additional computational capacity and the ability to fully benefit from the Bentley and Autodesk suite of programs.

• CEE undergraduate enrollment hit another record. With 386 students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, this number eclipses all previous accomplishments. Plus, student enrollment may increase second semester, because this number doesn’t consider former students who took a break to work part-time and will return in the spring. Undergraduate retention continues to increase also because a majority of freshman students are persevering through their first year.

We’re grateful for the continuing support given from our alumni and friends. Your successes and referral of students are an important part of the reason our enrollment increases from year-to-year and why capital campaign goals for the new complex are being met. Your fiscal donations are responsible for critical resources that support student enrichment activities and faculty development.

• Graduate enrollment in our master’s and doctoral programs continue to rise because of the added distance learning curriculum. The other half of these graduates are on-campus and about half of them are pursuing doctoral degrees. While a few doctoral students are working through the distance program, most are working on a Master of Science.

• Twenty-seven students enrolled in our first distance construction engineering class. Two-thirds of these students were distance graduate students. This spring we’ll offer our first distance transportation engineering course. The addition means reaching the goal of offering all technical areas through the distance education program. • Our information technology system is redesigned. Managed by our new IT coordinator, Sam Knight, we have integrated state-of-the-art computer operations, updated computer systems in the Transportation Research Lab, and reconfigured the server system. The student computer lab underwent some needed upgrades. It showcases new fixtures and furnishings and 12 Core i5 workstations. These units connect to a document center, which offers color printing, a 42-inch plotter for posters, and layout and design software for senior

I invite you to visit campus to see the positives changes and to hear about the opportunities that will transform our future. In appreciation,

Dennis D. Truax, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, F.ASCE, James T. White Chair, Head, and Professor

Conference @ STATE

Once a bulldog, always a bulldog Among those who retired this last year – three members of the CEE family celebrated their time at MSU, But Before they left campus they reflected on their time here and what retirement held in store for them. Mrs. Mary Box - Business Manger 37 years with MSU Mary Box started working for the civil engineering department in August 1973. She said one of her most memorable experiences at MSU happened in 2003. The department decided to throw a surprise celebration in honor of her 30th year with the university.

ASCE Student Chapter (2011 Deep South Regional Conference Host)

The American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter is committed to the betterment of its members. Regular meetings, held every other Wednesday, focus on students learning from professionals to increase their understanding of the civil engineering profession. In addition to student meetings, they participate in branch, section and national conferences. Recently, the student chapter hosted over 100 practitioners and students for a joint meeting with the North Mississippi Branch. They are also involved in numerous community service endeavors. These include an annual highway cleanup project, the construction of a robotics track for an MSU competition, an ink cartridge and cell phone recycling program, and the construction of a house with Habitat for Humanity. The student chapter is excited to be hosting the 2011 Deep South Regional Student Organization Conference. Scheduled for March 31 – April 2, 2011.

“I still don’t know how they pulled that off without me finding out about it,” Box said. “The highlight of the whole event, which I will never forget, is when the music started, a door opened,and in came Harry Cole, James Martin and Bill McAnally dressed as women - in dresses, wigs, mops - and dancing to ‘Respect’ by Aretha Franklin.” Box shared that she will miss the people the most and felt very blessed being able to do a job that she loved while working with people she cared about. After retiring she plans on joining a group of friends in forming a retirement club as well as redecorating her home. Dr. Harry A. Cole Professor 35 years with MSU

- Associate

Dr. Harry Cole’s career was a very full one while here at MSU. He was a contributor to the American Association of State Highway and Traffic Officials - Bridge Design Specifications Manual and the American Institute of Steel Construction - Steel Construction Manual, both national standards in the structural engineering profession. He also served for 10 years on the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying’s fundamentals of engineering examination committee and served five years as the chairmen of its civil engineering committee. Between his professional commitments, writing and contributing to textbooks and teaching, Cole has had a full and busy 35 years at MSU. Dr. Cole said that he wanted to be remembered for contributing to the development of his students’ professional lives.

