Department's News Page

UCF CECE Students Present in Philly
   

UCF environmental engineering students Carlyn Higgins (left) and Angela Rodriguez (center) traveled with faculty advisor Dr. Steve Duranceau (right) to attend and present papers at the American Water Works Association’s 2017 Annual Conference and Exhibition held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between June 11th and 14th.

  • Master’s student Carlyn Higgins presented the paper “Reducing Sulfuric Acid Pretreatment in a Nanofiltration Process Treating Surficial Groundwater”;
  • Doctoral student Angela Rodriguez presented the paper “Evaluating Chlorine Dioxide Oxidation Treatment of an Organic-Laden Surface Water Supply for Disinfection By-Product Control”;
  • Dr. Duranceau and former student Paul Biscardi presented the paper “Reducing Chemically Irreversible Membrane Fouling Through Preozonation of Surface Water Prior to Ultrafiltration”.

This conference was host to over 12,000 attendees from North America participating in a setting focused on municipal water drinking water supply, treatment and distribution infrastructure operations. Photo shows Dr. Duranceau, Carlyn Higgins and Angela Rodriguez entering the industry luncheon, and even held each year.

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Summer Research Experience (SUMREX) program

CECE Lecturer Dr. Stephen Medeiros, PE, recently hosted two students at the annual Summer Research Experience (SUMREX) program for the Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence at UNC – Chapel Hill (CRC) funded by the Department of Homeland Security. The CRC is a large collaboration between research and educational institutions tasked with advancing the science of coastal resilience and training the next generation of the coastal-based workforce. To this end, Sabrina Welch of Jackson State University (Mississippi) and Diego Delgado of University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez spent 3 weeks at UCF working with Dr. Medeiros on numerical methods, tidal modeling, topographic surveying and characterization of surface roughness. The students then moved on to spend 3 weeks at project partner Louisiana State University to advance their knowledge of hurricane storm surge modeling. While at UCF, the students also engaged with Drs. Talea Mayo and Thomas Wahl during their project activities.

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Dr. Wahl delivers keynote presentation at workshop organized by
the World Climate Research Program

What happens if a storm surge and river flood meet at the coast? What if a drought and heatwave coincide? Such events are commonly referred to as compound extremes. And although the societal and environmental impacts can be devastating they are not very well understood and often ignored by scientists and engineers when analyzing climate risks or designing infrastructure. In order to fill this knowledge gap the World Climate Research Program invited 30 scientists and engineers from around the globe to attend a workshop in Zurich, Switzerland. For 3 days they discussed how to document, understand, simulate, and attribute those rare, yet dangerous events and how to make society more resilient against them. It was the first internationally coordinated initiative whose outcome will likely shape the direction of this young research field over the coming years.  Dr. Wahl, who joined UCF in January this year and is known for his research on compound flooding along the U.S. coast, was one of the attendees and also invited by the organizers to deliver a keynote presentation.

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Professor Haitham Al-Deek in the news

Channel 13 News July 14, 2016

www.mynews13.com

New wrong way warning signs, equipped with special sensors, are going up all along highways in Central Florida.
  • UCF professor-designed Wrong Way signs
  • Meant to warn drivers, FHP
  • Going up at several exit ramps on major roads

In 2012, University of Central Florida Professor Haitham Al-Deek teamed up with the Expressway Authority to improve their current warning signs.

Dr. Al-Deek designed signs with sensors which can detect when someone has gotten onto the off-ramp at high-risk locations.

They determined which locations were high risk based on information from the Expressway Authority and the Florida Department of Transportation. The research including a variety of factors, including wrong way citations and traffic accidents.

Now, when someone is traveling in the wrong direction at the locations which have the signs, a light will flash and pictures of the vehicle heading the wrong way are sent to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Since implementation, 21 vehicles went the wrong way at on-ramps at State Road 408 at Kirkman, and at Hiawassee, as well as State Road 528 and State Road 520. All of those vehicles were warned with flashing lights, and successfully turned around before encountering oncoming traffic.

"It's been shown to be effective so far," Professor Al-Deek said. "We want to make the roadways safer."

The Expressway Authority was the first to install these signs, and already has plans for installing them at 29 more locations along their roadways. Florida's Turnpike officials are discussing installing the signs, as well.

However, the signs come with a hefty price tag, costing about $50,000 to $80,000 per ramp. We were told the Expressway Authority hopes to have all 29 new sites equipped with these new sensor signs by the end of 2017.

