Newsletters

  • February 2018

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    What's new in CEE?

    Graduate students are the hands, arms, eyes, and earsof CEE when it comes to research and teaching. Accordingly, the goal of the monthly newsletter is to share information about grad-related matters and celebrate the achievement of our community of scholars. If you have professional news (e.g., papers accepted, conferences attended, or fellowships received) please email it to cee-grad@virginia.edu!

    Graduate Visitation: Feb 22-24

    Planning is actively underway for this year's SEAS-wide visitation and recruiting weekend, Feb 22-24. CEE will host roughly 25 prospective students from a variety of top programs, including: Arizona, Clemson, Michigan, Stanford, Virginia Tech, and others. We are very excited about the high quality and diversity of our admitted applicants, and we are eager to make a very good impression on our visitors!

    Recruiting excellent grad students is critical for advancing the research and teaching mission of our department and School. Accordingly, we hope that faculty, staff, and current grad students will fully engage with the recruiting activities and take the time to make the recruits feel welcome. Special thanks to Ms. Peggy Gibson for her diligence in getting the applicants processed , and also to our grad student recruiting chairs for this year: Jay Fuhrman, Erica Loudermilk, Ibrahim Sabit, and Thomas Williams.

    Additional information and requests for logistical assistance will be forthcoming from the chairs. For now, current grad students should plan to attend one or more of the following department-wide events: an informal dinner with visiting students on Thursday, February 22; lunch in Ern Commons from 1-2 pm on Friday, February 23; and the first-ever joint CE and SE Graduate Research Symposium in Ern Commons from 2-3:30 pm on Friday, February 23. Friday's lunch and symposium will be open to all current CEE personnel. Current students and staff should use this link to RSVP. Faculty should use this link to RSVP. As part of the visitation, all recruits will attend the PureMadi 7 celebration on Friday evening. Details about this event are available here. There will also be outings to Monticello and a local winery on Saturday, February 25. These events will be coordinated by the School and the Graduate Engineering Student Council (GESC), but there is a need for CEE students to attend as "hosts".

    Regarding the research symposium, there will be roughly 20 posters, almost evenly split between CE and SE presenters. As in previous years, there will be cash prizes for first-place ($350) and second-place ($150), as selected by faculty judges. We will also offer a "People's Choice" award ($75), as selected by all attendees. Information related to online voting will be circulated via email closer to the event date. The prize amounts have been increased compared to previous years, to reflect the increased reach of the event (i.e., now encompassing both CE and SE), and its critical role in attracting top-caliber recruits to both programs. All current students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to attend.

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    Submit your work to UVERS 2018

    UVA's Graduate Engineering Student Council (GESC) has announced a call for abstracts for the 14th annual University of Virginia Engineering Research Symposium (UVERS), to be held Thursday, March 22 in Newcomb Hall. This event will highlight the research achievements of graduate students across all of SEAS. Selected participants will present either a poster or a 10-min oral presentation. Contributions will be judged based on technical merit, impact and significance of their research, and clarity of presentation. This year we are excited to announce the inclusion of a 10 minute podium presentation competition. Cash awards will be $100-1000 for winners, with awards for all finalists!

    From the organizers: "The submission deadline for abstracts is Friday, February 19 at 5 PM. Late submissions will not be accepted. Abstracts must be 350 words or less and contain no images.  Abstracts previously submitted to other poster sessions and podium presentations are welcome, but submissions should reflect the original contribution of the individual graduate student. Abstracts will be reviewed and selected based on technical quality and the author's ability to concisely communicate their research and its broader implications to the reviewers." Abstracts should be submitted using this link.

    CEE students have had great success in past UVERS events. Kassandra (Kassie) Grimes was a finalist and award winner in 2017 and 2016. Sarah Bauer was the overall winner in 2015. 

    Onward and Upward! - ESE

    As you may have heard, the current Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Systems and Information Engineering (SIE) are in the process of combining and creating a new department: Engineering Systems and Environment (ESE). The primary motivation for this change is to further strengthen the unique educational and research programs in our existing CEE and SIE departments, with possible emphasis in areas that intersect both disciplines. We are committed to retaining and strengthening the existing ME, MS and PhD degrees in the Civil Engineering (CE) and Systems Engineering (SE) programs. It is anticipated that we will begin officially operating as ESE no  later than the start of the 2018-2019 academic year.

    In the interest of transparency and collegiality, all CE and SE graduate students are invited to a Town Hall on Friday, February 9 from 1:30 – 2:30 pm in OLS 104. CEE and SIE's current Department Chairs and Directors of Graduate Studies will be on hand to answer questions and solicit ideas about how to take advantage of this unique growth opportunity. All are invited to attend!

