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Civil & Environmental engineering fa l l 2 0 1 2

Message from

the Chair

Dear Alumni, Friends and Colleagues, On behalf of the faculty, staff and students of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, I would like to thank you for your continued and unwavering support for our Department. I am also pleased to report on another terrific year and the steady progress we are making in all aspects of academic life. We successfully moved from the 9th floor of Benedum Hall – our home for over 40 years – to a brand new and beautifully remodeled 7th floor this summer. Judging by the fervent activity, our students and faculty are thoroughly enjoying their new space (although I still continue to press “9” in the elevator). Our profession continues to excite our talented students as we innovate our curricula and introduce new programs. You can read in this newsletter about the 2012 Ohio Valley Student





Swanson School Faculty Win First Grants from DOE


Student Feature:

Undergrads Host Student Competition

Competition that was hosted by our students and brought 14 different schools from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky to our campus. The water supply project that our students conducted in Tingo Pucará, Ecuador under the guidance of Dr. Dan Budny received Premier Project Award from the Engineers Without Borders USA. Our faculty and students continue to garner national recognition for their teaching and research activities. I encourage you to visit our website for more details. We are very pleased that we continue to attract the best and the brightest to join our Department as we build the expertise that will allow us to tackle some of the most pressing problems facing the civil engineering profession and our society. We hired two new faculty members that will be joining us this academic year and we will introduce them in the next newsletter.


Dr. Dan Budny Receives Accolades

We invite you to visit us (on the 7th floor) and would be happy to see you on the Pitt campus.

Radisav Vidic, PhD, P.E. William Kepler Whiteford Professor and Chair

Swanson School Hosts White House Roundtable....................................... 2

Back Cover

Carnegie Science Awards

Dr. Melissa Bilec Collaborates with Magee-Womens Hospital...................................... 3 Concrete that Floats................................................ 5 Awards, Honors, Promotions............................8-11

2 | Fall 2012


Swanson School of Engineering Faculty Win First Grants from DOE Nuclear Energy University Programs


n a first for the University of Pittsburgh, the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a combined $1.3 million to the Swanson School of Engineering through the DOE’s Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP). Among the recipients was John Brigham, PhD, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, whose research team received $876,422 for computer modeling research into future generations of high-temperature reactors, the highest of the three grants at the Swanson School. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for our Nuclear Engineering program, which has experienced steady growth thanks to the resurgence of the region’s nuclear energy industry,” noted Gerald D. Holder, PhD, US Steel Dean of Engineering. “I congratulate our faculty on receiving what I believe will be the first of many NEUP grants at Swanson.”

Dr. Brigham’s team includes members from the Swanson School of Engineering, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and Westinghouse. The research aims to develop a comprehensive experimentally validated computational framework for the turbulent mixing in the lower plenum of next generation high temperature gas reactors (HTGRs). These high-efficiency reactors are utilized for electricity production and a broad range of process heat applications. In addition to Dr. Brigham, the team includes Principal Investigator Mark Kimber, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science; Anirban Jana, PhD, Sr. Scientific Specialist, Scientific Applications and User Support at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center; and Milorad Dzodzo, PhD, Westinghouse Electric Company, Research and Technology.


Dr. Melissa Bilec and Magee-Womens Hospital Collaborate to Improve Sustainable Childbirth Procedures

By B. Rose Huber


Dr. John Brigham (left) and Dr. Mark Kimber

Through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling and experimental validation, the results from this project will lay the groundwork for future stress analysis, failure and fatigue studies, and uncertainty quantification for HTGR systems. The NEUP also awarded Pitt $300,000 for a new radiation detection and measurement laboratory,

and a $155,000 fellowship for a student pursuing a career in the nuclear field. In addition, a shared $599,802 grant with State University of New York – Stony Brook will help to develop a self-powered sensing and actuation system for nuclear reactors in case of major power failures.

esearchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Magee-Womens Hospital have collaborated to improve sustainable childbirth procedures, both through vaginal delivery and birth by cesarean section. The study, published in Science of the Total Environment, is the first of its kind to examine infant birth using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a technique that assesses the environmental impacts associated with all stages of a product’s or procedure’s life. “We are deeply interested in understanding the relationship between the delivery of medical care and our environment,” said Melissa Bilec, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and assistant director of education and outreach at the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation. “We utilized LCA to make suggestions on ways to save energy, improve the health of our environment, and address patient or worker safety.”