Channel 9 News July 14, 2016
video clip on Channel 13

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Environmental Engineering Students Wrap Up with Windy City Presentations

Description

UCF Environmental Engineering graduate students together with faculty member Dr. Steve Duranceau attended and presented at the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA’s) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago, Illinois, held between June 19-23, 2016. Over 11,000 people attended the conference focused on drinking water. Photo depicts faculty member Dr. Steve Duranceau (left) with Ben Yoakum (center) and Angela Rodriguez (right). Not shown: Xiangmeng Ma.

Announcements
Faculty member Dr. Duranceau was notified while attending the conference that he had been appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Water Works Association as a Technical Editor for nonconventional treatment processes (membranes, activated carbon, ion exchange).
Activities
  • Doctoral candidate Ben Yoakum presented two papers “Piloting granular activated carbon for disinfection by-product control for a central Florida groundwater containing sulfide” and “Improving the treatment effectiveness of an oxidizing media filter used to remove sulfide from groundwater by modifying hydraulic operating conditions.
  • Doctoral student Ma Xiangmeng Ma presented the paper “In-situ 2D spatial imaging of pH changes at brass-lead galvanic joints using microelectrodes.”
  • Master’s student and NSF Fellow Angela Rodriguez presented the paper “Full-scale optimization of spray aeration and GAC for DBP control in a water distribution system.

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The UCF student team has been selected for 12th Annual P3 Award (Phase I): A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The project title is “Algae Biofuel Osmosis Dewatering (ABODE): A novel process for biofuel feedstock generation and advances in microalgae separation using forward osmosis”. Dr. Woo Hyoung Lee, P.E. (CECE) will direct the project as PI and the interdisciplinary student team consists of three undergraduate students: Ms. Rebecca McLean (CECE), Mr. Nicholas Maier (CECE), and Mr. Matthew Rudolph (Biology) and one graduate student: Mr. Jared Church (CECE). The UCF team will bring the design in April to the 2016 National Sustainable Design Expo.   

The P3 competition highlights the use of scientific principle in creating innovative projects focused on sustainability. The P3 Award program was developed to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity and protection of the planet - people, prosperity, and the planet. More details about the P3 Program can be found in the P3 website (http://www.epa.gov/p3/ ).



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Congratulation 2015 SEI Graduate Student Chapter of the Year
University of Central Florida


The SEI Graduate Student Chapter (GSC), University of Central Florida (UCF), their officers and members are commended for their dedication to the structural engineering profession through a wide range of activities. It is impressive that the UCF GSC was just formed in 2014 and has been very active with the professional SEI East Central Florida Chapter, including UCF student presentations at the professional chapter’s annual seminar. UCF also partnering with the local ASCE Branch, SEI Professional Chapter and PTC to host a 4-hour CAD training program for 88 high school students and their mentors on ”How to Model Almost Anything” contributed to the success of that event. The officers’ bi-weekly meetings for planning and monthly meetings for the student body is also recognized for its importance. Topics range from writing bylaws, marketing, research presentations, and of course guest speakers.

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Congratulations ASCE-UCF Chapter

The ASCE-UCF Chapter was very successful in the 2015 ASCE Southeast Student Competitions that was hosted by the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga (March 19-21). Overall, our Chapter was ranked 3rd out of 26 universities who competed in this year's competitions. In particular, the ASCE-UCF Chapter was placed:

  • 6th overall in concrete canoe
  • 4th overall in steel bridge
    • 4th in construction speed
    • 4th in lightness
    • 5th in display
    • 3rd in stiffness
    • 4th in economy
    • 3rd in efficiency
  • 7th in balsa dam
  • 1st in concrete ladder golf
  • 2nd in mystery
  • 2nd in surveying
  • 6th in transportation
  • 1st in t-shirt design

With these results, our still bridge team has advanced once again to the national competitions which will be held in Kansas City, MO in May 2015.

 

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Dr. Catbas won the Technical Excellence – Academia Award

This weekend at the Central Florida Florida Engineers Week Awards Banquet, Dr. Catbas who was nominated by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) won the Technical Excellence – Academia Award. We are very proud of Dr. Catbas. Congratulations.

Central Florida Engineers’ Week is made up of representatives from a variety of engineering professional societies in the Central Florida area and provides a common link between all types of engineering. Each year during Engineers’ Week, outstanding contributions to the engineering profession by projects, organizations, and individual engineers are recognized. The highlight of the weeklong celebration is the Annual Awards Banquet where nominees and ultimately awardees of each category are announced. This year's banquet dinner event took place at Double Tree Hotel in February 28, 2015.

