CEEatGT Update: June 2019

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The invisibility dream
Roman arenas have survived in many earthquake-prone regions. Did the Romans inadvertently build seismic wave cloaks when they designed colosseums? Some researchers believe they did due to the arenas' resemblance to modern experimental elastodynamic cloaking devices. (Photo: Paolo Costa Baldi via Wikimedia Commons)Perfecting a kind of “invisibility cloak” for structures to protect them from stress waves in the ground is impossible, according to a new study. It would have made buildings almost immune to earthquakes or blasts. But the work by Professor Arash Yavari and Ph.D. student Ashkan Golgoon doesn’t mean engineers should give up on the idea of cloaking, they said — just on the idea of an ideal cloak. Limited cloaking could still add a degree of protection to structures, particularly against some stress waves common in earthquakes. Their study was published in the journal Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis.

A laptop computer and iPhone show the Filio web app and mobile app, respectively. (Photo: Amelia Neumeister)

Meet Filio Construction managers, developers and insurance companies have the same photo management problems as the rest of us: trying to keep track of all of your images and remembering what you were documenting in the first place. Mahdi Roozbahani and Fikret Atalay have a solution in the form of a web and mobile app that allows companies to capture, caption, store and collaborate on worksite photos. They’ve turned the app into a startup with the help of Georgia Tech’s CREATE-X incubator.

Ph.D. student Anye Zhou drives the new full-size simulator in Srinivas Peeta’s lab. The simulator is built from a 2013 Ford Focus and includes wraparound screens to immerse test drivers in the simulated environment. (Photo: Candler Hobbs)

Driver’s test Step into the School’s newest lab, a full-size driving simulator that lets Professor Srinivas Peeta throw anything at you and then watch what happens. The simulator creates a realistic driving experience — and all its incumbent distractions — to produce data that helps Peeta better understand how drivers interact with their environment. The tests run in the lab will ultimately help engineers create a better transportation network for everyone.

Angshuman Guin demonstrates how a cell phone tracks Gwinnett County Fire Department trucks and data about traffic to improve response times. Guin is working with Gwinnett on connected vehicle technology as part of the first round of Georgia Tech’s Georgia Smart Communities Challenge. (Photo: Allison Carter)

Smart communities Georgia Tech’s Georgia Smart Communities Challenge awarded four new grants in June, including two led by civil and environmental engineering researchers. One project will drive economic growth in uptown Columbus using connectivity, data management and internet of things devices and will be led by Professor John Taylor. Associate Professor Kari Watkins and Senior Research Engineer Angshuman Guin will lead a project in Milton to help students and parents connect with each other to find safer routes to walk or bike to school.

Professor Adjo Amekudzi-Kennedy

Elected Professor Adjo Amekudzi-Kennedy has joined the ranks of the nation’s most distinguished engineering and construction professionals as one of the newest members of the National Academy of Construction. Election is reserved for exceptional leaders who represent all sectors of the built environment and whose careers have made a significant impact on the construction industry.

The new class of Future Faculty Fellows: Bill Jin, Sung Hoo Kim, Yunping Liang and Ming Liu.

Future faculty Sung Hoo Kim and fellow doctoral students Bill Jin, Yunping Liang and Ming Liu are the newest class of Future Faculty Fellows in the School. The fellowships are part of a three-year-old program that helps graduate students become great teachers. The idea is to build a pipeline of future professors by teaching them how to teach and helping them build their research and professional networks.

Alejandro Martinez welcomes engineers, biologists, physicists and others to the First International Workshop on Bio-Inspired Geotechnics in May at the University of California, Davis. The unique gathering aimed to better define the emerging field of bio-inspired geotechnics and connect researchers from a broad range of disciplines to collaborate on groundbreaking ideas in the area. (Photo: Noah Pflueger-Peters/UC Davis)

Groundwork Alumni Alejandro Martinez and Jason DeJong recently ran the first international workshop focused on bio-inspired geotechnics, gathering geotechnical engineers with experts in termite burrowing, tree physiology, granular physics and soft robotics, among other disciplines. The idea was to better define the field and build the foundation for new kinds of collaboration around the idea. The workshop was part of a National Science Foundation research center Georgia Tech Professor David Frost helps lead.