ENGINEERING SCHOOL OF SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE & ENVIRONMENT
UF NUMBER 7 AMONG PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT
INTO SUSTAINABLE ENGINEERING, 2019
iCOAST - A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO
CREATING RESILIENT COASTAL COMMUNITIES
DI RECTORâ€™S M ESSAGE
Kirk Hatfield, Ph.D. DIRECTOR, ENGINEERING SCHOOL OF SUSTAINABLE INFR ASTRUCTURE & ENVIRONMENT
Greetings from the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment. It is my pleasure to share the latest news and research within the School. We are delighted to welcome seven new faculty in the Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering and four new faculty in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences. These new hires will complement and expand the diverse research and teaching skills within our faculty and enhance opportunities for collaboration within and beyond ESSIE. These past two years have been exceptional for our faculty with university and national recognitions of excellence. Since 2018, 13 faculty members were awarded University Term Professorships in recognition of their outstanding productivity. Five of our faculty received national awards for their contributions to their field. ESSIE faculty are leading a new long-term program focused on monitoring, understanding and managing threats along the Florida coastline. This iCoast initiative is a multidisciplinary effort including many colleagues from the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and the University of Florida. Our students continue to shine in and out of the classroom. The ASCE concrete canoe and steel bridge teams continued their long history of success in national competitions, placing first and second overall, respectively. We also highlight a few of the many research efforts that our faculty are engaged in. Read how we are recreating wind storms in a laboratory and applying wave modeling techniques to advance medical research. These are exciting times for ESSIE and we are proud to share our successes with you. We look forward to a bright future educating the next generation of change makers and leading research that supports a sustainable and thriving Florida.
2019 D I R E C T O R ’S M E S S AG E ....... 2 FAC T S & F I G U R E S ............. 3 FAC U LT Y ...................... 4 -7 i COA S T....................... 8 -11
S T U D E N T S U CC E S S .... 1 2 -1 3 G R A D UAT E S.............. 1 4 -1 5 A LU M N I S P O T L I G H T .. 16 -1 8 E V E N T S .......................... 19 R E S E A R C H ................ 2 0 -2 1 FAC U LT Y .................
2 2 -2 3
Dr. Cammy Abernathy
DEAN, HERBERT WERTHEIM COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING
BY THE NUMBERS ESSIE FACULTY
Dr. Kirk Hatfield
DIRECTOR, ENGINEERING SCHOOL O F S U S TA I N A B L E I N F R A S T R U C T U R E & ENGINEERING
Dr. Chang-Yu Wu
DEPARTMENT HEAD, E N V I R O N M E N TA L E N G I N E E R I N G
Dr. Robert Thieke DEPARTMENT HEAD, CIVIL & COA S TA L E N G I N E E R I N G
Reba Liddy Hernandez M A R K E T I N G & C O M M U N I C AT I O N S SPECIALIST & EDITOR
Alisson Clark, Diane Choate, Jillaine Henry P H O T O AT T R I B U T I O N S
Bernard Brzezinski, Brianne Lehan, Lyon Duong
BEST PUBLIC CIVIL ENGINEERING GRADUATE PROGRAM, ACCORDING TO THE 2020 U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT
61 26% 21%
tenure and non-tenure full-time faculty underrepresented minorities
14.4 $14.9 33 $
million allocated to awards
million of research expenses
ESSIE Ph.D. graduates
BEST PUBLIC ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING GRADUATE PROGRAM, ACCORDING TO THE 2020 U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT
■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■
Air Resources Coastal Ecosystem Dynamics (CESD) Coastal & Oceanographic Engineering Engineering Education Collaborative Environmental Nanotechnology Geosystems Engineering Materials & Pavements New Infrastructure Planning
■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■
Structural Engineering Sustainable Construction Engineering Sustainable Materials Management Systems Ecology & Ecological Engineering Transportation Engineering Water Systems
* Based on Spring, Summer and Fall 2018 Data. Information sourced (from top): U.S. News & World Reports; Departmental Resources; American Society for Engineering Education
N E W FA C U LT Y
JOIN US IN WELCOMING 11 NEW FACULTY MEMBERS
NEW FACULTY HIRES C I V I L & COA S TA L E N G I N E E R I N G Eric Jing Du ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Automation in Construction Cobot, Virtual Reality, Human-Computer Interaction, Building Information Modeling
Nanotoxicology, Desalination Membranes, Nanoadsorbents, Nanoantimicrobials, Antibiofouling Surfaces
Katherine Deliz QuiÃ±ones
Infrastructural Materials, Cement and Concrete Testing and Mass Concrete
Microbiome Engineering, Remediation, Ecotoxicology, Ecosystem and Social Resilience
Multimodal Traffic Safety, Sustainable Transportation and Air Transportation
Water and Health, Flood Forecasting, Satellite Remote Sensing Applications in Hydrology, Climate Change
Structural Dynamics, Structural Control, Wind Engineering, Earthquake Engineering, Cyber-Physical Systems
Soil Carbon Dynamics, Earth System Models, Pore-to-Global Scaling, ModelData Integration, Simulation Analysis
Denise R. Simmons ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Civil Engineering Workforce Ecosystem, T-Shaped Professional, Inclusive Environment
Khiem Tran ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Nondestructive Testing, Ultrasonic/ Seismic Methods, Waveform Tomography, Structure Defect, Sinkhole Detection
Xilei Zhao ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
E N V I R O N M E N TA L E N G I N E E R I N G SCIENCES Andreia Fonseca de Faria
Dynamic Traffic Network Modeling, Civil Infrastructure Systems, Future Mobility Systems Planning
FA C U LT Y