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The International Road Federation’s “Class of 2015 Fellows” spent 10 days prior and during the 94th Annual Transportation Research Board meeting held in Washington DC during the period January 11-15, 2015. This is an annual program that provides orientation for graduate students who recently started their graduate studies in US universities. It includes visitations to federal transportation agencies, private business and transportation consulting firms and a bridge building competition. Mr. Asad Waraich, the UCF representative and Dr. Eluru’s graduate student, is first Fellow on the left of the second row.

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Dr. Essam Radwan was honored during the 94th Annual Transportation Research Board meeting held in Washington DC during the period January 11-15, 2015. The International Road Federation (IRF) presented him with a plaque in recognition for his support of the 17th World Meeting held in Saudi Arabia. He currently serves as the chair of the International Road Education Foundation the education arm of IRF that provides fellowships to students from all over the world to attend US universities.

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UCF Environmental Engineering students participated with faculty advisor Dr. Steve Duranceau at the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association’s Annual Conference held in Champions Gate in early December of 2014

Students

Andrea Cumming (PhD student)–provided a paper presentation & participate in the College Water Bowl.
Samantha Jeffery (PhD student)–provided a poster presentation & participate in the College Water Bowl.
Cassandra Smith (MS student)–provided a poster presentation & participate in the College Water Bowl.
Paul Biscardi (PhD student)–provided a paper presentation & participated in the College Water Bowl.
David Yonge (PhD student)–provided a poster presentation & participated in the College Water Bowl.
Ben Yoakum (PhD student)–participated in the College Water Bowl.
Jared Church (MS student)–provided a paper presentation.
Angela Rodriguez (BS student)–provided a poster presentation.
Danielle Barnhill (BS student)–provided a poster presentation.

Faculty

Dr. Steve Duranceau  – Attended to moderate a session on water treatment and also to present the paper “Potable Water Aquifer Storage and Recovery Adsorptive Media Isotherm Testing for Arsenic Removal Capacity

Dr. Woo Hyoung Lee and Dr. Andrew Randall attended as coauthors of Jared Church’s paper presentation.

Awards Received

  • Andrea Cumming, Samantha Jeffery and Cassandra Smith defeat student teams from UCF and UF to win 1st Place of the 2014 Florida College Water Bowl.
  • Paul Biscardi (and Dr. Duranceau) received a Best Paper for his paper “Optimization of Conventional Surface Water Treatment for Hollow-Fiber Ultrafiltration”.
  • David Yonge (and Dr. Duranceau) were awarded 1st place for the poster “Assessing Hollow-Fiber Membrane Performance Using Bench-Scale Laboratory and Pilot-Scale Field Methods”; David will travel to Anaheim CA in June to attend the AWWA’s annual conference and exhibition to represent Florida and compete in the national conference poster session.

Photo

Faculty advisor and winners of Florida’s 2014 College Water Bowl.

[(left) Dr. Duranceau, Tyler Smith, Andrea Cumming, Samantha Jeffery (right)].

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Ph.D. student, Mr. Reza Akhavian has been awarded the prestigious Harold Kerzner Scholarship by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This is an endowed scholarship fund created by International Institute for Learning (IIL) and is valued at US$7,500. The competition is open to all students globally who are pursuing graduate or undergraduate degrees in Project Management or related fields of study from accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities. Only four scholarships are awarded annually.

Mr. Akhavian is currently a Ph.D. candidate and will defend his dissertation in Spring 2015. His research encompasses advanced sensing, data mining, and engineering informatics for data-driven simulation of construction operations.
 
This is the first time a UCF student is receiving this honor which is a great indication of how well our university, college, department, and construction program is being represented at national and international levels.

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Dr. Essam Radwan in China

Dr. Essam Radwan was invited to take a part in the International Summer School at Beijing Jiatong University during the period of July 14-18, 2014. He taught the airport planning and design course at BJTU. During his visit to the People Republic of China, he was invited to deliver a seminar at Wuhan University of Technology (WHUT) and his presentation covered the topic of “Flashing Yellow Arrow Traffic Signal Mode”. This presentation is part of a two-phase sponsored projects funded by the Florida Department of Transportation.  While visiting WHUT, he met with Dr. Rong Luo to discuss International Road Federation (IRF) potential activities in the PRC and had the privilege of meeting IRF Fellows who are scheduled to travel to the US to pursue graduate studies. Dr. Radwan serves as the Chair of the International Road Education Foundation (IREF), which provide fellowships for international students from a large number of countries around the globe to study in the US.