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    Upcoming seminars

    CE will be pleased to host the following speakers this month:

    • Friday, February 9 (2:30 pm, MEC 205) -- Prof. James Lambert, Department of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Virginia; Faculty Candidate. Hosted by Professor Teresa Culver.
    • Friday, February 16 (2:00 pm, OLS 105) -- Prof. Lex Van Green, Columbia University; World Water Week Keynote Speaker. Co-hosted by Professor Teresa Culver (CE) and Proessor Peter Debaere (EVSC).
    • Tuesday, February 13 (3:30 pm, MEC 205) -- Dr. Julianne Quinn, Cornell University; Faculty Candidate. Hosted by Professor Teresa Culver.
    • Tuesday, February 20 (3:30 pm, MEC 205) -- Dr. Sayanti Mukherjee, Perdue University; Faculty Candidate. Hosted by Professor Teresa Culver.
    • Tuesday, February 27 (3:30 pm, MEC 205) -- Dr. Yuche Chen, Vanderbilt University; Faculty Candidate. Hosted by Professor Teresa Culver.

    A reminder that grad students should check the schedule to see when they are assigned to assist as moderator or refreshments coordinators. There have been significant changes to the schedule since the start of this semester.

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    Dr. Sayanti Mukherjee

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    Dr. Yuche Chen

    Have you recently had a paper accepted, or do you have other professional or personal news that you'd like to share? Email it to cee-grad@virginia.edu!

  • January 2018
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    What's new in CEE?

    Graduate students are the hands, arms, eyes, and ears of CEE when it comes to research and teaching. Accordingly, the goal of the monthly newsletter is to share information about grad-related matters and celebrate the achievement of our community of scholars. If you have professional news (e.g., papers accepted, conferences attended, or fellowships received) please email it to cee-grad@virginia.edu!

    Get ready for graduate recruiting!

    The season for graduate admissions and recruiting is upon us once again!  Our applications deadline for students wishing to start in August 2018 will be next Monday, January 15. CEE has made significant progress towards its goal of doubling the size of the graduate research program, having recently surpassed the 100-student mark for the first time ever. We will need everyone's help to maintain our proactive and bold approach to recruiting the best possible new students in the upcoming admissions cycle. As in years past, there will be two main ways for current graduate students to assist with the recruitment process.

    First, we are in need of 2-3 grad students to serve as a chairs of the graduate recruiting activities during this year's visitation weekend,  Friday, February 23 through Sunday, February 25. Past chairs include Courtney Hill and Charles Burgis (2016); and Gail Moruza Hayes, Shraddha Praharaj, and Erin Robartes (2017). Please email Professor Lisa Colosi Peterson (lmc6b@virginia.edu) if you are interested in serving as chair. Information about other opportunities to assist with recruitment activities will be forthcoming closer to the event.

    Second, we will once again hold a CEE Graduate Research Symposium as part of our recruiting weekend activities. This will be the fourth year for this event. It is tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of Friday, February 23. All current MS and PhD students are eligible to present a poster, up to one person per research group. Please talk with your adviser if you wish to represent your group. A reminder that several cash prizes are awarded to the winners of the symposium, including: "People's Choice" (as judged by all attendees), and also "Best Overall", as selected by a panel of celebrity judges. The best overall poster is displayed for one year in a place of honor in Civil Commons. Erin Robartes, of the Chen Research Group, is the current reigning winner.

    What's up [post]-doc? -- Dr. Shakira Hobbs

    Post-doctoral research associates ("post-docs") play important roles in the research, teaching, and administrative activities of the department. However, they frequently do not get the recognition they deserve.  Additionally, senior graduate students who are nearing completion of their PhD may have questions about what to do next, how to find positions, etc. Accordingly, this feature will periodically feature CEE post-docs, so that we can learn more about them and their work, in their own words.

    Where are you from, where did you do your undergraduate and graduate studies, and in what fields?
    I was born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Marietta, Georgia. I completed my undergraduate studies at University of Maryland, College Park and received a B.S. in environmental science and technology. On a leap of faith, I drove across the country with my sister to attend Arizona State University even though I was $10,000 short! Don’t worry, funds were found to pay my tuition. I received my M.S. in engineering from Arizona State University and PhD in civil engineering at Clemson University.

    Who was your doctoral adviser, when did you graduate, and what was your dissertation topic?
    My dissertation topic was on assessing the sustainability of food waste and bioplastic waste management streams. I used a mixed research approach using laboratory experiments (anaerobic digestion), modeling (life cycle assessment) and feasibility studies (Sittee River Village, Belize). Dr. Amy Landis was my research adviser; she’s amazing, I relocated from Arizona State University to Clemson University with her!

