CEE Professor Thanos Papanicolaou serves as the chief editor for the Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, which is in this 60th year of publication as the flagship publication of the ASCE. In the latest issue, Papanicolaou chronicles the journal’s history and its impact. Read Following the Water Drop: 60 Years of the Journal of Hydraulic Engineering here.
CEE is happy to announce the hire of Andy Baker, who began as CEE’s new technical manager on May 1. He replaces Ken Thomas, who retired after 25 years. Baker’s role will be to oversee the department’s machine shop and provide critical technical engineering support to the department’s students and faculty.
A native of Seymour, Baker received an AS degree in Manufacturing Engineering at Pellissippi State Community College and a BS degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from East Tennessee State University. His previous work experience includes more than a decade of experience in industry, running a family-owned business producing custom racing parts, teaching as a professor at Pellissippi State Community College, and most recently as a production cutting engineer at DENSO.
CEE’s “Hydrolunteers” were awarded UT’s Student Organization Environmental Leadership Award. The “Hydrolunteers” are student group is comprised of students from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering that is focused on understanding, protecting and preserving water resources in East Tennessee. The awarded is given annually to a student organization that demonstrates environmental stewardship through engagement, action, and leadership.
“Hydrolunteers has made substantial strides in their two years of ‘rebooting’ a student-led, water/environment focused organization,” said nominator Professor Jon Hathaway. “It is a noble effort to not only educate the student population, but they also have been working to expand into the community with stream cleanup, working with Keep Knoxville beautiful, etc. I’m excited to see the group continue to grow and move toward and integrated team of students from across all colleges at UT.”
The Civil and Environmental Engineering Hall of Fame was initiated at the department’s awards banquet on Friday, April 28. The Hall of Fame seeks to honor alumni and friends of the department who have made significant contributions to the engineering profession and positively reflected this on the University of Tennessee, the Tickle College of Engineering, and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The inaugural class consisted of all 23 former recipients of the Outstanding Alumni Award, which began in 1995. Dr. Edwin G. Burdette, Professor Emeritus of the department was also inducted as a member of the inaugural class.
Each inductee, with UT graduation dates dating back to 1957, was commemorated with a plaque, which together will make up the department’s Hall of Fame wall on the fourth floor of the John D. Tickle building. In addition to the alumni honored at the event, 19 awards were given to faculty, staff, and students in honor of outstanding contributions to the department over the past academic year. The full list of award recipients is as follows.
Hall of Fame Inaugural Class
(Honorees not in attendance)
Dr. Stanley D. Lindsey, B.S. Civil Engineering, 1961
Paul M. Craig, P.E., M.S. Environmental Engineering, 1989
William L. Moore, Jr., B.S. Civil Engineering, 1969; M.S. Civil Engineering, 1974
James D. Copley, B.S. Civil Engineering, 1981; M.S. Civil Engineering, 1983
Raja J. Jubran, B.S. Civil Engineering, 1981
Kathy J. Caldwell, P.E., B.S. Civil Engineering, 1985
Dr. Ronald A. Cook, B.S. Civil Engineering, 1975; M.S. Civil Engineering, 1981
Ronald D. Guthrie, B.S. Civil Engineering, 1964; M.S. Civil Engineering, 1973
Marshall Elizer, Jr., B.S. Civil Engineering, 1974; M.S. Civil Engineering, 1989
Dr. Carlos “Felipe” Loureiro, M.S. Civil Engineering, 1991; Ph.D. Civil Engineering, 1994
Robert E. Dunn, B.S. Civil Engineering, 1973
John R. Hillman, P.E., B.S. Civil Engineering, 1986
James K. Flood, B.S. Civil Engineering, 1980
Dr. M. Lee Marsh, B.S. Civil Engineering, 1982; M.S. Civil Engineering, 1983
Sharon S. Habibi, B.Arch., 1975, M.S. Civil Engineering, 1977
Three undergraduate students from the College of Engineering (CEE and MABE) and the College of Arts and Sciences (Math and Physics major) Sean Lee, Darren Foster, and James Eun were selected from 4,000 entrants to represent the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) at this year’s National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). The IACMI is a Manufacturing USA institute that works to support advanced composite technology and grow capital investment and manufacturing jobs in the U.S. composites market. The students conducted research under the guidance of Professor Dayakar Penumadu, the Characterization Fellow for IACMI Materials and Processing directorate and holds the Fred N. Peebles Professorship in the CEE department at UT and one of his post-doctoral scholars, Dr. Stephen Young.
Darren Foster presented research on the mechanical characterization of micro-scale fibers and thin films, a nano-tensile system to obtain structure-process-property relationships, which advances efforts to more accurately characterize properties of one-dimensional fiber-based functional materials.
Sean Lee presented his research on interfacial shear strength of carbon fiber composites. His research is presently focused on utilizing this technique for obtaining precise mechanical properties of carbon fiber interphase.
James Eun, a physics and math major, in collaboration with IACMI M&P post-doctoral fellow Stephen Young, presented on the development of laminography, a non-destructive method similar to computed tomography where 2-D projections are collected over an angular range using X-rays. Their research explores the extremely useful information obtained from laminography for relating the visual 3-D features and developing predictive relationships.