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UCF Student and President Obama Talk Highway Safety, Innovation

UCF student Taylor Lochrane gave President Barack Obama a demonstration of his cutting-edge transportation technology today at a federal highway research center in Virginia. read more

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UCF Student Wins Prestigious Award

Five students from UCF’s Coastal Hydroscience, Analysis and Predictive Simulations (CHAMPS) Laboratory attended the first annual Young Coastal Scientists and Engineers Conference - North America (YCSEC-NA) 2014 held at the University of Delaware. Davina Passeri, a PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering, won the award for best oral presentation. Also in attendance were Karim Alizad (PhD Student, Civil Engineering), Milad Hooshyar (PhD Student, Civil Engineering), Paige Hovenga (Master Student, Civil Engineering) and Aaron Thomas (Undergraduate Student, Civil Engineering). The students are also members of the International Association of Hydro-Environmental Engineering and Research (IAHR) UCF Student Chapter and received travel funds through SGA.

The mission of YCSEC-NA is to provide a forum for stimulating scientific discussion and encouraging feedback among young scientists and engineers in the field of physical coastal processes. In 2005, the UK inaugurated the conference after recognizing that young researchers from different institutions, regions and countries do not often have the opportunity to network, interact or collaborate. The success of the conference was acknowledged and a similar conference format was adopted for young coastal scientists and engineers in North America. “Young” is defined as graduate students, post-doctoral researchers or early career practitioners whose research focuses on coastal dynamic processes including sediment transport, morphodynamics, wave processes, and estuarine processes.

Davina presented on the impacts of bathymetric, morphological and sea level changes on tidal hydrodynamics in the Grand Bay, MS estuary from 1848 to 2005. The award includes two textbooks and a small monetary prize. The other UCF students also received strong praise and feedback for their presentations.

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UCF Environmental Engineering Students Present at Water Conference in Boston

UCF Environmental Engineering PhD students travel with faculty advisor Dr. Steve Duranceau to Boston Massachusetts to attend and present at the American Water Works Association’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in June 2014

  • Andrea Cumming – Attended to provide poster presentation
  • Paul Biscardi – Attended to provide poster presentation
  • Samantha Jeffery – Attended to provide a poster presentation
  • David Yonge – Young professionals ACE Florida Section meeting coordinator

Dr. Steve Duranceau, P.E. – Attended to present in the professional sessions the paper “Effect of Surface Morphology on Mass Transfer and Fouling Behavior of Reverse Osmosis Membranes Processes

  • Andrea Cumming received 2nd Place for her poster “Assessing Pretreatment Alternatives To Address Water Quality Impacts On Coagulation-Ultrafiltration Process Performance”.
  • Paul Biscardi won the “People’s Choice Award” for his poster, “Beneficial Reuse of Water Treatment Plant Coagulant By-Product Materials for Watershed Management”.
  • Samantha Jeffery presented her poster “Impact of Temperature and Bromide on Total Trihalomethane Formation in Membrane Permeate Blends” that won first place in the Florida Section AWWA’s poster contest.
Faculty advisor and students at AWWA ACE exhibit hall entrance.
(left) Dr. Duranceau, Samantha Jeffery, Andrea Cumming, Paul Biscardi, David Yonge (right)
Graduate students visit the Waterworks Museum outside Boston, MA
(left) Samantha Jeffery, David Yonge, Paul Biscardi, Andrea Cumming (right).

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UCF CECE students have established a UCF Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Graduate Student Chapter (GSC).

UCF CECE students have established a UCF Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Graduate Student Chapter (GSC). UCF Graduate Student Chapter is the 5th SEI GSC. The student chapter is open to all engineering students, graduate and undergraduate. The GSC objectives are:

  • SEI Graduate Student Chapters (GSCs) enhance the education of students who are preparing to become structural engineering professionals and engage SEI student members in SEI for a successful transition from college to career.
  • GSCs organize and manage visiting speakers, prospective student events, field trips, participate in SEI, perform outreach activities, and more.
  • Participation in a GSC can help members connect with their peers and broaden their view of what it means to be a structural engineering professional.

The GSC recently participated the participate in East Central Florida SEI chapter's annual seminar on May 16, 2014 and interacted with engineers from around the region attending the annual seminar.

The student chapter is led by Doctoral student Ozan Celik and the faculty advisor is Dr Catbas.

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Necati Catbas, PhD, PE, F.ASCE, F.SEI was honored as Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Fellow, at the 2014 Structures Congress in Boston.