    What is your current title, who is your mentor, and what are you working on? 
    I am currently a postdoc working with Leidy Klotz. For the most part, my research interests are still focused of sustainable waste to energy strategies. In addition, I am working on combining behavioral science concepts with engineering concepts by understanding what make engineers empathetic to communities’ needs when creating solutions. We use functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to monitor supramarginal gyrus (rSMG) activity, which is a way of measuring brain activity related to empathy.

    Why did you pursue a post-doc and how did you find your current position? What are your future career aspirations and how does your post-doc prepare you to achieve them?
    I was initially interested in this position, because I wanted to learn how to add behavioral science to my engineering background while remaining involved in experimental and feasibility studies. I desire to have a career in academia as a tenured faculty in engineering at a top 20 university. Having this postdoc assist in these goals and allows me to refine my skills in writing grants, lecturing, mentoring, researching, networking and publishing,

    What is your advice for current CEE graduate students?
    Know yourself, know your worth, and always give back.

    Anything you'd like to share about yourself professionally and/or personally?
    I’m extremely passionate about translating research concepts to real-world solutions. I’ve co-founded BioGals, a diverse team seeking to increase the visibility of women of color solving complex problems that lead to sustainable solutions. Our team consist of women who are not only ethnically diverse, but also represents various fields of engineering. This diversity allows our team to add multiple perspectives and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. More information can be found at biogals.com.

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    Important changes for Spring Seminar Series

    SEAS is currently conducting a search for three new faculty positions, in the area of Socio-Technical Engineering Systems, to join the new department that will encompass the current CEE and SIE graduate programs. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to grow the quality and prestige of our academic programs. As such, it's critical that all departmental personnel participate in the search and help make a strong positive impression on the candidates. Attending the job talks will be an important means of contributing to the faculty search process.

    To encourage attendance at the candidates' presentations, our normal weekly seminars (i.e., Fridays at 12 pm) will be canceled during the weeks when one or more candidates are visiting. In weeks without candidate visits, we will have current MS and PhD students give talks about their research during the normal seminar time.

    Please remember that on-Grounds MS and PhD students are required to register for CE 7001 each semester, unless they are excused by their adviser. To receive an "S" grade, enrolled students should attend at least 75% of the weekly seminars and complete at least one shift as moderator and/or refreshments coordinator using this Google Doc.  Students invited to participate as speakers do not need to complete a moderator or refreshments shift. Unclaimed shifts will be assigned to unscheduled grad students on Wednesday, January 17. 

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    Check online courses from CGEP!

    UVA is proud to participate in Virginia's Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP), which offers courses for students pursuing non-research Masters degrees and certificates, as well as for continuing education in a non-degree-seeking mode. Following recent changes to how to CGEP is administered, graduate students enrolled in our on-Grounds ME, MS, or PhD programs are now eligible to take CGEP-desginated courses from other participating institutions, such as Virginia Tech, Old Dominion University, and others -- without paying additional tuition! This is a wonderful means of expanding your access to excellent coursework in various CEE sub-disciplines.

    CEE-relevant offerings for the spring semester will include Air Quality, Human Behavior and Infrastructure Systems (taught by a former student of Professor Leidy Klotz!), Biological Wastewater Treatment, and more. See the CGEP course guide for full offerings. If you are interested in taking one or more CGEP courses, talk to your adviser to make sure the course is a good fit for your curriculum. Then email UVA's CGEP Coordinator, Ms. Jennifer Mauller. A reminder that ME and MS students can transfer up to 12 or 9 credits, respectively, to count towards their UVA degrees. CGEP credits count towards these credits.

    Upcoming seminars

    CEE will be pleased to host the following speakers this month:

    • January 17 (Fri, 12 pm) -- TBD.
    • January 23 (Tues, 3:30 pm) -- Dr. Emily Grubert, Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of California - Berkeley; UVA Faculty Candidate. Hosted by Professor Teresa Culver.

    Additional speakers will be added for later dates. A reminder that graduate students should check the schedule to see when they are assigned to assist as moderator or refreshments coordinators. 

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    Dr. Emily Grubert will present her talk, Making Better Decisions: Integrating Socioenvironmental Assessment Tools with Decision Science, on Tuesday, January 23 at 3:30 pm in MEC 205.

    Have you recently had a paper accepted, or do you have other professional or personal news that you'd like to share? Email it to cee-grad@virginia.edu!

  • October 2017

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    What's new in CEE?

    Graduate students are the hands, arms, eyes, and ears of CEE when it comes to research and teaching. Accordingly, the goal of the monthly newsletter is to share information about grad-related matters and celebrate the achievement of our community of scholars. If you have professional news (e.g., papers accepted, conferences attended, or fellowships received) please email it to cee-grad@virginia.edu!