with Federal Highway Administration


The White House and the US Dept. of Transportation utilized the roundtable to gain input and recommendations from regional transportation leaders. The roundtable at the Swanson School was moderated by Radisav Vidic, PhD, P.E., William Kepler Whiteford Professor of

“We found that energy consumption resulting from HVAC, the impacts of the waste involved with disposable custom packs, and the production of disposable custom packs contributed to the highest environmental impacts for both types of births,” said Bilec. By using LCA, the team was able to suggest some noteworthy recommendations to Magee, including HVAC control optimization, environmentally preferred purchasing, reduced reliance on disposable products, and modified waste management. Bilec says the Pitt team felt honored to work with Magee researchers, as they “not only deliver a tremendous number of babies,” but they have a very robust “green team” that will try and implement Pitt’s suggestions.

Using information from this study, the Pitt-Magee team is now studying the environmental impacts of different modes of hysterectomies to further develop its understanding of the carbon footprint of other medical procedures.

Environmental Engineering and Chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Mr. Mendez oversees FHWA’s 2,900 employees in Washington and field offices across the country and provides executive guidance on strategic initiatives and policy. Mr. Mendez previously served as the Director of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), working to improve the agency’s customer service in both its highway and motor vehicle divisions. Mr. Mendez was elected president of both the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, its national counterpart.

With the goal of improving the environment and patient quality, the interdisciplinary research team evaluated a number of medical devices and procedures used during infant birth using the four-step LCA. The major components evaluated were the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system in the hospital (HVAC), as well as lighting, machines, surgical instruments, and disposable custom packs (such as patient gowns and toiletries) associated with each mode of birth. This included the sterilization, decontamination, and waste segregation for disposable materials.

“The collaboration with the Pitt engineers has been incredibly exciting for us at Magee because it’s allowed us to quantify environmental impacts that we wouldn’t have otherwise understood,” said Noedahn Copley-Woods, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences in Pitt’s School of Medicine and an OB/GYN physician. “This collaboration has helped direct our sustainability efforts and has generated enthusiasm among Magee employees for our greening efforts.”

Swanson School Hosts White House Transportation Roundtable

he White House, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh hosted a roundtable discussion with community leaders in transportation this afternoon, June 11 with Victor Mendez, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration. Administrator Mendez was in Pittsburgh to participate in the International Bridge Conference at the David Lawrence Convention Center.

Fall 2012 | 3

Additional researchers involved in the study were Amy Landis, an associate professor of engineering at Arizona State University, and Pitt civil engineering graduate students Nicole Campion, Justin Deblois, and Cassandra Thiel. Funding for this study was provided by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. (L to R) Mark Magalotti, P.E., senior lecturer in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Administrator Victor Mendez; and Dr. Radisav Vidic.

4 | Fall 2012



Fall 2012 | 5

CivilE Undergraduates Host

2012 Ohio Valley Student Competition

More than 330 students from 14 different schools across western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky participated in this annual competition that provides civil engineering students the opportunity to solve a unique design problem and create the solution with their hands. From building a concrete canoe or a balsa wood bridge, to tossing concrete horseshoes and developing environmental treatments using only household products, the competition engages the students’ ingenuity, creativity and ability to work as teams.

Students from the Swanson School’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering developed the OVSC’s Environmental Competition, under the direction of Research Assistant Professor Jason D. Monnell, PhD. The goal of the environmental competition was to remove barium from a blind Marcellus Shale flowback-produced water in the most sustainable, creative, and cost effective way possible. Flowback water is the water initially recovered after hydraulic fracturing natural gas wells. The water consists of injected fluids that spent several days to several weeks underground. The flowback water can include soil, salt, metals, and chemicals.



University of Cincinnati, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, University of Pittsburgh, Western Kentucky University, and Youngstown State University.

ndergraduate student members of the University of Pittsburgh’s American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter hosted a successful 2012 Ohio Valley Student Conference (OVSC) from March 29-31, 2012 at the University’s Swanson School of Engineering.

This year’s participating colleges and universities included Carnegie Mellon University, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Cleveland State University, Geneva College, Ohio State University, Ohio University, University of Akron,

Flowback water is usually characterized by high salinity and high amounts of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). These levels of salinity are difficult to remove and can represent economic and environmental challenges to address the by-product in a sustainable manner.