At the 2014 Structures Congress in Boston, Necati Catbas, PhD, PE, F.ASCE, F.SEI was honored as Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Fellow. The SEI Fellow (F.SEI) grade of membership was established by the Structural Engineering Institute to recognize a select group of distinguished SEI members as leaders and mentors in the structural engineering profession. Dr. Catbas and his team focus on theoretical, experimental & applied aspects of structural identification, structural health monitoring, non-destructive evaluation, condition assessment of structural systems. Dr. Catbas has several publications and research projects on the development, integration and implementation of sensing, information, modeling and simulation technologies, parametric and nonparametric structural identification, image-based technologies for structures such as bridges, buildings, aerospace structures and components, stadium structures. He is also the Chair of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Structural Identification Technical Committee , which recently prepared the book “Structural Identification of Constructed Systems Approaches, Methods, and Technologies for Effective Practice of St-Id,” published by Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE. He also served as the Chair of ASCE SEI Technical Committee Safety of Bridges. He is currently member of several ASCE SEI and EMI Technical Committees. (http://www.asce.org/sei/FellowBios.aspx?id=23622330461)

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The ASCE-UCF Chapter was very successful in this year's ASCE Southeast Student Competitions

March 2014 - The ASCE-UCF Chapter was very successful in this year's ASCE Southeast Student Competitions that was hosted by the University of South Florida in Tampa. Overall, our Chapter was ranked 2nd out of 24 universities who competed in this year's competitions, "the" best overall placement it has ever achieved in its history. In particular, the ASCE-UCF Chapter was ranked 1st in balsa pyramid, 3rd in visual display, and 4th in steel bridge competitions. Within the steel bridge competition, our Chapter was placed 2nd in visual display, 3rd in lightness, 2nd in stiffness, and 3rd in structural efficiency. In addition, the ASCE-UCF Chapter received two People's Choice Awards in steel bridge and concrete shuffleboard competitions. With this outstanding performance, for the second year in a row, the ASCE-UCF steel bridge team will advance to the National Competitions which will be hosted by the University of Akron in May 2014.

Steel Bridge Concrete Canoe
Concrete Canoe Concrete Canoe
Banquet Banquet

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The First International Road Traffic Accident Conference

Road traffic injuries remain a global public health problem. Road accidents cause human tragedies every minute of every day. Nearly 3,400 people die on the world's roads every day. Tens of millions of people are severely injured or disabled every year. Children, pedestrians, cyclists and the elderly are among the most vulnerable of road users. While many countries addressing the issue of road fatalities and serious injuries caused by road accidents, road safety still remains a challenging problem across the region and throughout the world.

The First International Road Traffic Accident Conference was held at Rose Wood Hotel, Abu Dhabi on 10th-11th March, 2014 to bring together transportation engineers and medical physicians in joint sessions. The conference goal was to raise the profile of the preventability of road traffic injuries and promote good practices in order to achieve safe roads, safe speeds, safe vehicles, and safe people.

The conference was an important forum to inspire and connect leaders, decision makers, Health professionals, public servants, academics and advocates, bringing International keynote speakers and participants to seek, develop, and exchange views on what works to prevent road traffic accidents and how best to bring it to fruition in policy and practice for government and the private sector.

Dr. Essam Radwan delivered the first day keynote speech titled “Mortality from road crashes in 193 countries: A comparison with other leading causes of death”. On the second day, Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Aty’s keynote talk was titled “The Viability of Proactive Traffic Management Using Big Data Safety Analytics”. Alumni of the UCF’s transportation graduate program were well represented in the event and took leading role in organizing the event and serve as technical speakers. Specifically Dr. Atef Garib, the first Ph.D. graduate in the transportation program at UCF, and who is currently serve as a consultant to the Abu Dhabi Police Department, was the lead organizer of this conference.

Radwan’s Keynote Aty’s Keynote
Panel Discussion to culminate the conference Dr. Atef Garib, second from left, with members of the “Tatweer” Company that serves Abu Dhabi Police Department

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Professor Haitham Al-Deek, Ph.D., P.E., has been awarded the Best Paper Award from the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. This Award is presented to  Dr. Haitham Al-Deek at TRB conference in DC. This special award event was attended by at least 50 committee members, friends, and professionals in the field from all around the world.