    CEE team takes top honors at WaterJAM

    A team of CEE undergraduates and graduate students won first-place in a student design competition hosted by the Virginia Water Environment Association (VWEA), as part of their annual WaterJAM event in mid-September. The team consisted of Ben Bowes, Mary Katherine Lawrence, Perrin Falkner, Kathryn Jaquish, and Syed Ahmed Kazmi.

    The competition centered around delivery of a design plan for water supply, treatment, and distribution for a hypothetical city. Teams had five hours to come up with a technical solution, which they then presented and defended to a panel of practicing engineers. The team received a cash prize and a traveling trophy.

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    The CEE WaterJAM design team for 2017 (from left): Ben Bowes, Mary Katherine Lawrence, Perrin Falkner, Kathryn Jaquish, and Syed Kasmi.

    Goodall group attracts prestigious funding

    By: Jon Goodall (at editor's request)

    Professor Jon Goodall's group has attracted new funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their research. One award is from the highly competitive Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes (CRISP) program at NSF. The project, titled dMIST: Data-driven Management for Interdependent Stormwater and Transportation Systems, is a four-year, $2.5M project that will focus on adaptive management of coupled stormwater and transportation infrastructure during flooding events. The case study region for the project is Norfolk, Virginia and many graduate students from the Goodall group are working on this topic and contributed to the proposal, including: Jeff Sadler, Ben Bowes, Faria Zahura, and Alex Chen. Professor Goodall 's group will collaborate with Professors Donna Chen (CEE), Behl (CS/SIE), Gorman (E&S), and Whitehouse (CS) on the project. This project was enabled through recent conversations and efforts in SEAS to establish the Link Lab as an interdisciplinary research lab focused on cyber-physical systems (CPS). Professor Whitehouse is director of the Link Lab and Professor Goodall is the assistant director.

    A second award is from the Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) program. This project, titled Overcoming Social and Technical Barriers for the Broad Adoption of Smart Stormwater Systems, is a four-year, $1.9M project that will focus on advancing real-time monitoring and control of stormwater infrastructure. The project is a collaboration with Professor Teresa Culver (CEE) along with Professors Branko Kerkez, the project principal investigator, and Joan Nassauer from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Professors Jon Hathaway and Lisa Mason from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and collaborators at EmNet, LCC. Both projects will allow graduate and undergraduate students to gain research skills in the growing area of adaptive management of civil infrastructure systems to both improve water quality and reduce flooding risks in the face of changing climate conditions. Congratulations to everyone who was involved in the preparation of these excellent proposals!

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    A conceptualization of the smart stormwater approach. (Courtesy of J. Goodall)

    CEE grad earns recognition at NAE summit

    By: Bethany Gordon (at editor's request)

    In July 2017, over 1,000 engineering research scientists, policy-makers, and students attended the Global Grand Challenges Summit at George Washington University. The Summit is a collaborative effort between the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. The 14 Engineering Grand Challenges were chosen as interdisciplinary goals that all engineers should be considering over the next decades. UVA Provost Tom Katsouleas is closely involved with the NAE Grand Challenges organization (the Scholars program at Duke is named after him), and UVA will hopefully have a Grand Challenge Scholars program soon.

    The How to Change the World (HtCtW) workshops were a late addition to the program. They were designed to help strengthen communication skills of the engineering students involved in the Summit, as well as give them a specific reason to approach and have a conversation with Academy members attending the Summit. 150 students participated in the HtCtW workshops, and the challenge was to make a podcast communicating one or more of the Grand Challenges to the public. There were mentors available during pre- and post-Summit workshops that guided us through the process. At one of these workshops, I was introduced to Dr. Pablo Suarez – an administrator at the Red Cross Climate Centre in the Netherlands. In addition to interviewing him for the podcast, I also hope to collaborate with him on a research project in the future.

    Editor's Notes: Bethany is an alumna of the UVA CEE program and a current GAANN Fellow and a SEAS Distinguished Fellow. Her podcast is getting great visibility (e.g., via UVANAE, and others). Take a listen!

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    Bethany Gordon

    Getting to know Professor Arsalan Heydarian

    CEE is honored to welcome Professor Arsalan Heydarian. He joins CEE and the SEAS Link Lab from the University of Southern California. Arsalan was kind enough to be interviewed for the newsletter so that he can tell us about himself in his own words.

    Where are you from, where did you do your undergraduate degree, and in what field(s)?
    I was born in Tehran, Iran, and moved to the US when I was 13. Ever since, Harrisonburg VA has been my hometown. I did my undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech.

    Where did you do your graduate degree(s) and who was/were your adviser(s)?
    I did my first MS degree in Construction Engineering and Management at Virginia Tech under the supervision of Professor Mani Golparvar-Fard and my second MS degree in System Architecting and Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC). I received my PhD in Civil Engineering from USC where I worked with Professor Burcin Becerik-Gerber on how to design buildings around occupants’ behavior and preferences while reducing the energy consumption.