Winning the game First place winners included: AutoCAD - Cleveland State University Balsa Wood Bridge - Ohio State University Concrete Horseshoes - University of Akron Environmental - University of Kentucky Steel Bridge Competition - University of Akron Surveying - University of Pittsburgh Sustainable Design - Ohio State University Technical Paper - Western Kentucky University

As an added challenge to make the process not only effective but sustainable, competitors could only purchase the active treatment ingredients from a grocer, home improvement or drug store. In addition to the sustainability component, judges also scored on creativity, which was supplementary to the actual physicochemical requirements for the product to be tested – pH, turbidity, and barium content. “I congratulate our students for developing and hosting a successful Conference,” Dr. Monnell said. “This is a well-regarded event for engineering undergraduates throughout the Ohio Valley, and our students truly set the bar high for next year’s Conference in Ohio.” Pitt students Angela Anderson and Matthew Gilfillan drafted the rules for the competition; Angela and Kyle Freehart competed and came in 2nd place using conventional bath salts and a minimalistic yet creative treatment mechanism. Matt Huddleston coordinated the actual competition and performed the physico-chemical testing.


he Swanson School of Engineering competed in all competitions and came in third place overall. Besides finishing first in the Surveying competition, Pitt placed sixth in Steel Bridge, fifth in Concrete Canoe, second in Environmental, second in Sustainable Design, and Fourth in the Technical Paper. A detailed listing of results can be found at Pitt’s OVSC organizing committee was expertly lead by Matt Gilfillan and supported by a strong group of members including: Mike Carretta, Natalie Celmo, Mike Cinciripini, Marshall Davis, Jacob Helman, Matt Huddleston, Caitlin Mehall, Matt Morrone, Sam Scalzo, Krista Stippelmans, Dan Stauffer, Abigail Stein, Matt Tamrowski, Dr. Anthony Iannacchione, Dr. Dan Budny, Dr. Jason Monnell, Jennifer Welton, Dr. Julie Vandenbossche, and Monica Bell. With the competition ended, the students are looking forward to the national competitions this fall as well as next year’s OVSC competition at Cleveland State University, April 4-6, 2013.

Concrete that Floats


SCE Student Organizations have been involved in constructing and racing concrete canoes on the local and conference level since the early 1970s, and the first National Competition began in 1988. The seemingly incongruous challenge of building a concrete canoe that floats has a practical application in the competition. The ASCE designed the event to provide civil engineering students an opportunity to gain hands-on, practical experience and leadership skills by working with concrete to understand its versatility, durability and practicality in everyday use. The Concrete Canoe Competition, held at North Park Lake, required teams to build a 20-foot long canoe using recycled materials capable of withstanding competitive racing. Canoes were judged on aesthetics, racing, durability, technical paper, and an oral presentation.

The Swanson School’s concrete canoe team set out to develop a concrete mixture that incorporated a sustainable use of materials yet light enough to float in water and still meet the necessary strength requirements. To ensure the canoe, which they christened Pittsburgh Pride, would have the necessary structural integrity, a structural analysis was performed using the finite element method. Once the mixture and structural design was complete, the canoe was constructed. “The concrete canoe competition provides students with an opportunity to work with all of the components typically encountered in a civil engineering project….design, materials, construction, sustainability and cost analysis,” explains Julie M. Vandenbossche, PhD, assistant professor of geotechnical and pavements engineering. “However, it’s equally important to opportunity to have fun and make friends while developing skills in leadership and working within a team, the foundation of any successful engineer.”

6 | Fall 2012



Fall 2012 | 7

Dr. Dan Budny Receives Local, National Accolades


aniel Budny, PhD, academic director of the Freshman Engineering Program and associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was recognized this year for his accomplishments as both instructor and researcher. Locally, Dr. Budny was named the 2011 Professor of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers Pittsburgh Section. The award recognizes outstanding teaching ability and significant contributions toward improving professional aspects of civil engineering education.

On the national front, Engineers Without Borders USA selected the Pittsburgh Professional Chapter as the recipient of the EWB- USA Premier Project Award for its water project in Tingo Pucarรก, Ecuador. The award recognizes excellence in EWB-USA projects and highlights projects that deliver high quality, sustainable solutions to help meet the basic needs of partnering communities abroad. Beginning in spring 2010, Dr. Budny and graduate student Rob Gradoville began an Engineering Education research project to measure the impact international exposure had on influencing the senior design experience. A portion of the EWB Tingo Pucarรก, Ecuador project was taken on by

the senior design class the following fall 2009. The original EWB project was designing a pump station to deliver water to a tribe living on top of the Andes Mountains.

in their homes. Over the next year EWB teams completed the remainder of the project, and the complete system was then awarded the EWB premier award.

source of water for a local school in the Amazon Rain Forest of Ecuador. This fall the students are assisting the EWB-Panama chapter with a project outside Panama City, Panama.