Professor Al-Deek Best Paper Award Letter

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F. Necati Catbas, Ph.D., P.E, F.ASCE, Professor of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering at the University of Central Florida, has recently been elected a Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Dr. Catbas expertise is in the area of civil infrastructure systems with special emphasis on structural health monitoring, structural identification, bridge engineering. He has publications and research projects on the development, integration and implementation of novel technologies and methods for structures such as bridges, buildings, aerospace structures and components, stadium structures. Founded in 1852, ASCE represents more than 144,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. Fellow status must be attained by professional accomplishments via application and election by the Review Committee. It is a prestigious honor held by fewer than 4% of ASCE members. Fellows are practitioners, educators, mentors, and most of all leaders. They have distinguished careers that have contributed significantly to the Civil Engineering profession. The accomplishments of Fellows have left their marks on their communities, society, and future engineering professionals.

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The First Interdisciplinary Display for Engineering Analysis Statics. IDEAS-Showcase was presented in the Civil Engineering Atrium on November 26, 2013. IDEAS was developed and organized by Dr. Ricardo Zaurin with the objective of promoting the creativity, team work, and presentation skills of undergraduate sophomore and junior students, as well as exposing them to the interesting world of scientific/technological research based engineering. This effort is expected to close the gap between the theory and applied engineering at the early stages of education. This is also expected to promote Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), even sparking more interest in some students with the desire of pursuing a graduate degree in STEM disciplines. For the first IDEAS Showcase, 141 students worked in 48 groups for an extra-credit project. They selected a topic, preferably related with their majors, and conducted research involving some of the concepts learned in the course Engineering Analysis-Statics (EGN 3310). These projects involved physical models, measurements, and comparison of the experimental data with the theoretical calculations. Also, the students wrote papers, prepared posters, and presented their findings to a group of judges.

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Dr. Essam Radwan and Mr. Jack Selter were invited by the International Association of Management of Technology (IAMOT) to be part of a panel that presents their experience with managing university technology centers. The meeting was held in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil and attended by consultants, university academician, and government officials representing thirty countries. They made a joint presentation about CATSS’ establishment and management as a model for technology transfer center.

Dr. Necati Catbas was invited to attend a summit which was organized by Royal Academy of Engineering. RAE announced that "On the 12-13 March 2013 over 450 leading engineers, artists, economists, designers, philosophers, scientists, politicians, industry leaders, educators and policy makers from across the globe gathered in London to attend the inaugural Global Grand Challenges Summit.

With the prosperity of future generations relying on unprecedented levels of inter-disciplinary and international cooperation in pursuit of solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, the Summit, organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering in partnership with the national engineering academies of the US and China, sought to provide a new global platform for the world’s leading thinkers to share their ideas with the next generation of engineers on how to develop the international frameworks, tools and collaborations needed to solve our common global challenges."

Dr Catbas also visited University of Cambridge on March 14, 2013 to meet with the professors from The Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction to exchange ideas related to recent activities at U of Cambridge and UCF.

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The UCF Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE-UCF) Wins Big in the 2013 Southeast Student Competitions (SESC)
ASCE-UCF Student Chapter had one of its best performances ever in the ASCE Southeast Student Competitions (SESC) that were held in Miami this year. We were ranked among top 3 in the following competitions:

        • Steel Bridge (multiple categories)
        • Concrete Design and Testing
        • Environmental
        • Balsa Tower
        • Visual Display

Overall, UCF was ranked 3 among 24 universities from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Puerto Rico. Our steel bridge team was ranked 2 overall and advanced to the 2013 ASCE National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC) which will be held in the University of Washington, Seattle on May 31-June 1, 2013.

This outstanding performance was the result of the hard work and dedication of all our student members and officers. Special kudos to Mr. Bernard Hofmeister, our Chapter president, Mr. Jonathan McCarthy, our Chapter vice-president, Ms. Brittnay Cogger, our conference chair, and Mr. David Bancroft, our steel bridge captain.
In addition, the ASCE National Committee on Student Members selected ASCE-UCF to receive a Letter of Honorable Mention for its outstanding activities as recorded and presented in the Chapter’s 2012 Annual Report.

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Dr. Steven J. Duranceau, was awarded SEDA’s (Southeast Desalting Association) Lifetime Achievement Award 

"For his dedication and outstanding service in the development and continued support of the organization"

Awarded June 19, 2012, Bonita Springs, FL

SEDA is dedicated to the improvement of the quality of water supplies through membrane desalting and filtration, water reuse, and other water sciences. The Association includes members concerned with environmental regulations and legislation, process design, equipment manufacture, plant operations and maintenance, and research and development.
The Association's objectives include the promotion, both to the public and to elected officials, of available technologies that improve water quality, education, training and certification of plant operation personnel; effective communication with the membership; development of a meaningful interface with regulatory agencies, technology transfer, and protection of the environment.