    What is your research area and what courses will you be teaching?
    My research area looks at the intersection of automated and smart systems and human behavior. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how automated smart systems (e.g., built environments, autonomous vehicles) can better understand human behaviors and optimize their operation based on the real-time changes in environment and users. I will be mainly teaching construction-related courses and will introduce a graduate level course related to my area of research in the coming semesters.

    When/how did you know you wanted to pursue an academic career? How does it compare to industry?
    I did not make that decision until I started my first MS degree at Virginia Tech. I became heavily involved with research and had the opportunity to work on cutting edge research. This experience made me interested in an academic career.  In academia you have a lot more freedom to explore different ideas compared to industry. However, you have to learn how to manage your own time.

    What drew you to UVA and/or what are excited about now that you are here?
    The main thing that drew me to UVA is the initiative for interdisciplinary research at the university level and the type of research projects that faculty are doing here, which are complementary to my research interests. Also, being from Virginia, I am very familiar with the quality and talent of the undergraduate and graduate students at UVA.

    What was the best part of graduate school (highlights, experiences, etc.)?
    The best part of graduate school was the flexibility in both choosing interesting projects to pursue, as well as when I chose to work on them. Meaning, not only I was working on something that I was very passionate about but when I got bored or tired, I could just walk to the beach and enjoy the sunny southern California weather. 

    What piece of advice do you have for graduate students?
    Time management, time management and yeah, time management.

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    CEE grad receives notable EREF fellowship

    Sarah Gustitus, of the Benson research group, has been named a 2017 EREF Scholar. EREF is the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (formerly the National Solid Waste Management Association Foundation). Their mission is "to fund and direct scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices to benefit industry participants and the communities they serve." 

    Sarah's EREF-funded research will seek to develop new techniques for predicting the service life of geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) produced with bentonite-polymer composites. GCLs are composed of a layer of clay sandwiched between two geotextiles, creating a low hydraulic conductivity barrier to prevent landfill leachate from contaminating native soil and groundwater. Sarah holds a BS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida and an MS in Civil/Environmental Engineering from Auburn University. She joined CEE as a PhD student in August 2017. She is a SEAS Distinguished Fellow and a Jefferson Scholar.

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    Sarah Gustitus

    NSF grad fellowship applications due Oct 24

    A reminder that applications for the National Science Foundation (NSF's) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GFRP) are due on Tues, Oct 24. As of last year, students are only eligible to apply one time while they are in graduate school, either during their first or second year. Additional details are available from the GRFP website.

    CEE is proud to have two current NSF Fellows: Kassandra (Kassie) Grimes and Courtney Hill. Students who are thinking of applying should talk with their advisers and seek out UVA resources related to preparation of application materials.

    New courses for Spring 2018

    Several new or recently redesigned courses will be offered next spring, including several by new faculty members. These offerings include:

    • CE 5000 -- Large-Scale Construction Management, offered by Professor Heydarian
    • CE 5500 -- GIS: Environmental Resilience, offered by Professor Band (co-listed with EVHY 5999 in Environmental Sciences in support of UVA's new Resilience Institute)
    • CE 5500 -- Reinforced Concrete Design II, offered by Professor Gomez

    Students who are interested in these classes should talk with their advisers and/or contact the instructors for additional information. The CE 5500 designation is a temporary placeholder for new courses.

    Seeking volunteers for grad visit day: Oct 20

    CEE will host several prospective graduate students on Friday, October 20. Several graduate student volunteers are needed to take the visitors to lunch and for a brief walking tour of the Central Grounds. Please email Professor Lisa Peterson if you are interested and available that day. Thank you for your efforts in recruiting top-quality prospective students!

    Upcoming Seminars

    CEE will be pleased to host the following speakers this month:

    • October 6 -- Dr. Qian Chen, UVA Visiting Scholar. Hosted by Professor Marek Pindera.
    • October 13 -- Dr. Julia Reis, Virginia Tech Post-doctoral Research Associate. Hosted by Professor Teresa Culver.
    • October 20 -- Dr. Stefan Hurlebas, Texas A&M. Hosted by Professor Osman Ozbulut.
    • October 27 -- Dr. Nicole Barclay, UNC Charlotte. Hosted by Professor Leidy Klotz.

    Additional speakers will be added for later dates. A reminder that graduate students should check the schedule to see when they are assigned to assist as moderator or refreshments coordinators. Thank you.

    Have you recently had a paper accepted, or do you have other professional or personal news that you'd like to share? Email it to cee-grad@virginia.edu!