“My greatest satisfaction is seeing students I’ve taught take what they have learned and go on to be very successful,” Cole said. “Seeing my students take what I have shared with them and use it to shape their lives, I think that is the primary role of a university professor.” Dr. Cole and his wife have moved to Texas, near San Antonio. He’s looking forward to new adventures and mentioned that while he’s retired from the university, he’s not retiring from the profession. Dr. Ralph R. Sinno - Professor 28 years with MSU Dr. Ralph Sinno said that he would miss the interaction with the students here at MSU. He stressed the importance of creating practical engineers and shared his favorite teaching topic was a material he was very familiar with. “I really enjoy teaching about reinforced concrete, anything regarding concrete and the reason for that is since I was 3 or 4 years old, I was next to concrete, because my father was contractor in Lebanon,” Sinno said. “I remember just playing with concrete.” Sinno became interested in wind loading and interaction of structures with hurricanes after losing his home in Hurricane Camille. Sinno said his legacy is his contribution to the profession through the research he completed at MSU between 1992 - 2005. “We were the only and first successful researchers to truly simulate hurricane wind loading in the lab,” Sinno said. Instead of trying to create wind with jet engines, as had been tried previously, they used electromagnets. This also allowed for full-scale testing. His research opened the doors for innovation and creativity within the civil engineering field, allowing others to experiment, upgrade materials, create new constructions, and they now have the capability of full-scale testing thanks to Sinno.

NEW FACES: Two new professors to the team Dr. Seamus Freyne joins Mississippi State via Manhattan College. To start his professorial career in structural engineering, the native Californian obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of California-Davis and his postgraduate degrees from California State University-Northridge and the University of Oklahoma. Capturing students’ interests in the classroom, Freyne draws his lesson plans from work experience and research interests in statistics and infrastructure reliability. Recently, Freyne was asked to serve as a faculty member at the prestigious ASCE Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Workshop at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Freyne’s first name Seamus is the Irish equivalent to James. The Irishman is an avid reader and runner. L-R: DrS. Seamus Freyne & Chris Smith

Dr. Chris Smith, Richard Rula Professor of Construction Engineering, teaches and inspires student learning with this philosophy, “It is the study of the mistake that provides mankind with perhaps a great opportunity and wellspring of future knowledge.” Smith draws upon years of experience as an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., serving as an adjunct engineering professor at the University of Maryland, as well as serving as a Naval officer and working as an engineering consultant in the “real world” to capture student interest in the classroom. Smith obtained his undergraduate degree from the United States Naval Academy. He earned postgraduate degrees from the University of Maryland-College Park. His research interests include project management, ethics and leadership.


Students and faculty in the department gain scholarship and recognition through hard work, outstanding research and dedication to education.



Come back to campus and have some Pancakes with CEE Friends & Faculty! If you have the opportunity to come back for Homecoming this year, Oct. 23, MSU vs. UBA, come have breakfast with us in Walker and reminisce about the good old days. The department will be serving breakfast starting at 8:30 a.m. We will have western omelets, pancakes and all the trimmings. Hope to see you there!

Mariel Colman and Juan Zabrodiec, a junior and senior in civil and environmental engineering, are at the top of their class. Coleman and Zabrodiec received two of the four Mississippi designated American Society of Civil Engineering Scholarship worth $740 each. Congratulations to John Vaughn, he was awarded the NAPA/Ergon scholarship, valued at $3,000, the largest of the 22 scholarships awarded by the civil and environmental engineering department. We extend congratulations to all of these hard working students. Your awards are well deserved and we will continue to work hard to help you further your research and educational endeavors. Finally it is important to note that five faculty members have reached the top of the class through their efforts in dedication and enthusiasm of spirit. We applaud Jairo Diaz, Islam El-adaway, Phil Gullett, Isaac Howard, and Li Zhang for earning State Pride awards for their outstanding work here within CEE and at MSU. Zhang and Howard are also recent recipients of BCoE Hearin Faculty Excellence Awards.

Bob Denson - BS Civil Engineering, 1958

Outstanding CEE Senior

Special thanks to our Donors.

Majors ranking in the top 15 percent of their individual academic disciplines recently were honored at the college’s 14th annual Outstanding Senior Recognition Banquet. Civil Engineering’s 2010 Outstanding Senior is Cole Glass. Congratulations!

The support of the civil and environmental engineering department comes in all different shapes and sizes. We’d like to thank Bob and Doris Denson for their recent donation of 18 books for the CEE Library. The new building complex will have a dedicated library space in it and we are excited about this gift and appreciate your generosity with the donation of these books and archival documents.

“ CIVIL & ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING 501 Hardy Road, 235 Walker Engineering Bldg. Box 9546 Mississippi State, MS 39762

We continue to achieve excellence within our department because of our alumni and donors like you. We appreciate all that you do!

Civil & Environmental Engineering Fall 2010 Newsletter  
Civil & Environmental Engineering Fall 2010 Newsletter  

Civil & Environmental Engineering Fall 2010 Newsletter