However, at its inception the project did not include the design of the distribution system at the top of the mountain. In spring 2010 the Pitt seniors designed and then traveled to Ecuador to assist in the construction of the distribution system, and over Spring Break 2010 the students completed the construction and connected the system to a temporary rain water collection tank. When the students finally returned to Pittsburgh, the people of Tingo Pucarรก had for the first time running water

Not only did the student senior design project help EWB win this award, it also launched a new international senior design experience for the Swanson School of Engineering. In spring 2011 the students designed a new gravity feed water system that included a rain water collection as a

Pitt engineering students are increasingly interested in participating in international experiences. However, there is a per-student cost of $1500 $2000, associated with the experience that limits involvement of more students. Additionally, extensive research must be conducted by faculty and

staff to investigate and select worthwhile projects. Pitt alumni who are involved with a non-profit group or through their employer have connections that would support these projects, or who know of potential project, please contact Dr. Budny at Photos of Pitt engineering students at the EWB project in Ecuador.

8 | Fall 2012


Clarion University Recognizes Dr. Janet Stout for Research Accomplishments


anet Stout, PhD, research associate professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering was honored for her accomplishments by her alma mater, Clarion University in Clarion, Pa. She was among five Distinguished Award recipients honored this year for achievements and contributions. Dr. Stout, a microbiologist, is an internationally recognized authority on Legionnaire’s Disease, who discovered the link between the presence of Legionella bacteria in hospital water systems and the occurrence of hospital-acquired Legionnaire’s disease. She is the founder and director of the Special Pathogens Laboratory and has authored more than 80 peer review papers and book chapters on Legionnaires’ disease. She is a member of American Society for Microbiology, Association for Professionals in Infection Control

and Epidemiology, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the Association of Water Technologies.

Dr. Kent Harries Named Co-Recipient of the 2012 ASCE

State-of-the-Art of Civil Engineering Award


ent Harries, PhD, FACI, P.Eng., associate professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was named a co-recipient of the 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) State-of-the-Art of Civil Engineering Award.

Dr. Harries and his coauthors were recognized for the 2010 paper “Seismic Design of Hybrid Coupled Wall Systems – State of the Art,” ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering Vol. 36, No. 7. pp 755-769. Co-authors include Sherif El-Tawil, PhD, P.E., University of Michigan; Patrick J. Fortney, PhD, Chief Engineer, Cives Steel Company (Dayton, OH); Bahram M. Shahrooz, PhD, University of Cincinnati; and Yahya Kurama, PhD, University of Notre Dame. The ASCE State-of-the-Art of Civil Engineering Award recognizes the individual, individuals or committee that has prepared, for the benefit of the profession, the most outstanding paper which reviews and interprets state-of-the-art scientific and technical information. Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 140,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society.


Fall 2012 | 9

Dr. Ronald Neufeld Named

Dr. Jorge D. Abad’s Hydrological Environmental Hydraulics, Fluid Mechanics and Morphodynamic



WEF Fellow

rofessor Ronald D. Neufeld, PhD, PE, BCEE, is one of twenty-three outstanding professionals named by the Water Environment Federation as this year’s 2012 group of WEF Fellows. This prestigious designation recognizes members’ achievements, stature, and contributions in professional segments served by WEF. The WEF Fellow Recognition Program, now in its second year, identifies individuals with outstanding accomplishments who have made an impact in their field of expertise and has been approved by WEF Board of Trustees. A component of the Federation’s respected Awards & Recognition Program, the Fellow Recognition Program underscores WEF’s reputation as a valuable water quality resource, which is due in large part to the expertise of its diverse membership. WEF Fellows are recognized in various areas of expertise including, but not limited to design, education, operations, regulation, research, utility management and leadership.

The 2012 Fellows will be recognized during WEFTEC® 2012, WEF’s annual technical exhibition and conference to be held in New Orleans, La., September 29 to October 3, and may use the WEF Fellow designation following their name in a professional capacity.

Research Captures International Attention ydrodynamic and morphodynamic research by Assistant Professor Jorge D. Abad, PhD was recognized with three significant awards this year.