Prevatt and Du Named ASCE 2018 Outstanding Reviewers “Your home is your castle, and castles aren’t blown down by wind.” David O. Prevatt, Ph.D. Rethinking wind: “I’m a windsurfer and a sailor. As a kid, I was fascinated by how the wind could be harnessed to provide power to move us forward. We choose to build in a particular way at a particular place that makes what we love vulnerable. As a structural engineer, I can build differently. I can build to be resilient. I can build to be stronger. I can build houses to be resistant to these wind effects.” Why are homes still vulnerable? Building codes in Florida have improved after Hurricane Andrew caused more than $20 billion in damages in 1992, but almost 80 percent of Florida’s current structures were built before then, so are likely to be vulnerable to wind damage. Prevatt is looking at solutions, from understanding how homeowners make decisions to a mobile app that could identify the most effective retrofits and guide them through the process. Homes of the future:
Now imagine living in a 1950s house. You don’t have to imagine it, because that’s what you’re living in right now. There has been almost zero innovation to the basic structural framing in single-family homes since the 1950s. It doesn’t have to be this way. As sustainability and windresistance become bigger issues, maybe as a society we might start coming together and thinking about it.” What change would you most like to see? “Ultimately, it’s up to us — collectively we can change outcomes. We can choose other approaches, but we have to do so as a community, and we have to make a long-term commitment to sustainable construction. The houses we build today will affect the vulnerability of our community for the next 50 to 70 years. As civil engineers, it is our responsibility to ensure you can find the construction technology so you won’t have to live with the uncertainty that the next hurricane is going to blow your house away.”
“Imagine if you were driving a car that was still based on 1950s technology. by Alisson Clark
Two civil engineering associate professors, Eric Jing Du, Ph.D., and David O. Prevatt, Ph.D., were recently recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers as 2018 Outstanding Reviewers. Drs. Du and Prevatt serve as reviewers for peer-reviewed manuscripts submitted, respectively to the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management and the Natural Hazards Review. This honor recognizes their contributions to each journal. “It is my honor to be recognized by the editorial board,” Dr. Du said. “This is a recognition of my dedicated service and contribution to the construction engineering research community.” The Journal of Construction Engineering and Management publishes research, theories and best practices in that field of engineering and management. “I’m humbled that the Natural Hazards Review recognized me for what I perceive is my obligation and contribution to the research community in advancing knowledge,” Dr. Prevatt added. Drs. Du and Prevatt both received a 2018 Certificate of Recognition and each recipient is listed on the designated journal’s landing page in the ASCE library. by Reba Liddy Hernandez
FA C U LT Y
Faculty Awards National Awards Christine Angelini CERF Cronin Award for Early Career Achievement
Lily Elefteriadou ASCE 2019 Harland Bartholomew Award
Maitane Olabarrieta Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE); AGU’s Outstanding Reviewers of 2018
Denise R. Simmons AAEE Conference Overall Best Paper Award for 2018; Best Paper Award in the ASEE International Division for 2018
Timothy Townsend U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Assistance Award
University Awards Taylor Rawlinson Division Three Superior Accomplishment Award
New Professorships 2019 ■■ Gary Consolazio - Byron D. Spangler ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■
Professorship Lily Elefteriadou - UF Term Professor Reynaldo Roque - UF Term Professor John Sansalone - UF Term Professor Timothy Townsend - UF Term Professor Christine Angelini - UF Term Professor Michael Annable - UF Term Professor David Kaplan - UF Term Professor Maitane Olabarrieta - UF Term Professor Alex Sheremet - UF Term Professor
2018 ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■
Jennifer Bridge - UF Term Professor Trey Hamilton - UF Term Professor Michael McVay - UF Term Professor Mang Tia - UF Term Professor Timothy Townsend - UF Research Foundation Professor
Tenure and Promotions 2019 ■■ Maitane Olabarrieta - Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in the Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering
2018 Timothy Townsend Doctoral Dissertation Adviser Award
■■ David Kaplan - Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences
FA C U LT Y & S TA F F
Olabarrieta Receives the PECASE Award Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment (ESSIE) Associate Professor Maitane Olabarrieta, Ph.D., was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
said. “The work that I’m trying to develop is new and not well-known, but it is important when we are talking about sea level rise effects, climate change and impacts of extreme storms along the coast.”
better understand the longer-term morphological changes that we will expect to observe in coastal areas. Results can help the government prepare for and recover from natural disasters along coastal areas.
The PECASE award is described as the highest honor given by the U.S. Government to exceptional new scientists and engineers who contribute to the advancement of the STEM fields through scientific leadership, community outreach and public education.
Since joining ESSIE as an assistant professor in Civil and Coastal Engineering in 2013, Dr. Olabarrieta has mentored 11 graduate students and participated in numerous projects analyzing coastal systems. Her current research focuses on increasing the fidelity of morphological storm impact predictions and the morphodynamics of mixed energy inlets. This determines the impacts of extreme storms such as flooding and coastal erosion. This study will also help us
“The fact that they are recognizing my work and the research area that I work in is relevant not only for me, but for the community that is working in this field,” Dr. Olabarrieta said.
