CEEatGT Update: February 2016

‘Flying’ through the ocean

A just-published study reveals that tiny sea snails called pteropods don’t swim exactly the way researchers expected. In fact, their swimming motion looks very much like the movement insects use to fly through the air. The work by then-Ph.D. student David Murphy along with Professor Donald Webster and post-doctoral researcher Deepak Adhikari has attracted worldwide attention. (You don’t want to miss the video.)

InVenture Prize: A cleaner cupAn early-stage mock-up of TruePani's cup design.
For the second time in three years, one of the finalist teams for the InVenture Prize includes CEE students. Samantha Becker and Shannon Evanchec’s team have created a new cup for areas with poor sanitation that kills microbes in drinking water. They’ll face five other teams on the televised finals March 16 for $20,000 and a free patent filing.

Familiar groundFreshman Kathrine Udell in a transportation research lab.
Freshman Kathrine Udell arrived on campus in August with two published papers to her name and a spot as an undergraduate researcher in Michael Hunter’s lab. It was all thanks to a relationship Udell developed during her senior year in high school with Ph.D. student Atiyya Shaw.


'A Helluva Way to Run a Railroad'
Time’s running out to reserve your seat at the next Hyatt Distinguished Alumni Lecture featuring Charles “Wick” Moorman. He’s the just-retired chairman and CEO of Norfolk Southern who got his start as a co-op student when he was studying at Georgia Tech. Don’t miss the chance to meet him and learn about his experiences. RSVP NOW



Top teachers Nearly 10 percent of Georgia Tech’s most-effective faculty members teach in CEE: Laurie Garrow, Paul Mayne and Donald Webster. They each received Tech’s top teaching award for 2014-2015 based on how students rated their effectiveness on end-of-term surveys.

Acidic air remains After years of reducing the amount of sulfur emitted by power plants, researchers had expected the remaining airborne sulfate particles to be less acidic, thanks to their reaction with ammonia. It turns out, that’s not the case, according to Ted Russell and his colleagues in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Predicting scour Professor Terry Sturm and former Ph.D. student Seung Ho Hong won a top research award for their 2015 paper on predicting scour around bridges during floods. The Karl Emil Hilgard Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers recognizes the year’s best paper in the Journal of Hydraulic Engineering.

NAE membership Alumnus Charles “Wick” Moorman is among the newest members of the National Academy of Engineering. Election to the academy is one of the highest honors for an engineer. The organization noted Moorman’s work developing a computerized freight railroad tracking system. (And did we mention he’ll be on campus March 9 for the Hyatt Lecture? Register now!)

Georgia’s 2016 economy Alumnus Tom Gambino joined a panel of engineering leaders to assess the Georgia economy moving into 2016 for Engineering Georgia magazine. Gambino predicted more growth in residential real estate and sees increasing opportunities for workers to change jobs.

Making history Meg Pirkle became the first woman to serve as chief engineer at the Georgia Department of Transportation about a year ago. She says making history is an honor, but she’s more focused on fulfilling the job’s significant responsibilities and carrying on the success of her predecessors. Don’t miss her interesting advice for young engineers.

Back to his roots Professor David Frost returns to his alma mater in April to deliver the Leonards Lecture at the Purdue Geotechnical Society Workshop. The lecture is named for Gerald Leonards, one of Frost’s Ph.D. co-advisers and mentors. Frost’s lecture will cover how information is used in failure investigations — and how that’s changing.

Excellent and original Research describing a new kind of origami configuration has won the Cozzarelli Prize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The prize recognizes some of the year’s excellent and most-original studies. The work by Raymond Allen Jones Chair Glaucio Paulino and his colleagues explains a new “zippered tube” that’s very strong but also can fold flat for storage or shipping.

More Bay Bridge problems A chunk of concrete recently fell from a tunnel that’s part of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, apparently as a result of corrosion in the 80-year-old structure. Professor Emeritus Larry Kahn looked at images of the damage for the San Francisco Chronicle to offer some perspective on the seriousness of the problem.

Until Next Month...http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2930/14204824807_2b3cfdf185_b.jpg
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