St. Anthony Falls Laboratory in Minneapolis named Dr. Abad the recipient of the internationally-recognized Lorenz G. Straub Award for 2008. Established under the Lorenz G. Straub Memorial Fund, this award is given for the most meritorious thesis in hydraulic engineering, ecohydraulics, or related fields. The competition is international, and nominations may be made by any recognized civil and environmental engineering program in the world. The Lorenz G. Straub award for a particular year is presented well after that year is over, and represents is the year the dissertation was completed. Dr. Abad’s PhD dissertation, “Hydrodynamics and Morphodynamics in Kinoshita Meandering Channels,” was completed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, under the guidance of Professor Marcelo H. Garcia. He will be honored at the 43rd Straub Award ceremony on October 19, 2012 at the University of Minnesota. Earlier, in May 2012, Dr. Abad received ASCE’s 2011 Wesley W. Horner Award, which recognizes papers that have contributed to the areas of hydrology, urban drainage, or sewerage. Dr. Abad and his University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign co-authors Marcelo H. Garcia., PhD, M.ASCE, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Davide Motta, Graduate Research Assistant, published “Modeling Framework for Organic Sediment Resuspension and Oxygen Demand: Case of Bubbly Creek in Chicago” in the Journal of Environmental Engineering (September 2010). The study modeled combined sewer overflow events and their impact on dissolved oxygen levels in the short-term (hours or days) in Bubbly Creek. Also in 2012, Dr. Abad and his colleagues received the Wiley-Blackwell Award. The Wiley Award is given to the best paper published in the British Society for Geomorphology (BSG)’s Journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. The paper titled “A new framework for modeling the migration of meandering rivers” (2011 volume). Co-authors include Professor Gary Parker and PhD candidate Esther Eke from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Professor Yasu Shimizu from Hokkaido University (Japan), Assistant Professor Gregory Wilkerson from the Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Assistant Professor Wes Lauer from Seattle University, Professors Chris Paola and Vaughan Voller from University of Minnesota, and Professor Bill Dietrich from University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Abad’s research interests are combined by fundamental and applied topics. Fundamental topics include: mechanics of sediment transport, high-resolution description of hydrodynamic and morphodynamics in subaerial and submarine meandering channels, long-term prediction of river morphodynamics, development of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models for environmental flows, environmental hydrodynamics, and transport and mixing processes. Applied topics include: river restoration, bank protection using instream-structures, development of GIS-tools for river management, development of CFD models for hydraulic structures (dropshafts and fish-passage canoe-chutes). Dr. Abad’s group seeks understanding of geophysical processes in laboratory-scale (theoretical, physical experiments and numerical approaches) and field-scale (theoretical, numerical and field work). Dr. Abad is involved in international research and educational activities and is one founders of the Center for Research and Education of the Amazonian Rainforest ( and Dr. Abad was chair of the UNESCOfunded conference “Tropical Rivers 2012.”

10 | Fall 2012


Dr. Piervincenzo Rizzo Receives 2012 Achenbach Medal from the International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring


ssociate Professor Piervincenzo Rizzo, PhD, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Achenbach Medal. Presented by the International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring (IWSHM), the Achenbach Medal recognizes the outstanding contribution of a young investigator within ten years of his/her PhD for outstanding research contribution in the field of Structural Health Monitoring. IWSHM announced the award at the 6th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring & 1st European Conference of the Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) Society in Dresden, Germany July 3-6, 2012. Dr. Rizzo will receive the medal at the September 2013 IWSHM Conference at Stanford University. The medal is named in honor of Jan Achenbach, professor emeritus (Walter P. Murphy Professor and Distinguished McCormick School Professor) at Northwestern University. His main fields of research are in acoustics, fracture mechanics and wave motion.

u Liang, PhD was named Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Liang’s fundamental research interests include: (1) to discover and reveal fundamental laws that govern water and energy cycles, and (2) to investigate how the water and energy cycles affect the health of our environment and ecological systems, and how they influence the transport and cyclings of nutrients and pollutants at different scales, such as at local, regional, continental, and global scales. She is also interested in research topics leading to improving accuracies on weather forecasts, droughts and floods, and on climate studies; scaling and data assimilation using in situ and remotely sensed measurements; impacts of climate change on diseases re-occurrences and re-distributions, and on sustainable water resources and environment; and applications of emerging information technology for sustainable ecological system and water resources management. Liang’s recent work includes eco-hydrology, hydro-informatics

with machine learning methods, cyber-infrastructure for earth science, data assimilation, land surface modeling, and applications of sensors and wireless sensor network for environmental, ecological, and hydrological systems. Dr. Lang earned her bachelor of science and master of science in engineering from Sichuan University in China, and her