  • September 2017

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    What's new in CEE?

    Graduate students are the hands, arms, eyes, and earsof CEE when it comes to research and teaching. Accordingly, the goal of the monthly newsletter is to share information about grad-related matters and celebrate the achievement of our community of scholars. If you have professional news (e.g., papers accepted, conferences attended, or fellowships received) please email it to cee-grad@virginia.edu!

    TRN Research Day Fosters Collegiality

    Transit -

    • Tony Zhang: Last Mile Connection using Shared Autonomous Electric Vehicles
    • Seunghan (Francis) Ryu: Challenges and Opportunities of Estimating Traffic Measures using Low-Cost WiFi Readers

     

    Infrastructure -

    • Shraddha Praharaj: Data Driven Approach to Study Transportation Resilience
    • Richard Atta Boateng: The Future of Traffic Control Devices

     

    Traffic Management -

    • Xiaoxiao Zhang: Operational Performance Evaluation of the Managed Lane Strategy for Early Deployment of Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control
    • Seongah Hong: Speed Harmonization using Optimal Traffic Control Strategies under Mixed Traffic of Automated Vehicles and Human Driven Vehicles
    • Zulqarnain Khattak: Investigating Cyber-security Issues in Active Traffic Management Systems
    • Austin Valentine Angulo: User recognition at mid-block crossings via connected vehicle technology
    • Bingrong Sun: A Proactive User Optimum Oriented Automated Vehicle Routing Algorithm

     

    Safety -

    • Nancy Dutta: Assessing roadway safety risk using temporally disaggregate traffic and geometric data.
    • Lian Cui: Integrated Simulation Framework for Evaluating Safety Performance of Connected and Automated Vehicles

     

    There was also a two-hour poster session. The event was a unique opportunity for department personnel to learn about current research activities, and it was intended to stimulate future collaboration among researchers. Thank you to Professor Brian Park for spearheading the coordination of this event and for providing photos.

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    Seeking Volunteers for Fall Recruiting

    Graduate student volunteers are sought to assist with two types or graduate recruiting events to be held this month and into the fall.

    First, 3-4 current graduate students (ME, MS, PhD) are needed to staff a "Learn about Graduate School" panel for the student chapter of ASCE. This event will be from 6:30-7:30 pm on Tuesday, September 19 in THN D-222. Professor Jose Gomez will make some remarks about graduate school in general and our CEE programs. Attendees will then have opportunity to ask questions of the grad student panelists. It would be valuable to have representation from all degree programs, including students who did their BS at UVA and at other institutions. This will give the the undergraduate students many different perspectives on what they can expect from graduate school here or elsewhere.

    Second, we will once host informal Graduate Visitation Days on select Fridays this Fall, including: September 22, October 20, November 17, and December 8. Visitors will meet with the Graduate Directors and other relevant faculty, attend the departmental seminar, and have lunch and a brief walking tour with current graduate students. CEE will cover the cost of lunch for all attendees. If you are interested in assisting with the lunches for these visit dates, please email Professor Lisa Peterson.

    Thank you in advance for all that you do to showcase our graduate programs to visitors and help them learn about our department!

    Getting to Know Professor Larry Band!

    CEE is honored to welcome Professor Lawrence (Larry) Band. He holds a joint appointment between our department and Environmental Sciences, where he is the Ernest H. Ern Professor in Environmental Sciences. Prior to coming to UVA faculty, Larry was a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, having served as director of its Institute for the Environment for the last nine years. Larry was kind enough to be interviewed for the newsletter so that he can tell us about himself in his own words.

     Where are you from, where did you do your undergraduate degree, and in what field(s)?
    I am from the Bronx, NY, where I attended the Bronx High School of Science, and then did my undergraduate degree in Geography at the State University of New York, Buffalo.

    Where did you do your graduate degree(s) and who was/were your adviser(s)?
    My graduate degrees are from UCLA where my primary advisors were Tony Orme, a geomorphologist, and Ron Shreve, a geophysicist.   My dissertation research was on measurement of soil erosion and sediment transport, and the simulation of long term hillslope evolution.

    What is your research area and what courses will you be teaching?
    My major research area is now at the intersection of hydrology, ecology, and land/atmosphere interactions.  This includes the processes of coupled water, carbon and nitrogen cycling and transport, with applications to freshwater supplies and urban stormwater.  I will be teaching courses in watershed GIS and simulation, which I had been teaching at the University of North Carolina, and new courses related to the cross disciplinary resilience initiative. 

    When/how did you know you wanted to pursue an academic career? How does it compare to industry?
    As an undergraduate, I was a taxi driver in New York during summers, when I was asked to work on a research project in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia on intertidal stream networks.  While driving a cab was a fine profession, I decided a career in research in interesting places was more appealing.  