Dr. Olabarrieta was one of four University of Florida faculty members to receive the PECASE award. “I am very honored,” Dr. Olabarrieta
Since its formation in 1996, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates with departments and agencies to acknowledge and select PECASE recipients. by Reba Liddy Hernandez
Staff Promotions and New Hires Jessica Doty Hired as a Fiscal Assistant
Rebekah Hatcher Hired as a Fiscal Assistant
Travis Meyer Hired as a Fiscal Assistant
Isabel Zadezensky Hired as a Research Administrator
Reba Liddy Hernandez Hired as a Marketing and Communications Specialist
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Creating Resilient Coastal Communities
The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, in collaboration with the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience and Colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine, is piloting a project that could serve as a model for collecting and analyzing data from real-time monitoring of coastlines globally using the living laboratory of Floridaâ€™s own 8,436 miles of coastline. Using advanced sensors, including new technology in development at UF, the multidisciplinary team will develop a platform for widespread, real-time, multi-scale monitoring to map and predict environmental and human health threats along the coast. The following seven engineering experts are among 14 faculty involved in this project.
Christine Angelini, Ph.D. FIELD ECOLOGIST INVESTIGATING DRIVERS OF COASTAL ECOSYSTEM RESILIENCE Why is iCoast so important?
What keeps you motivated?
Due to sea level rise, intensifying storms and changes in water quality, this coastal zone has become punctuated by threats to the people living there. For these reasons, innovating new technology to better monitor the coastal zone and developing forecasting systems are an important endeavor for people across Florida and around the world.
My children and my desire to utilize the excellent resources I have access to here at UF to improve our degraded environment keep me motivated. Our work through iCoast is vital to keeping the Florida coast livable in the coming decades and being a part of developing the knowledge needed to make that happen inspires me every day.
What impact do you hope to have in the long term?
ESSIE Assistant Professor; Instrument: Quadrat used to monitor plants and invertebrates; ruler to measure marsh plant height
Our vision is to enable proactive management and smart planning for a broad range of threats facing many coastal communities, including water pollution, pathogens, sea level rise and extreme weather events. We want to provide the engineering necessary for more sustainable occupancy and use of the coastal environment.
Whatâ€™s next? We have a lot of work to do to field-test and improve many of our technological advances and fieldvalidate the forecasting models that are being generated through this project. In my lab, we are working hard to develop machine learning algorithms to rapidly identify boat and wildlife traffic patterns along the Intracoastal Waterway and are building partnerships with a network of stakeholders across Florida.
David Kaplan, Ph.D. iCOAST DEVELOPER Why is iCoast so important? I want people to understand that more than any particular project, iCoast is an idea that we can improve the way we monitor and manage our coastlines. By bringing together experts across disciplines to build the next generation of sensing and modeling technologies, we can not only improve our understanding of the drivers of coastal ecosystem degradation, but also help mitigate these threats. What impact do you hope to have in the long term?
ESSIE Associate Professor; Instrument: Soil Auger used for taking soil samples and installing monitoring wells to measure water levels and water quality
I hope that the technological
innovations developed through iCoast help drive the next generation of environmental scientists and engineers to work to conserve our coastal ecosystems for humans and the environment. What keeps you motivated? The idea that we can provide information that will lead to the protection of coastal ecosystems for my daughters and future generations. Whatâ€™s next? The next step is deploying prototypes on the coast!
Maitane Olabarrieta, Ph.D. FORECAST SYSTEM DEVELOPER Why is iCoast so important? iCoast is a project that integrates novel and unique monitoring and modeling techniques to understand and predict the health of the coastal ecosystem; this is extremely relevant and needed to preserve and improve the ecosystem services provided by coastal zones.
What impact do you hope to have in the long term? I think this project will have a great impact in all the scientific communities focused on water quality, landscape change, climate change and coastal resilience in general.
What do you do on your laptop?
What keeps you motivated?
We run the forecast system needed to get the forecasts of atmospheric forces, hydrodynamic and wave boundary conditions. Then, we run the hydrodynamic, wave and sediment transport model. Once these are running, we process the results and make them available to the public.
I think there is an urgent need to develop integrative systems that will help us better understand the behavior of coastal systems from a multidisciplinary point of view.
ESSIE Associate Professor; Instrument: Laptop used to make and run the scripts needed to forecast currents, waves and impacts of storms in the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine.
Whatâ€™s next? The idea is to apply what we develop and learn in other coastal systems.
Alberto Canestrelli, Ph.D. FORECAST MODEL DEVELOPER Why is iCoast so important? iCoast is important because it is the first project of this kind. It focuses on an interdisciplinary effort among hydrologists, coastal engineers, social scientists, toxicologists and sensor technologists, aiming at understanding and predicting the links and dependencies between the health of humans, animals, plants and the coastal environment. What impact do you hope to have in the long term?
ESSIE Assistant Professor; Instrument: Nortek Vectrino II, an acoustic instrument used to measure fluid velocities
The United Nations predicts that the global population will be 9.3 billion by 2050. With 23% of the population living within 100 kilometers from the coast, it is important to start now to analyze and improve the health of
coastal systems, in order to make them a better place for the life of not only humans, but also animals and plants. What keeps you motivated? I am motivated by the possibility of collaborating with a skillful interdisciplinary group. It is an opportunity to make a tangible impact in the environment and in coastal life. What’s next? While the initial focus is on the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Estuary near St. Augustine, the goal of this initiative is to develop the world’s first autonomous, integrated, multi-scale, physical-chemical-biological sensing and modeling system and deploy it along the entire Florida coastline.
