CEEatGT Update: September 2014

One of the best
The new rankings from U.S. News and World Report for undergraduate engineering schools are out — and CEE made some noise. The civil engineering program climbed to No. 2 in the nation. The environmental engineering program maintained its strong position at No. 3.

Advice from alumni
Four alumni offered students and parents some perspective on their careers after Georgia Tech during Family Weekend this month. The biggest question: does it make sense for students to get their master’s after they graduate?

Pendyala’s big ideas Ram Pendyala has joined CEE as the new Dickerson Chair in Transportation Systems. And he’s bringing some interesting new ideas to the table.

Welcome Iris Tien There’s a new face in the structures group this fall. A few questions with Iris Tien.

Driverless cars in Georgia? Could the car next to you on the Downtown Connector soon be driving itself? State Lawmakers are considering the implications of self-driving cars, and Michael Hunter offered some food for thought at a recent hearing.
What do more acidic oceans mean for microbes? Kostas Konstantinidis has won an NSF grant to help answer that question. His work is part of a large batch of funding for ocean-acidification research.
Crowdsourcing water quality Using mobile phones and super-cheap water tests, Joe Brown is working to develop a whole new way to test for E coli contamination in India’s millions of water sources.
Harnessing the tides Girl Scouts, Georgia’s coast, and tidal power. Kevin Haas is tying all of those together as his team works on turning the ebb and flow of tides into modest amounts of electricity.
Award-winning work I The Shamsher Prakash Foundation gave Tammy Hebeler its 2014 Prize for Excellence in Geotechnical Engineering for her contributions to the field.
Award-winning work II The company run by alumni Charles and Ken Nelson has won a highly competitive Project Excellence Award from ASCE’s Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute for their Gulf Gateway Terminal in New Orleans.
Persistence pays off Doctoral student Janille Smith-Colin says studying with CEE’s transportation group is right where she wants to be.
Wi-Fi and rail ridership Does offering Wi-Fi make people more likely to ride rail transit? Railway Interiors Magazine featured a study by Patricia Mokhtarian that finds it does.
Arts and science Self-described poet-engineer Richard Blanco told students why he thinks those two fields aren’t as incompatible as they might seem and how he realized “language was engineered, like everything else.”
The future of geotech Are we teaching geotechnical engineers the right skills these days? Chloe Arson helped organize a workshop to figure out what students need to know and how to update curriculum here and in Europe to teach it.

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