    My academic work has always included a significant component of translational research, taking fundamental new science and applying it to important environmental problems.  When I finished my dissertation, I had competing offers from Grumman Aerospace and City University of New York, but opted for the latter because of the greater choice in research and application areas. I have worked since as an academic with students and research agencies, and as a consultant with environmental management agencies and engineering firms.  Universities have the major bonus of working with bright, creative students who have very diverse academic and personal backgrounds.  This contributes to a range of valuable perspectives and contributions in both research and applied problems, well before they are inculcated into disciplinary and professional tracks.  My work with industry and agencies really tests the results of our research to solve problems and provide benefits, and provides good feedback on both research priorities and approaches.

    What drew you to UVA and/or what are ypu excited about now that you are here?
    I was drawn to UVA by the university commitment to cross disciplinary research and education on the major challenges of our time.  The initiatives in data science, cyber physical systems and environmental resilience all intersect with my research and teaching interests.  One of my major research areas has been in urban hydrology and ecology, and the interaction of the built environment, human institutions and behavior with environmental and human health.  The cross appointment between the Departments of Environmental Science and CEE provides the mix of excellent colleagues, students and infrastructure to pursue these areas. 

     What was the best part of graduate school (highlights, experiences, etc)?
    I had the opportunity at UCLA to take a cross disciplinary set of coursework and work with faculty in Geography, Geology, and Engineering.  This contributed to an interdisciplinary perspective which has benefited my academic career which has been more problem focused, and emphasized translational research and applications.   A highlight as a graduate student, was my participation in a NASA funded field project on Martian canyon development.  While we didn’t get to Mars, we spent two weeks on the Colorado Plateau around Lake Powell working on “nearest-terrestrial-analogies” to Martian landscapes.  That work emphasized cross cutting issues in climate, geology, groundwater transport and ecosystems.  After graduate school I spent time as an ASEE fellow at NASA/Ames Research Center and continued to worked closely with NASA on a set of large scale research projects through my early academic career.  NASA is mission oriented, and emphasized team development across science and engineering, which was excellent preparation for current cross disciplinary approaches.

    What piece of advice do you have for graduate students?
    First, seek out the area you most enjoy and build real expertise.  However, make sure you develop both proficiency and interest across another field and find the synergy between different domains.  This approach provides greater flexibility in career choice and development, and the ability to work with a diverse set of professionals as required for problem oriented research and applications.

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    Professor Larry Band

    Upcoming Seminars

    CEE will be pleased to host the following speakers this month:

    • September 8 -- Professor Sez Atamturktur, Clemson University: Accounting for Interdependence: Quantifying Uncertainties in Strongly Coupled Models of Engineering Systems. Hosted by Professor Harris.
    • September 15 -- Professor Ben Stuart, Old Dominion University: Integration of Multiple Processes and Nutrient Cycling in a Bio-Energy System. Hosted by Professor Lisa Peterson.

     

    Additional speakers will be added for later dates. A reminder that graduate students should check the schedule to see when they are assigned to assist as moderator or refreshments coordinators. Thank you.

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    Professor Sez Atamturktur, PhD

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    Professor Ben Stuart

    Recent Papers from CEE

    Here are some recent papers by CEE students, post-docs, and faculty. Check out what your colleagues have been working on and congratulate them on their achievements!

     

    If you haven't done so already, please link yourself to CEE in Research Gate. This is a great way to highlight your work, network with others, and make yourself visible to potential employers.

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    Have you recently had a paper accepted, or do you have other professional or personal news that you'd like to share? Email it to cee-grad@virginia.edu!

     

  • August 2017

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    What's new in CEE?

    Graduate students are the hands, arms, eyes, and earsof CEE when it comes to research and teaching. Accordingly, the goal of the monthly newsletter is to share information about grad-related matters and celebrate the achievement of our community of scholars. If you have professional news (e.g., papers accepted, conferences attended, or fellowships received) please email it to cee-grad@virginia.edu!

    Happy New [Academic] Year!

    Summer is winding down and the 2017-018 academic year is upon us. Welcome back to those who've been away on travel, field work, or vacation. And a HUGE welcome to all of our incoming graduate students, including: 14 new ME/CGEP students, 4 new MS students, and 17 new PhD students. We are so pleased to welcome this highly-qualified, diverse group to our community of scholars. This is an especially exciting year, as our graduate program has grown to more than 100 students! 

    New MS and PhD students will start as early as next Monday, August 7. All new students will arrive no later than Monday, August 21. SEAS and CEE will host several orientations (more info below), to help get our newcomers situated and acclimated. We will also host an informal Meet and Greet event next Wednesday, August 9 from 10-11 am in the Eichenthal Room (THN B-228). All faculty, staff, and returning graduate students are invited to greet our incoming graduate students. Coffee and light breakfast refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there!