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Mr. Ali Noorollahi, P.E., also a graduate of UCF, was recently recognized for his Exemplary Support for Bridge Engineering Education at the University of Central Florida.A certificate of appreciation was presented to Mr Noorollahi by the the Departmentment Chair Dr. Essam Radwan with a mini-ceremony during Dr. Necati Catbas' Bridge Engineering and Health Monitoring class.

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Dr. Aty has just returned from visiting Korea and China.
In attendance were professors from the US, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Korea.

In Korea, he spoke at the following:

  1. Road Safety in the United States : Overview of the State-of-the-art and practice, International Seminar on Public Transportation, TOD and Traffic Operation for Better Mobility, Ajou University, Korea, April 26, 2012.
  2. The College of Engineering and Computer Science at UCF, Seminar, Ajou University, Korea, April 2012.
  3. An Overview of Road Safety Practice, Gyeonggi Research Institute, Korea, April 2012.

He also visited Tongji University in Shanghai, and delivered the following presentation:
Overview of Current Traffic Safety Research and Future Opportunities, Seminar, Tongji University, China, April 28, 2012

Photos

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Robert D. Kersten, PE, Founding Dean of the UCF College of Engineering and CECE Faculty Emeritus was recently honored by Union Pan-Americana de Asociaciones de Ingenieria (UPADI) for his work with the organization at the biennial convention in Havana, Cuba. He is the recipient of the Premio de Ensenanza de Ingeniereia “Vector de Oro” award (the Pan American Golden Vector Award) which is granted every two years to engineering faculty from throughout the continent. Dr. Irma Acosta of Honduras and Dr. Rodrigo Orozco Saborio of Costa Rico were also honored. UPADI’s mission is to lead the development of Pan-American engineering in response to criteria of environmental sustainability, social development, economic growth, and technological transfer based on the best practices in science, thus becoming the meeting point of engineers throughout the continent under the highest concepts of ethics, transparency, gender equity, and professional rigor. Congratulations Bob!

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Stephanie Bolyard
Student Member

Stephanie Bolyard exemplifies the multiple areas of expertise essential for effective environmental practice. Ms. Bolyard serves as an academic, in her role as a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Central Florida where she is engaged in the study of the fate and transport of engineered nanoparticles in municipal solid waste landfills. Ms. Bolyard serves as a consultant, in her role as a permit writer for Brown and Caldwell where she contributes to solid waste management plans, landfill closure stabilization evaluations, waste characterization studies, permit applications for solid waste management facilities, and permit writing for environmental compliance projects.

Ms. Bolyard's advocacy for environmental sustainability is demonstrated by her affiliation with the Air and Waste Management Association (A&WMA). She currently holds the office of Secretary for the A&WMA and in October of 2008, her team ranked second in the Florida A&WMA Student Environmental Challenge; "Develop a Sustainable Community."

Ms. Bolyard's service to the public and to the profession is demonstrated by her inexhaustible contributions to professional societies. She currently serves as the Chair of two committees within the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (Academy): the Student Membership Subcommittee and the Student and Young Professionals Committee. Stephanie invigorates committee activities by communicating post-meeting wrap up, including forwarding essential information to committee members, recording attendance and contributing ideas. She establishes clear interactions among Students, Professors, Agencies, Consultants, and the Industry at large. She has shared work prepared within the Students and Young Professionals Committee with other facets of the organization at regional, national and international levels.

Under Ms. Bolyard's guidance, these committees developed outreach materials and communication outlets that successfully expanded the number of student chapters and simultaneously stimulated the activity of existing chapters. These materials have led directly to increased recruitment and publicity for the Academy. This has contributed to the Academy's mission to advance the quality of environmental engineering education by maintaining high quality educational opportunities for the membership and reinvesting in the next generation of environmental professionals through student sponsorships, discounts, targeted training events and enhanced scholarship donations.

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Frontiers of Engineering:
Associate Professor
Dr. Necati Catbas


An elite group of 60 engineers age 45 and younger from the United States and Europe met in California to share ideas, forge partnerships and advance the future of engineering.

CECS's Necati Catbas, a structural engineer, was the only participant from Florida to receive the invitational award to the Frontiers of Engineering (FOE) U.S.-Europe meeting after a highly selective process. The two-day symposium was sponsored by the National Academy of Engineers, the nation's most prestigious engineering society.