Arnoldo Valle-Levinson, Ph.D. INTERPRETATION AND DATA COLLECTION ANALYST Why is iCoast so important? There is a compelling need to understand how coastal systems work. That’s where humans have the most direct influence and where humans receive the most direct influence. What long-term impacts do you hope to have? I hope I can contribute to the understanding of different processes that affect coastal systems, and how
these systems impact humans, and how humans impact coastal processes. What keeps you motivated? Findings obtained with every exploration and analysis of data or model simulation output. What’s next? I will help interpret and understand information being generated by the project.
ESSIE Professor; Instrument: Acoustic Doppler current profiler used to measure velocity profiles
Peter Ifju, Ph.D. DRONE SYSTEM DEVELOPER Why is iCoast so important?
This project consists of an interdisciplinary team that covers many aspects of water collection, testing modeling, and prediction of contamination of natural and urban waterways.
Continued work on the system and doing field tests. The new work will be collecting samples to support the rest of the team’s efforts. This technology will then for the backbone of future funding and research.
What impact do you hope to have in the long term?
MAE Associate Chair and Professor; Instrument: Drone used to collect water samples to be tested for contaminants
The team would like to develop the ability to rapidly measure and forecast future red tide, algal blooms and other contaminants that decrease the appeal and safety of the Florida coastal region. What keeps you motivated? The challenge of designing, building and fielding a complex autonomous system for collecting water in an efficient manner. This can increase the speed of collection since no boat is required.
DJI drone capable of carrying enough payload to collect a liter of water 18 inches below the surface
Z. Hugh Fan, Ph.D. MINIATURIZATION SPECIALIST DEVELOPING A PLATFORM FOR DETECTING PATHOGENS ALONG THE INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY Why is iCoast so important? iCoast is about monitoring water quality along the coastline, which is important because harmful algal blooms and waterborne pathogens decimate coastal fisheries, impact human health, and affect Florida tourism. What impact do you hope to have in the long term? The iCoast project aims to monitor nutrients loads, survey water temperature, and detect water-borne pathogens in the coastal zone. In the long term, we hope to predict when
and where algal bloom and pathogen outbreaks will occur, their fate, and overall impact on the health of humans and coastal ecosystems. What keeps you motivated? Mentoring students, meeting challenges and having an impact. What’s next? We are working on a method to process large amount of water samples to interface with our handheld device and on the simultaneous detection of multiple pathogens in water samples.
MAE Professor; Instrument: hand-held device for processing a sample, extracting and enriching nucleic acids, and detecting pathogens.
Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge Place First and Second in National Competitions Congratulations are in order for UF ASCE’s concrete canoe and steel bridge teams. They placed first overall and second overall in their national competitions, respectively. It was smooth sailing for the concrete canoe team at the 2019 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National Concrete Canoe Competition. The event was held from June 6 to 8 at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. “This was a tremendous overall team achievement under the leadership of co-project managers Maitland Melnyk and Ryan Telemko, as the team set several new benchmarks,” said Dr. Robert Thieke, civil department head and concrete canoe team faculty advisor. The team earned 92.3 out of 100 points, setting the record for the highest overall point total in UF history. They placed first in the Oral Presentation and Design Paper competitions, second in the Final Product category and in Racing Points. “This means that the past nine months of hard work have paid off in the best possible way. We’ve successfully continued the legacy of innovation and creativity set by past UF concrete canoe teams and civil engineering students,” added Maitland Melnyk, concrete canoe team co-captain. This win is coming off the heels of the steel bridge team’s second overall placement in the 2019 Student Steel Bridge Competition at Southern Illinois
University in Carbondale, IL. The national competition took place from May 31 to June 1.
Wertheim College of Engineering secure first place in the 2019 Engineering Deans’ Cup competition.
“We are extremely proud of our accomplishments this year, but as a team we strive to be the best and we want to accentuate that with another national championship,” said Ryan du Chanois, steel bridge team co-captain.
Both teams have a recent history of success in their national competitions. Concrete canoe has the best record of any team in the country in the past five years, and steel bridge placed top three in 2015 and 2016.
The steel bridge group placed in the top three in the Stiffness and Construction Economy categories.
Congratulations to all the students and faculty advisors on outstanding team performances.
These wins helped the Herbert
by Reba Liddy Hernandez
Engineering Student Pitches Sustainable Solutions at United Nations Conference Jenny Olmsted, a 22-year-old environmental engineering senior, presented her proposal at the Students Seeking Solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) conference. SGDs are a collection of 17 global goals identified by the United Nations that include a broad range of global prevalent issues including poverty, climate change, gender equality and other social and economic concerns. Olmsted pitched her design and implementation ideas for a fully purifying, all-inclusive 3-D printed water filter. The filter comes in two phases. Phase one utilizes the technologies of activated carbon and xylem filtration to remove sediments, chemicals and some bacteria, she said. Phase two utilizes flow solar thermal disinfection and UV radiation to remove any remaining bacteria and viruses. Olmsted said she got the idea in October of 2017 when
Crouch Receives Funding from the RAD Program Trey Crouch, an environmental engineering sciences doctoral student, received funding from the Research Abroad for Doctoral Students (RAD) Program. Crouch was one out of 10 doctoral candidates to receive the award. This esteemed program provides travel funding to doctoral candidates in the STEM disciplines to conduct research at a laboratory or collect data outside of the United States. All award recipients were recognized during the annual International Education Week (IEW) reception on November 15.
her supervisor at the Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education (IE3) asked her to craft a way to relate 3-D printing to environmental engineering. Since then, she said she cultivated ideas for the project itself through mindfulness, observing her surroundings and reviewing research projects. “I think my niche is that there is no current projects out there that actually have a solid cradle to grave plan of water filtration and getting the filter to parts in the world who need it,” she said.