PhD in hydrology and water resources from the University of Washington. Piervincenzo Rizzo, PhD was promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Rizzo’s academic and professional interests are in the fields of nondestructive testing/evaluation, structural health monitoring, signal processing and automatic pattern recognition for realtime prognosis of structural and biological materials, and implementation of embedded sensor network for the health monitoring of civil, mechanical and aerospace structures. Current works include: 1) the development of guided wave-based SHM methodologies for pipes; 2) the investigation of highly-nonlinear solitary waves for the noninvasive assessment of structural and biomaterials including structural buckling. The work of Dr. Rizzo is being or was funded by the NSF, PennDOT, ASNT, Federal Railroad Administration, and several Pitt’s seed grants. He earned his Laurea (MS) in aeronautical engineering from the University of Palermo, Italy; and his MS and PhD in structural engineering from the University of California San Diego.

Fall 2012 | 11

Dr. John Brigham Joins ASCE Pittsburgh Board of Directors


ssistant Professor John Brigham, PhD, was named a Director of the American Society of Civil Engineers Pittsburgh Section for the 2012-2015 term by the Section’s Board of Directors.

“This is truly an honor and I thank the Board of Directors for appointing me,” Dr. Brigham said. “I hope to build an even stronger bond between the ASCE Pittsburgh Chapter, Pittsburgh-area educators, and the next generation of Pittsburgh professional civil engineers.” As a member of the Structural Engineering and Mechanics group within the CEE Department Dr. Brigham teaches courses on structural analysis and computer methods in civil engineering. As principal investigator of the Computational Diagnostics and Inverse Mechanics group Dr. Brigham and his research team investigate fundamental concepts in mechanics and computation spanning a broad range of applications, from assessing service life of civil, marine, or aircraft structures to diagnosing physiological changes in biological structures. He received a BE in civil and environmental engineering and mathematics from Vanderbilt University in 2003, and a MS and PhD in civil and environmental engineering from Cornell University in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

Promotions within CEE





Student Awards

hD candidate Ronald Gutierrez, BCE,

Michael Krajcovic, a senior in civil and

Michael Sweriduk received the Art Livingood

C.Eng., S.M.ASCE, was awarded the 2012

environmental engineering, was named the

Scholarship from the Pittsburgh Chapter of

Freeman Fellowship by the American Society

2012 recipient of the Swanson School of En-

the American Concrete Institute. Named

of Civil Engineers. The Fellowship includes a

gineering’s George Washington Prize, which

after one of the chapter’s founders, the Art

monetary award to support Mr. Gutierrez hy-

recognizes seniors who display outstanding

Livingood Scholarship Fund assists under-

draulic research project in the Amazon Basin.

leadership, scholarship and performance as

graduates who have an interest in cement

He is the coordinator for the Environmental

determined by a committee of eight profes-

technology, or concrete technology, design

Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, headed by Jorge

sional engineers and faculty. The George

or construction.

D. Abad, PhD, assistant professor of water

Washington Prize was named after the first

resources engineering. Freeman Fellowships

President of the United States and First Engi-

are made toward expenses for experiments,

neer, to reinforce the importance of engineer-

observations, and compilations to discover

ing and technology in society, and to sustain

new and accurate data that will be useful

and enhance the visibility of the engineering

in engineering.


The University of Pittsburgh ASCE Student Chapter earned a Letter of Honorable Mention from ASCE for their outstanding activities as recorded in their 2011 Annual Report.

Benedum Hall 3700 O’Hara Street Pittsburgh PA 15261

Two Faculty Members Receive Carnegie Science Award


wo Civil Engineering faculty members were among this year’s recipients of the Carnegie Science Center’s 2012 Carnegie Science Awards, sponsored by Eaton Corporation. Melissa Bilec, PhD, assistant professor and assistant director for education and outreach, Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation; and Amy E. Landis, PhD, assistant professor, won the University/PostSecondary Educator category.

The Carnegie Science Center established the Carnegie Science Awards program in 1997 to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in western Pennsylvania. Celebrating its 16th year, the Carnegie Science Awards have honored the accomplishments of more than 300 individuals and organizations that have improved lives through their commitment and contributions in science and technology.

Un iv e r si t y of P i t t s b urgh | Swan s o n S c h o o l o f En g i n ee r i n g | C EE N ews | Fall 2012

Swanson School Civil & Environmental Engineering Fall 2012 Newsletter  
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