“It is essential to engage undergraduate students in research and knowledge creation in the areas of science and engineering that are highly relevant to the future needs of the country and share with them the excitement of working with highly trained graduate students, technical staff and post-docs,” said Professor Penumadu. “It gives them important skills, exposure to multi-disciplinary approach for problem solving, importance of technical depth in a focus area of research, confidence to interact with diverse colleagues, and effective communication skills. This is the mission of a research-focused land grant institution and is the unique opportunity our faculty offer at the University of Tennessee that no other teaching based institutions can provide.”
UT’s Air Quality and Climate Group, led by Professor Joshua Fu in collaboration with Research Professor John Drake and doctoral student Jian Sun, found a way to speed up an Earth System Model to improve air quality prediction of ground-level ozone. Since the ground-level ozone is one of the six criteria pollutants defined by the U.S. EPA, having a better prediction of surface ozone concentration is crucial for assessing associated impact on public health and crop production.
Previous studies mainly focused on the improvement of emission inventory and grid resolution to obtain a better prediction of surface ozone concentration. These improvements are beneficial at a regional scale, but
global-scale high-resolution models of ground-level ozone formation require enormous computational resources. Professor Fu, an expert in emission inventory, regional air quality modeling and climate modeling, asked two important questions to improve the prediction: 1) Is it possible that there exist some deficiencies inside a main chemistry-climate model, CAM4-Chem, and 2) Can the model be sped up for more sensitivity runs?
To attempt to answer this, the team incorporated the second-order Rosenbock numerical solver (ROS-2), into the Community Earth System Model (CESM), a NCAR/DOE model. The atmospheric chemistry component of the CESM, CAM4-Chem, is a widely used global chemistry-climate model with active atmospheric chemistry that considers interaction among the atmosphere, land, ocean and sea ice. In the state-of-the-art version, CAM4-Chem yields low computational speed for the chemistry, which prevents the scie
ntists from running comprehensive sensitivity analyses of the model. In addition, the surface ozone concentration over the conterminous U.S. (CONUS) are over-predicted using CAM4-Chem.
“The ROS-2 numerical solver has already been used in the regional air quality model and global chemistry-transport model, so we are very curious about its effect on the global climate simulation with online chemistry,” said by Fu. A ten-year simulation (from 2001 to 2010) using a horizontal resolution of 0.9° x 1.25° and 26 vertical layers were compared using original first-order implicit solver and ROS-2 solver, respectively. The simulations consumed about 400,000 computational hours on Titan at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is the fastest supercomputer in the U.S.
“We have found that the ROS-2 solver has saved around 47 percent of total computational time for the chemistry update, and this computational speedup is stable for the long-term simulation,” said by Fu. “We expect that the ROS-2 solver is intrinsically faster than other iterative solvers like the one currently used in CAM4-Chem.”
In addition, the positive bias of surface ozone concentration over the CONUS is clearly reduced by the ROS-2 solver, especially in Eastern U.S. where the highest biases exist, and during the summertime season when the photolysis reaction is the most active. It is further reported that the bias of surface ozone concentration in Europe and Asia are also reduced, which suggests that the improvement of model performance over the CONUS is not a trade-off against increasing the bias over other global continents.
“We are so excited that the ROS-2 solver has brought significant improvements of computational performance and predication ability for the chemistry update in CAM4-Chem,” said by Fu. “It is a promising alternative that enables us to do more sensitivity simulations about chemistry given the limited computational resources and provide a better prediction of surface ozone concentration that can be further linked to the impact analysis.”
Currently Fu’s research group is further investigating the numerical behavior of ROS-2 solver on the atmospheric chemistry and its potential portability to the latest computational architecture.
Developed by the University of Queensland in Australia in 2008, the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition was designed to challenge graduate students to share years of research in three minutes to an audience with no technical background in the area relevant to the speaker. Further adding to this challenge, they are only allowed one static slide and must speak in plain word.
This year was the inaugural year for the University of Tennessee to hold their 3MT competition, and was to be the pinnacle of Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week. Students were selected by their department representatives to compete in a semi-finals competition, three students from which advanced to the finals, creating 12 finalists. Students in the finals were housed in departments from all over campus, ranging from education to medical to engineering.
When I first saw the email to participate in this competition I did not think much of it. I figured it was just another opportunity to try something different. I eventually received an email from the student liaison for the competition telling me I had been selected, the rules, and when I would be competing. I must admit that I did not prepare as well for this first round nearly as well as I should have. I took the competition light-heartedly, but quickly realized that this was no joke. The tone of this competition was serious and competitive. In the semi-final round I was intimidated by the speeches given on the research being completed by other students from other disciplines and departments. I felt as if I had fumbled through my three minutes and that I would not be advancing to the finals. As they called the names for the finalists in my section, I was surprised to hear my name called last. Somehow I had managed to make it to the finals, and I was determined to improve my presentation and take this competition seriously.