Wildschut Earns 2018 University Women’s Club Graduate Scholarship Julie Wildschut, an environmental engineering master’s student, was selected as one of five candidates universitywide to receive the 2018 University of Florida Women’s Club graduate scholarship. Established in 1922 by UF President Murphree for women faculty, staff and spouses, the University Women’s Club (UWC) seeks to offer social and service opportunities to its members. Graduate awards given by the UWC are funded solely by money raised each year through individual member contributions.
Zacharias Wins Third Place at the Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference Environmental engineering sciences student Quinn Zacharias won third place in the Water Resources Student Research Poster Contest at the 28th Annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference. Zacharias’ poster titled “Re-Examining a Decade
and Half Long Standard: A Case Study on the Florida Everglades 10 Parts-Per-Billion Phosphorous Water Quality Standard,” focused on progression toward finding the ideal water quality standard in the Everglades. In his poster, he made suggestions on striving toward understanding the ideal water quality standard. Zacharias was awarded a monetary prize of $200. The conference was held at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and the theme was “The Changing Climate of Regulation and Funding.” 13
G R A D U AT E S
MEET OUR GRADUATES : Mary Sullivan Coming from a family of engineers, Mary Sullivan knew that becoming an engineer was inevitable for her. Sullivan always liked math and solving problems, but she wasn’t sure which branch of engineering she would select. Now, five years later, she has been selected as a speaker for the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering’s Spring 2019 Recognition Ceremony.
Sullivan said. “The team is 100% the thing that changed my life.” Sullivan began as a paddler for the concrete canoe team and participated in the annual ASCE Southeast Regional Conference in her first two years. During the conference, ASCE student chapters from various universities compete in design and skill challenges to put their engineering knowledge to the test.
“As a freshman, I never ever imagined that I would be speaking at my graduation. Quite honestly, I am ending my year at UF on the highest note possible,” Sullivan said. “I am grateful for the chance to publicly thank the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering which has provided me with so many opportunities.”
“I went to my second conference and then the next day, I changed my major to civil engineering,” Sullivan said.
During her freshman year, Sullivan joined the University of Florida’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapter and its concrete canoe team, which shaped her path to becoming a civil engineer.
“Being involved was the best way to gather experiences and learn. It has changed the way I run my life, from organizing my day-to-day to interacting with others,” Sullivan said. “Different pressures come with each position, but they’ve all helped me become a stronger leader.”
“Everyone in ASCE was welcoming, and now they are my closest friends,”
After switching her major, Sullivan took on the unofficial title as ASCE Southeast Regional Conference Director in March 2017.
Mary Sullivan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Sullivan was selected as a student speaker at the Spring 2019 graduation ceremony. After graduation, she will pursue a career in water resources, which specializes in subdivision design and urban planning. “I want to be able to take all of the technical knowledge that I’ve learned and create a fun design in parks and recreation,” Sullivan said. by Reba Liddy Hernandez
G R A D U AT E S
MEET OUR GRADUATES : Luis Gonzalez The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering strives to educate the New Engineer who will transform the society of the future. These students express the attributes of the Gator Engineer – creativity, leadership, integrity, professional excellence and service to the global community. Luis Gonzalez has exemplified the Gator Engineer in so many ways during his time at UF and in the U.S. A memorable story in Luis’ own words: My name is Luis Gonzalez. I am a 24-year-old civil engineer who arrived in the United States in 2013 as an 18-year-old political refugee from Cuba. When I left my country, I had not decided what career to study. I only knew that I wanted to be an engineer. I did not feel a vocation towards any particular engineering specialty, but I was impressed by the great constructions and infrastructure that I began to see upon my arrival in the U.S. At that moment, I felt that I wanted to be responsible for such a view, so I decided to become a civil engineer. Initially, I thought my goal was almost impossible, given my immigrant
status, economic situation, and lack of language; but I started to investigate and discovered the options that existed to fulfill my dreams.
of debris per day with a capacity to salvage 90% of the incoming materials. The project became the basis of my honors thesis.
My first college experience was very One particular contribution I have beneficial, because balancing my been able to make to help other student life with a students seeking to full-time job, while attend UF, has been inserting myself leading university tours in a new society, for Spanish-speaking was a challenge; groups. I have been hence, every small able to help more than “ I H AV E B E C O M E A BETTER PERSON AND achievement had a 25 families better A BETTER ENGINEER, special significance. understand all the things READY TO BE A UF has to offer while they In December 2016, FA C T O R O F C H A N G E I N were seeing all the great I completed my S O C I E T Y. ” buildings on campus. Associate of Arts - Luis Gonzalez degree at Miami Dade My time here at the College, graduating University of Florida with the highest has been my greatest honors, and gained experience so far. I have acceptance to the University of Florida. become a better person and a better engineer, ready to be a factor of One of the most interesting things I change in society. was able to work on at the College was a project where I designed a recycling facility to produce clean demolition waste as a precursor for a marketable recycling material. The facility had to be able to produce up to 1,000 tons by Diane Choate 15
ALUM N I SPOTLIGHT
Bodine Returns to Florida to Lead in Phosphate Mining Field
When Bruce Bodine graduated from the University of Florida with his Environmental Engineering degree in 1995, he probably did not know that his career would take him all the way north to Saskatchewan, Canada, from his hometown in Lakeland, and then back 25 years later. Amidst his focus on the people and the company on which his 25-year career has been built, he has never lost his characteristic Gator outlook, “I am looking forward to returning to UF to see my college,” Bodine said. “A lot has changed since I graduated – even the name, Engineering School for Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment (ESSIE).” Bodine is also excited to come back and see more Gator football games. “Beyond my engineering education, the winning atmosphere UF provided – especially Gator athletics – showed me that in business, competitiveness matters. It was fun to be there in the late 80’s and early 90’s to see all the teams winning and absorb that winning spirit.”