The group discussed cutting-edge developments in four areas of world interest: sustainable cities, the future of manufacturing, smart grids and networks in biology. With continued collaboration, participants will position their work to help solve society's problems that require multi-faceted and inter-dependent solutions.

"Engineers can't just look at problems from a narrow view. We have to look at all the relationships between the built and natural environment, social and economic conditions and how they interact with each other," Dr. Catbas said.

Dr. Catbas serves as associate chair of CECS's Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering. He is widely known for his expertise in structural health monitoring, with more than 180 scientific publications and articles.

He is the fifth UCF professor to be invited to an FOE meeting.

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The Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation (CATSS) were awarded a one-year grant.

On January 17, 2012, the Research and Innovative Technologies Administration (RITA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the winners of the recent University Transportation Centers (UTC) competition. The Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation (CATSS) at in the College of Engineering and Computer Science joined by Georgia Tech (as the consortium leader), Florida International University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham were awarded a Tier 1 center funded as a one-year grant at a funding level of $3.5 million. This grant is to be expended over a two-year period and it requires a Dollar-for-Dollar match from non-federal sources.

Dr. Radwan’s UCF team, which includes researchers at the Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation (CATSS), is expected to compete for up to $800,000, to be equally matched by non-federal sources, for contributing research and education expertise in selected areas. These areas include distracted drivers, the effects of drowsiness and fatigue on drivers, intelligent and safe construction work zones, pedestrian safety, infrastructure integrity, economic development in core metropolitan regions, surrounding rural areas and the mega-region, and efficient movement of freight. A group from UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training that uses a driving simulator to study the impact of multiple distractions behind the wheel is part of the team.

The theme of the Center is “transportation systems performance and management and its focus is on addressing critical interactions between safety, transportation infrastructure and services, and economic competitiveness”. Research topics under this grant include vehicular operator distraction, drowsiness and Fatigue, intelligent and safe construction work zone, pedestrian safety, active traffic management implementation, congestion pricing, infrastructure integrity, economic development in core metropolitan regions, surrounding rural areas and the mega-region, and efficient freight movements.

For further information, contact Dr. Essam Radwan at essam.radwan@ucf.edu

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Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Aty, P.E. was Invited speaker, International Road Federation Group of Experts on Road Safety, Geneva, November 2011.

 

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Dr. Amir H. BehzadanDr. Amir H. Behzadan

Dr. Amir H. Behzadan joined the University of Central Florida (UCF) in 2009 as an Assistant Professor of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering. Dr. Behzadan received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (2008) and a M.Eng. in Construction Engineering and Management (2005) both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He also earned a B.Eng. in Civil Engineering from Sharif University of Technology (Iran) in 2003. Dr. Behzadan has a proven track record of research experience in advanced construction and civil engineering simulation, visualization, and communication technologies. He has developed ARVISCOPE, a georeferenced visualization system capable of animating simulated engineering operations in an immersive augmented reality environment. Prior to joining UCF, Dr. Behzadan has been an Assistant Professor of Construction Management and Civil Engineering at the City University of New York. He has also 3 years of work experience as a project engineer. Dr. Behzadan's main research interests include:

  • Autonomous construction systems
  • Construction information and communication technology (ICT)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision support systems
  • Simulation and visualization of construction operations

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Dr. Dingbao WangDr. Dingbao Wang

Dr. Wang received his B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Tongji University in 2001 and did his graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, receiving his M.S. in 2005 and Ph.D. in 2009. Dr. Wang has extensive research experience in assessing and understanding the climate change and human impacts on hydrologic processes, and he has been involved in several projects funded by NSF and NASA. Dr. Wang’s primary research interests include:

     • Human interferences to hydrologic systems
     • Climate change impact on water resources
     • Surface water and groundwater interaction
     • GIS and remote sensing application in water resources
     • Hydrologic data assimilation

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Dr. Hae-Bum YunDr. Hae-Bum Yun

Dr. Yun earned a Ph.D. degree in Sonny Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Southern California, a M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Pusan National University. Dr. Yun has extensive interdisciplinary research experience in the experimental, analytical, and computational aspects of structural health monitoring methodologies, and he has been involved in many projects funded by NSF, NASA, AFOSR, FEMA, Caltrans and international governments. Dr. Yun's primary research interests include:

     • Sustainability and resilience for urban infrastructure
     • Modeling for stochastic, nonlinear, dynamic systems
     • System identification, structural health monitoring and control
     • Smart sensing and non-destructive evaluation techniques

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