About a month later, the finals had arrived along with the cameras, microphones, and T-shaped sugar cookies. I invited members of my cohort and some of the girls I coach to watch me. and shared the link on Facebook for my family and friends outside of Knoxville to follow along. I was in the second group, so I had time to enjoy the first set of presentations. As I was waiting to present I realized that I was the only student from the Tickle College of Engineering who had advanced to the finals. I was proud of myself to have made it so far and was happy to represent the college. As my turn came around I practiced my power poses and confidently went on stage. I felt great about my presentation and was sure that I would place in the top three. As they called the names of the winners I was truly disappointed that I did not win. The three winners gave great speeches and deserved the recognition they got; however I think most competitors were spectacular and that the judges’ selection was surely difficult.
In retrospect I think this whole process was challenging and worthwhile. I personally believe that it is more difficult to speak on your topic for 3 minutes rather than 30. Having to engage an educated audience with no technical background related to your research is a strong skill to have, and I would highly encourage any interested graduate student to give it a shot. Though disappointed that I did not win, I am still happy that I was able to participate in this competition and represent the Tickle College of Engineering and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department along the way.
Through it all, his expertise in concrete engineering never wavered as he educated generation after generation of civil engineers.
For that dedication and service, the Tickle College of Engineering has presented Burdette with its highest honor, the Nathan W. Dougherty Award for 2017.
Several CEE faculty and students were honored tonight at the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet, the University of Tennessee’s largest award recognition event.
Dr. Jon Hathaway, together with Dr. Lisa Reyes Mason from Social Work and Dr. Kelsey Ellis from Geography were recognized for Success in Multidisciplinary Research for their work on the Knoxville Urban Observatory.
Undergraduate Students who received Chancellor Citations for Academic Achievement include Nicholo Franceschetti, Kelli Grissom, Morgan Jenkins, and Zachary Panczer.
Undergraduate Students who received Chancellor Citations for Extraordinary Professional Promise include David Christie, Sharon Counts, Lila Fisher, Katie Gipson, and Christina Sanford.
Graduate students who received Chancellor Citations for Extraordinary Professional Promise include Ben Abban, Nirbesh Dhakal, Wei Hu, and Micah Wyssmann.
Congratulations to all the winners for outstanding academic achievement. Click here for a full list of winners.
National Lifesavers Conference on Highway Safety Priorities
University of Tennessee Knoxville graduate students Alexandra “Ali” Boggs and Kwaku Boakye were named 2017 Traffic Safety Scholars (TSS) and received an award of a $1,000 scholarship at the 35th annual National Lifesavers Conference on Highway Safety Priorities, held in Charlotte, North Carolina, from March 25-28. Boggs and Boakye, who are pursuing doctoral degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering, are two of the 38 U.S. and Canadian college students selected through a competitive essay application process. In the competition, students were to demonstrate how their field of study could be used to address the problem of deaths and injuries in motor vehicle crashes.
“Being part of the Lifesavers family is an endearing experience for me” said Boakye. “At the Lifesavers conference, you get to the opportunity to connect with professionals and experts in your field and that helps boost your confidence in the research you do.” In sharing insights from his essay, he said, “As transportation engineer, I strongly believe that Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) offer promising solutions to road crashes, which is a menace of society. Today, in-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies such as emergency electronic brake lights, speed and headway control, lateral driving support (e.g. blind spot/lane change warning), and collision avoidance systems, have potentially increased safety by improving driver performance.”
“From a young age, I have realized the safety impacts of motor vehicle transportation and have been driven to determine ways of reducing fatalities in hope there would soon be zero,” said Boggs. “The Lifesavers Conference expanded my knowledge in various safety transportation aspects, in particular occupant protection for children. The leading cause of death for children in the United States is motor vehicle injuries, with approximately one-third of the children who died in 2014 were unrestrained. I can only imagine that finding the best car seat and installing it correctly is not an easy job for new parents. At the conference, I was able to hear the effectiveness of reducing fatalities through community education programs to assist in protecting parents’ treasured loved ones. I want to thank the Lifesavers Traffic Safety Scholars Committee for allowing me to attend the conference and hear how ‘lifesavers’ are decreasing the number of motor vehicle’s deaths.”
CEE Transportation Student Wins TSITE and SDITE Student Paper Awards
CEE transportation graduate student Ali Boggs recently received first place in the annual TSITE Student Paper Competition. The award for her paper, entitled “Tennessee’s Truck Parking Shortage and its Influence on Fatal Interstate Crashes,” comes with a check for $500 and an invitation to the group’s summer meeting.
Boggs also received second place for the Outstanding Student Paper award in the graduate division, which is given by the Southern District of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. In addition to scholarly recognition, the award comes with a check for $150.
“I am so honored to be one of the recipients of the TSITE and SDITE paper competition,” said Boggs. “I sincerely express my gratitude to Dr. Cherry and Dr. Nambisan for entrusting me to work on a Tennessee Department of Transportation and Southeastern Transportation Center project on truck parking in the State of Tennessee. I was able to utilize the information from this project for my paper competition. Without the support and guidance of the University of Tennessee Faculty, I would have not been able to succeed.”