by Diane Choate 16
Greg Wyka Selected as a 2019 Gator100 Recipient
First Florida Constructors was ranked fifth in the Gator100 due to its growth rate of 99.3%
Civil Engineering (‘95) alum Greg Wyka has been named as one of 100 recipients to be honored by the Gator100.
two additional projects, he was promoted to superintendent and then project manager. At age 30, he took on the role as vice president.
The Gator100 was created in 2015 to recognize rapidly expanding innovative Gator-owned or Gatorled businesses.
“As vice president, I was in charge of the projects in the state of Florida and we just kept growing,” Wyka said.
After graduating from the University of Florida, Greg Wyka began his career with First Florida Building Corp., which was founded in 1963 by Bill Miller, and went on to eventually own the company.
Then-president of First Florida, Bob Miller, decided to retire and put forward a succession plan for Wyka to become owner and president.
“When I was looking for a job, I saw an opportunity at First Florida to perform construction management at a timeshare resort in Aruba, and I took it,” Wyka said. Wyka attributed his early career success to professor and thenchair of the Department of Civil Engineering, Dr. Paul Thompson. “It was his guidance that not only allowed for me to get this job, but let me know that everything would be okay,” Wyka said. After Wyka completed the project in Aruba, he moved to Miami to fulfill his duty as an assistant superintendent. Once he completed
Since Wyka was named president in 2012, First Florida has completed multiple projects throughout the state, including Baldwin Harbor Luxury Apartments in Orlando, Portico Apartments in Sunrise, The Plaza at Aventura ParkSquare elderly housing facility in Aventura, and City Heights Apartments in Miami. Wyka attended the Gator100 award ceremony at the University of Florida and received the trophy on behalf of his company. First Florida Constructors was ranked fifth due to its growth rate of 99.3%. “This recognition means a lot to me because I feel like I’ve done something to continue the great legacy of Gator companies,” Wyka said. by Reba Liddy Hernandez
ALUM N I SP OTLIGHT
UF Alum Madeley Arriola Guerrero Selected as a New Face Of Civil Engineering by ASCE Nordic (UWCRCN) on a $50,000 academic scholarship to complete her high school studies. During her time at UWCRCN, she received a grant to complete a water infrastructure project in Granada, Nicaragua. “With the help of the community and the monetary funds, we built the well and the drain,” Arriola Guerrero said. “This is something that can be replicated to a bigger extent.”
Madeley Arriola Guerrero (B.S., 2017) was selected as a 2019 New Face of Civil Engineering by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). This program recognizes notable achievements of young, distinguished civil engineers. Only 10 extraordinary professionals in the nation were honored with this prestigious award this year. Growing up in Nicaragua, Arriola Guerrero knew at 16 years old that she’d pursue a career in civil engineering. “I lived in a country where infrastructure and global water systems are messed up and disorganized,” she said. “We had so much flooding and people would lose their houses.” Arriola Guerrero recognized from that point on, she will try to improve the living conditions in similar communities. At 17, she moved to Norway to attend UWC Red Cross
Upon receiving her high school diploma from UWCRCN, she attended the University of Oklahoma, and ultimately transferred to the University of Florida. During her final year at UF, Arriola Guerrero asked Florida Water Resources Research Center Co-Director Dr. Mark Newman to serve as her mentor as she worked on her undergraduate honors thesis. Her thesis focused on evaluating and making recommendations to solve stormwater flooding issues at Matherly Hall and the surrounding area on campus. “She jumped at the chance to do some applied work for her thesis,” Dr. Newman said. Dr. Newman stated that Arriola Guerrero was an exceptional, selfsufficient student who thrived at problem solving. Arriola Guerrero wrote Dr. Newman after receiving news that she will be honored by ASCE.
service to the global community, and received the “Attributes of a Gator Engineer” award from the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. She also received the “Roy W. Likins Scholarship” from the Florida Section American Water Works Association. Currently, she is an associate engineer at Chen Moore and Associates in West Palm Beach. “So far, I’ve been working on stormwater modeling,” Arriola Guerrero said. Some of her responsibilities include creating and designing construction plans. She plans to pursue her master’s degree and her Professional Engineering license. Her ultimate goal is to become a project manager where she will focus on improving water systems in developing countries. Arriola Guerrero and the additional honorees was recognized during ASCE’s annual Outstanding Projects And Leaders (OPAL) Gala, on March 14, in Arlington, VA. She stated this award is both a personal and professional accomplishment. She credits her success to the support system of her parents, boyfriend and friends. “My parents have been my strongest base and cheerleaders,” she said. “Without them I wouldn’t be where I am.”
