CEEatGT Update: January 2018

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In the wake of Maria
Hurricane Maria on Sept. 20, 2017, based on MODIS/Terra satellite image and processed by Antti Lipponen. (Photo Courtesy Antti Lipponen via Wikimedia Commons)
It’s mostly fallen off the front page, but Puerto Rico continues to rebuild and restore essential services after Hurricane Maria. Two of the people helping put Puerto Rico’s water infrastructure back together are Georgia Tech civil engineers. Eli Diaz and Ryan Arrieta have been working as long as 20 hours a day at the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority to restore water to their more than 3 million customers.

Alejandro Martinez collects data in Mexico after a major earthquake in September 2017. Martinez, MSCE 2012, Ph.D. 2015, was part of a team from the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association that traveled to the impact zone to gather “perishable” data about the earthquake to help scientists and engineers prepare for future events. (Photo Courtesy of Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association via the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine)

Documenting disaster Just days after a major earthquake shook Mexico City last year, Alejandro Martinez found himself at the site collecting important data about the disaster’s impact. Martinez, Ph.D. 2015, was part of a hand-selected team of experts who went to Mexico representing the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association.

Professor Arash Yavari stands in front of his packed bookcase in his Mason Building office. Yavari has embarked upon a four-year research project to lay the mathematical foundations for cloaking structures from earthquakes and other stress waves. (Photo: Jess Hunt-Ralston)

Cloaking Can you hide a building from a stress wave, like an earthquake or even some kind of blast or explosion? If that kind of “cloaking” were possible, it could shape how we design critical structures like nuclear power plants. Arash Yavari has started a new four-year, half-million dollar federally funded project to lay the mathematical foundations for that kind of technology.

Four photos: Spices in Istanbul, Turkey; a silhouetted figure takes in the water and mountains in Interlaken, Switzerland; a young woman stands in front of Stonehenge in England; and a dive swims near colorful coral at the Great Barrier Reef.

Feldmans' gift Amy and Jim Feldman have created a new study abroad fund for civil and environmental engineering students to help pay for non-academic experiences that enhance the students’ trips. The James Feldman Study Abroad Endowment will give one student a year $1,000 to stay longer in their destination country or maybe take extra weekend excursions.
  Glaucio Paulino, Adjo Amekudzi-Kennedy, Susan Burns and Donald Webster have been named four of the most-effective teachers at Georgia Tech, according to end-of-course surveys of their students.
Top teachers Four CEE professors have won a signature award that recognizes Georgia Tech’s most effective teachers. The awards come directly from students’ experiences in class and how they rate their professors, and only 40 teachers across campus earn the honor. This year, that group includes Adjo Amekudzi-Kennedy, Susan Burns, Glaucio Paulino and Donald Webster.
Ph.D. student Bill Jin, this year's winner of the Robert H. Kuhlman Student Scholarship from the Georgia chapter of the American Concrete Institute.
ACI scholar The Georgia chapter of the American Concrete Institute has awarded Ph.D. student Bill Jin $5,000 to support his studies and his research into green concrete material technology. Jin is working to develop cement-based materials that sequester atmospheric nitrogen oxides and mitigate corrosion in reinforced concrete.