    Grad Orientation(s) and Kickoff 2017

    CEE will host its annual Grad Orientation and Kickoff event on Monday, August 21 from 10 - 11:30 am in Rice Hall 130. Refreshments will be available starting at 9:45 am in the Davis Commons (adjacent to Einstein Bagels). This event is mandatory for all returning and incoming grad students.  We will discuss matters pertaining to all graduate programs, and faculty and staff will make brief introductions. We will also work in teams on preliminary planning for fall social events and the seminar series.

    Professor Jose Gomez will also hold an orientation and advising session for incoming (and returning) ME students in the morning on Friday, August 18. More details will follow via email. This event is optional but highly encouraged.

    Program Reminders

    Two reminders about program requirements for MS and PhD students:

    1. CEE is no longer using the old Plan of Study. Instead, it is now our policy that degree candidates print out and bring their Academic Requirements Report (ARR) from SIS each time their committee convenes for a milestone (e.g., thesis defense, qualifying exam, proposal, etc). The committee will review the form with the candidate and make note of any suggestions. The chair of the committee will then sign the form and return it to Peggy Gibson for filing. Milestone paperwork will not be filed with the Graduate Registrar until the signed ARR has been received by CEE staff.
    2. Graduate students will continue to attend and assist in the coordination of the departmental seminar series. The fall speaker schedule is available here. Please remember to register for zero credits of CE 7001 each semester. To receive credit, all PhD and MS students must attend roughly 75% of the seminars and complete at least one shift as moderator or refreshments coordinator. Students wishing to suggest specific speakers should talk with their advisers.

     

    CEE Comings and Goings

    It's been a busy year for CEE personnel, with many special arrivals and departures. 

    Three CEE faculty welcomed new baby girls this year: Lisa and Ryan Peterson welcomed Josephine Michelle in March, Lindsay Ivey-Burden and Derek Burden welcomed Katherine Elizabeth in May, and Osman and Cansu Ozbulut welcomed Nihal in July. Congratulations and best wishes to the faculty, their families, and their tiny engineers-in-training!

    CEE is also delighted to welcome two new faculty members who will start in the fall semester. Professor Arsalan Heydarian joins the faculty after having completed his PhD at the University of Southern California. His research and teaching pertain to integrating advanced technologies and solutions, in order to improve the decision making, efficiency, and automation of cyber-physical systems (CPSs). Professor Larry Band joins the faculty from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He now holds a joint appointment between CEE and the Department of Environmental Science, where is the the Ernest N. Erns Professor. His research and teaching relate to the eo-hydrology of natural and urban watersheds, as applied to mitigation of and adaptation to global climate change. More information about each faculty member will appear in future editions of this newsletter.

    CEE also marked the retirement of two long-time faculty members: Professors Winston Lung and Thomas Baber. They were influential in their respective research areas and also influential, celebrated classroom instructors. Both now hold Emeritus status, so they will continue to be part of our community. Say hello when you see them in the hallways!

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    (Upper) From left: Baby Peterson, Baby Burden, and Baby Ozbulut
    (Lower) From left: Professors Baber, Smith, and Lung; Professors Heydarian and Band

     

    Update from GESC 

    The message below is from CEE's GESC Representative Kassie Grimes

    GESC is the Graduate Engineering Student Council. CEE's department GESC representatives for this year will be Kassie Grimes (kg7tp@virginia.edu) and Gail Moruza Hayes (gmm8u@virginia.edu). Feel free to contact us with any GESC-related questions or to find out how to get involved!

    Three things to know about:

    Sign up for the GESC Olympics
    Sunday, August 13th, 2017 at 11:00am
    The Graduate Engineering Student Council (GESC) would like to invite all SEAS graduate students, friends, and families to a friendly competition at Pen Park Shelter #2 on Sunday, August 13th. Starting at 11AM, we will host an assortment of games including kickball, kan jam, cornhole, volleyball, and water balloon toss. To participate, sign up for events in the attached google form. We will also be providing lunch food, snacks, and drinks throughout the afternoon!  If you do not want to compete, feel free to stop by for food and drink and cheer on your fellow engineers and enjoy the park! Please use the google form to RSVP so we know how much food we need to get.

    Back to School BBQ and Navigating Graduate School Panel
    Keep checking your email for more details coming soon! 

    Lunch after CEE Orientation 
    All returning and incoming grad students are invited to head to the Corner for lunch immediately following the annual CEE department orientation on August 21! If interested, stick around after the orientation to head over as a group.

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    Have you recently had a paper accepted, or do you have other professional or personal news that you'd like to share? Email it to cee-grad@virginia.edu!