“I am really proud of her,” Dr. Newman said. “It’s amazing the amount of things she can do at one time – how motivated she is, and she will do well no matter where she goes.” Before graduating from UF, Arriola Guerrero was recognized for her
by Reba Liddy Hernandez 17
ALUM N I SPOTLIGHT
Bruce J. and Winnie Rogow
Bruce J. Rogow In high school, Bruce J. Rogow (B.S., Civil Engineering ‘67) received student leadership recognition at a luncheon at the Everglades Club in Palm Beach. Rogow had the opportunity to sit next to keynote speaker, General Douglas MacArthur, and accept advice that he’d live by throughout his collegiate and professional career. “Find and go to Camelot. Be a part of Camelot. Camelots are where the world will pivot or change,” Rogow recalled. “That is what I learned in my career.” Rogow describes Camelot as getting involved in any role in a project, person or idea that will blossom into something groundbreaking and important in society. He learned what that really entailed in a vast array of extracurricular activities at UF. From starting as an IBM systems engineer, to becoming a Principal at 18
a ground breaking Harvard Business School spinoff consultancy, to being EVP and Head of Research at Gartner, Rogow continued to embark on finding his next Camelot. “I had to learn quickly to survive, compete with very talented, welleducated people and develop a level of confidence,” Rogow said. “I went from learning to leading and communicating with confidence.” Furthermore, Bruce J. Rogow and his wife, Winnie, are known for their philanthropic donations to the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment (ESSIE). “We planned to donate in our wills. One day my wife said, ‘why don’t we start while we’re still here to see what impact it may have,’” Rogow said. He explains that the donations are a display of appreciation for the
DONATIONS BRUCE J. AND WINNIE ROGOW UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARS FUND progress and success for faculty and students. As a result, ESSIE students have been employed to serve as classroom and laboratory assistants to college faculty members through the Bruce J. and Winnie Rogow Undergraduate Scholars Fund. Their contributions focus on building communication and leadership skills in today’s students, which Bruce found so crucial to his career. Among advising students to get involved in extracurricular activities and to take courses outside of their comfort zone, Rogow wants students take the advice he learned years ago. “Learn to find or create your own Camelot.” by Reba Liddy Hernandez
With the continued support from our alumni and industry partners, our students are securing internships and careers. On February 5, our ESSIE Evening with Industry spring career fair brought more than 350 students to meet with over 100 representatives from 49 companies and organizations. We love to see the faces of ESSIE alumni who return for this event, and recruit for their employers. by Reba Liddy Hernandez
ESSIE EVENING WITH INDUSTRY
Inside the Wind Machine The University of Florida’s Powell Family Structure and Materials Laboratory has designed new, innovative technology that will assist in gathering moretimely, efficient hurricane research. Located at UF’s East Campus, the wind hazard facility experimentally evaluates the way extreme winds interact with man-made infrastructure.
Currently, the laboratory uses eight large fans to push wind, which isn’t a good replica of what happens in the natural world. The way wind behaves is fundamentally different. The new multi-fan flow field modulator’s 319 individually controlled fans will be capable of replicating extreme wind phenomena beyond the eightfan array. While some parts for the new modulator were supplied by outsourced vendors, the bulk of the technology was created in-house at the Powell Laboratory using 3D printers and the machine shop. Either fan bank pushes the wind over 1,100 individually controlled roughness elements that represent the terrain upwind of the test subject. The elements, collectively referred to as the terraformer, can change orientation and height to provide fine control over the turbulence close to the floor where the test subject is placed. “What’s unique is every one of these elements is individually controlled and automated, so we can drastically change the behavior of the wind by pushing a button and waiting for 30 seconds,” said Kurtis Gurley, associate
director of UF’s Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment and expert faculty from UF’s Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering. “All of [these blocks] can change to a different configuration, as do the fans.” Despite its widespread use, the basic design of the boundary layer wind tunnel has not changed for nearly 40 years, leaving an inability to readily recreate scenarios such as downbursts associated with thunderstorms and other extreme weather conditions. Other laboratories around the world have some automation of the roughness elements, but UF has the only lab with this level of detail and flexibility, allowing researchers to recreate such scenarios. “In a traditional wind tunnel, the blocks would be wooden blocks that researchers glue or nail down to the floor and if they wanted to change the behavior, they would have to pull them all up and put in new blocks,” Gurley said. “Our automated system gains a lot of efficiency — we can go through a much broader spectrum of experiments and change the type of
flow conditions much more rapidly.” The laboratory is a national hub for experimental research making homes and businesses safer in hurricanes and tornadoes. The lab is among seven labs in the nation with the designation of “Experimental Facilities” under the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, and is one of the two dedicated to studying extreme wind events. UF’s laboratory is entering its fourth year in the program. The facilities will attract NSF-funded researchers from throughout the nation who are working on wind engineering projects and are part of a network of scientists who study different aspects of natural hazards. It provides undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty members access to one of the largest and most diverse suites of wind engineering experimental research infrastructure in the world.
Article by Jillaine Henry; Photos by Bernard Brzezinski
Measuring the Impact of
Two UF civil engineering professors teamed up with Feld Entertainment to research the impact of oversized motor vehicles on venue floors in an event called Monster Jam. Monster Jam is the largest motorsport event that tours globally throughout arenas and stadiums. Funded by a grant from Feld, Jennifer Bridge, Ph.D., and Christopher Ferraro, Ph.D., visited Marlins Park, a baseball stadium in Miami, and TIAA Bank Field, a football stadium in Jacksonville, to log and analyze the events taking place. “We’re hoping to measure the loads that various equipment and monster
trucks impart on the venue in which an event is being held,” Dr. Bridge said. Bridge, who is principal investigator, is measuring to see if the events are detrimental to venue flooring by evaluating load pressures produced by the vehicles. Vehicles include monster trucks, dump trucks, skidsteer loaders, front-loader washers, excavators, forklifts and flatbed tractors.
they plan to provide specific pressureloading data regarding all phases of Monster Jam, including floor protection installation, track construction, pit party, event performances and clean up. Bridge and Ferraro hope that this research can show an innovative use to civil engineering.
