CEEatGT Update: July 2019

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Update header
Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view it as a webpage.
Challenge Update
Alumni Dwight Evans and Wick Moorman, with his wife Bonnie. They've each established new endowed professorships to support faculty in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.Alumni Dwight Evans and Charles “Wick” Moorman still remember the professors who taught them the fundamentals of civil engineering. Now they’re both establishing new endowed professorships in the School to ensure the very best faculty continue to inspire the next generation of civil and environmental engineers. Their gifts come as part of a $5 million challenge issued by fellow alumnus Michael Messner and his wife, Jenny.

Professor John Taylor

Associate chair Karen and John Huff School Chair Donald Webster has named John Taylor the School’s new associate chair for graduate programs and research innovation, where he will oversee the master’s and Ph.D. programs. He also will lead the School’s cross-cutting research efforts, identifying new ways for faculty to collaborate in addressing grand challenges and technical innovation.

The water surface bows upward as Professor Hermann Fritz, background, launches the volcanic tsunami generator from the control stand in the Hinsdale wave basin at Oregon State University. Fritz and collaborators at the University of Oregon and Texas A&M University at Galveston are using the data from these experiments to understand how underwater volcanoes generate tsunami waves and improve predictive models. (Photo: Angela Del Rosario)

Making a volcano Hermann Fritz has been creating volcanic eruptions in the lab to see how these fairly rare events differ from their more common earthquake-generated cousins. Fritz and his colleagues hope to understand how tsunami waves propagate from such an eruption and improve prediction models to help give better warnings to people in harm’s way. He offered an update of the work in the summer 2019 Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure newsletter.

Ph.D. student Shahrokh Shahi

Best paper Ph.D. student Shahrokh Shahi has won the Best Student Paper award at the 2019 joint World Congress of the International Fuzzy Systems Association and Annual Conference of the North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society. Shahi’s paper introduced a mathematical formulation that accounts for uncertainty in supporting conditions of structural systems.
  Screenshot of GPB website featuring G. Wayne Clough's interview on 'On Second Thought'
On Second Thought G. Wayne Clough has been busy since he retired as secretary of the Smithsonian in 2014. The Georgia Tech president emeritus and double civil engineering graduate has been writing two books in the years since, including his newest exploring the vast collections of the world’s largest museum, education and research complex. Clough recently talked about the book with GPB’s On Second Thought and host Virginia Prescott.
Researchers studied the impact of warming on microbial communities in a tundra area near Denali National Park in Alaska. (Photo: Ted Schuur, Northern Arizona University)
Tundra warming Rising temperatures in the tundra of the Earth’s northern latitudes could affect microbial communities in ways likely to increase their production of greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide, a new study of experimentally warmed Alaskan soil suggests. “We saw that microbial communities respond quite rapidly – within four or five years – to even modest levels of warming,” said Kostas T. Konstantinidis, the paper’s corresponding author.