“As civil engineers, we need to understand the loads on the soil and various equipment so that we can design them appropriately, so they’re safe,” she added.
“Any time we can gain understanding, it’s a good thing,” Bridge said. “Not only are we measuring monster trucks, but construction equipment. If we can understand the loads imparted by all these pieces of equipment, we can use it as a standard.”
After they finish conducting the study,
by Reba Liddy Hernandez
Bringing Engineering Methods to Medical Research Civil and Coastal Engineering professor Alex Sheremet, Ph.D., is collaborating with the UF College of Medicine and the McKnight Brain Institute on two grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to apply his knowledge in nonlinear dynamics to advance medical science. Driven by common interests, Dr. Sheremet started working with Drs. Andrew Maurer and Sara Burke as an informal cross-disciplinary group focused on the study of brain activity. The experimental research conducted by Drs. Maurer and Burke examine hippocampal activity in rats with
the goal of understanding its role in information processing, short-time memory, advanced age decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Sheremet’s expertise in nonlinear waves, modeling and analysis of nonlinear-system dynamics is essential for developing data analysis approaches and constructing theoretical and numerical models for simulating the complex physics of brain activity. Current research efforts focus on the analysis and interpretation of macroscopic measurements of activity, such electroencephalogram
(EEG) records, and the development of a thermodynamic description of macroscopic neural activity. “Physics is the basis of anything the brain does. Dr. Maurer coined the phrase ‘physics of cognition’. We are trying to create a mathematical and physical formulation to understand the connection between these two words,” Dr. Sheremet explained. The research provides a different perspective of brain processes that could advance treatments for memory and learning impairment. by Reba Liddy Hernandez
FA C U LT Y
ANDREW ALTIERI, PH.D. Assistant Professor
CHRISTINE ANGELINI, PH.D. Assistant Professor
MICHAEL ANNABLE, PH.D. Professor
JEAN-CLAUDE BONZONGO, PH.D. Associate Professor
JENNIFER BRIDGE, PH.D. Associate Professor
ALBERTO CANESTRELLI, PH.D. Assistant Professor
JAE HYEON CHUNG, PH.D. Assistant Engineer
GARY CONSOLAZIO, PH.D. Professor
MICHAEL DAVIDSON, PH.D. Assistant Engineer
JUSTIN DAVIS, PH.D. Research Assistant Scientist
ANDREIA FARIA, PH.D. Assistant Professor
KATHERINE DELIZ, PH.D. Lecturer
ELLIOT DOUGLAS, PH.D. Professor
ERIC JING DU, PH.D. Associate Professor
LILI DU, PH.D. Associate Professor
LILY ELEFTERIADOU, PH.D. Professor
CHRIS FERRARO, PH.D. Assistant Professor
PAUL GADER, PH.D. Professor
KURTIS GURLEY, PH.D. Professor
TREY HAMILTON, PH.D. Professor
DENNIS HILTUNEN, PH.D. Professor
MYOSEON JANG, PH.D. Associate Professor
ANTARPREET JUTLA, PH.D. Associate Professor
DAVID KAPLAN, PH.D. Associate Professor
TED KRAUTHAMMER, PH.D. Professor
GEORGE LOPP, PH.D. Associate In
FORREST MASTERS, PH.D. Professor
DAVID MAZYCK, PH.D. Professor
MICHAEL MCVAY, PH.D. Professor
ANA MOHSENI, PH.D. Assistant Professor
FA C U LT Y
FA ZIL NAJA FI, PH.D. Professor
JOHN SANSALONE, PH.D. Professor
M A R K NEW M A N, PH.D. Research Assistant Scientist
PET ER SHENG, PH.D. Adjunct Research Professor
MAITANE OLABARRIETA, PH.D. Associate Professor
VLADIMIR PARAMYGIN, PH.D. Research Assistant Scientist
DENISE SIM MONS, PH.D. Associate Professor
DONA LD SLINN, PH.D. Associate Professor
BR I A N PHILLIPS, PH.D. Associate Professor
DAV ID PR EVAT T, PH.D. Associate Professor
X I AOY U SONG, PH.D. Assistant Professor
TAY LOR R AW LINSON, PH.D. Research Coordinator
K Y LE R IDING, PH.D. Associate Professor
R EY NA LDO ROQU E, PH.D. Professor
BILL SA M PSON Associate In Engineering
ALEX SHEREMET, PH.D. Professor
SIVA SRINIVASAN, PH.D. Associate Professor
R A NDY SW I T T Assistant In
ROBERT T HIEK E, PH.D. Assistant Professor
KATHERINE TODD-BROWN, PH.D. Assistant Professor
M A NG T I A, PH.D. Professor
TIMOTHY TOWNSEND, PH.D. Professor
K H IEM T R A N, PH.D. Associate Professor
ARNOLDO VALLE-LEVINSON, PH.D. Professor
SCOTT WASHBURN, PH.D. Professor
SCOT T WASM A N, PH.D. Research Assistant Professor
CH A NG-Y U W U, PH.D. Professor
X I AO Y U, PH.D. Assistant Professor
X ILEI ZH AO, PH.D. Assistant Professor
J I A N ZOU, PH.D. Research Assistant Scientist
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