Civil and Environmental Engineering Seminar Series
All seminars will be held in Porter Hall 100 from 10:30-11:50 unless otherwise noted.
All seminars are open to the campus community. The use of electronic devices is prohibited during seminar.
February 3 - Kara Kockelman - Department Seminar
Seminar Title: Anticipating a World of Shared Autonomous Vehicles: Cost, Energy, and Urban System Implications
Kara M. Kockelman
Professor, and E.P. Schoch Professor in Engineering
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
The University of Texas
Connected and (fully-) automated vehicles (CAVs) are set to disrupt the ways in which we travel. CAVs will affect road safety, congestion levels, vehicle ownership and destination choices, long-distance trip-making frequencies, mode choices, and home and business locations. Benefits in the form of crash savings, driving burden reductions, fuel economy, and parking cost reductions are on the order of $2,000 per year per CAV, rising to nearly $5,000 when comprehensive crash costs are reflected. However, vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) are likely to rise, due to AVs traveling empty, longer-distance trip-making, and access for those currently unable to drive, such as those with disabilities. New policies and practices are needed, to avoid CAV pitfalls while exploiting their benefits.
Shared AVs (SAVs) will offer many people access to such technologies at relatively low cost (e.g., $1 per mile), with empty-vehicle travel on the order of 10 to 15 percent of fleet VMT. If SAVs are smaller and more fuel efficient, and dynamic ride-sharing is enabled and regularly used, emissions and energy demand may fall. If road tolls are thoughtfully applied, using GPS across all congested segments and times of day, total VMT may not rise: instead, travel times - and their unreliability - may fall. If credit-based congestion pricing is used, traveler welfare may rise and transportation systems may ultimately operate near-optimally.
This presentation will present research relating to all these topics, to help engineering students and researchers think about policies, technologies, and other tools to improve quality of life for all travelers.
UT Austin’s Schoch Professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Dr. Kockelman holds a PhD, MS, and BS in civil engineering, a Masters of City Planning, and a minor in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. She has received a Google Research Award, NSF CAREER Award, MIT’s Technology Review Top 100 Innovators award, and ASCE’s Huber Research Prize, Bartholomew Award, and Laurie Prize. She is the author of over 140 archival journal articles, serves on several committees of the Transportation Research Board, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador.
Dr. Kockelman's research with her students emphasizes the impacts of connected and automated vehicles, statistical modeling of urban systems (including models of travel behavior, trade, and location choice), energy and climate issues (vis-à-vis transport and land use decisions), the economic impacts of transport policy, and crash occurrence and consequences. She has conducted research for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Cooperative and Strategic Highway Research Programs, the University Transportation Centers program, the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and the Texas and Oregon Departments of Transportation.
February 10 - Justin Parisi - Professional Development Seminar
Seminar Title: Ultra High Performance Concrete - The Rebirth of an Age Old Material
Director of Operations
Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) dates back to the 1980's. UHPC has a very high packing density and low porosity which give rise to the material's exceptional performance characteristics in the areas of compressive strength, flexural strength, freeze/thaw resistance, and more.
UHPC has been used in boutique civil projects but has not yet moved out of the laboratory and into the built environment through mainstream channels. UHPC can be an excellent material choice for use in building facades and, specifically, as an important part of ventilated rain screens. Use of UHPC in rain screens can drastically reduce the life cycle operating costs for a building.
In this seminar, we will review the genetic makeup of UHPC, explain how and why the performance characteristics can be advantageous to architects and engineers, and discuss ways in which the material can be incorporated into a building's envelope at a relatively low installed cost.
Justin Parisi is currently Director of Operations for TAKTL, LLC, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturing firm specializing in Ultra High Performance Concrete architectural products. He holds a joint MS in Civil Engineering and MBA from Carnegie Mellon and a BS in Materials Science & Engineering from Cornell University.
During Justin's two years at CMU, he was a student representative on the university's Green Practices Committee and he worked for IBACOS, a Pittsburgh company that consults with large U.S. homebuilders to refine construction techniques to reduce lifetime operating costs for new residences. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Justin worked for Watermark Environmental in Lowell, MA, where he was responsible for the operations and maintenance of hazardous groundwater treatment plants in the greater Boston area. Justin joined Taktl and Watermark at their respective starts and now has nearly 15 years' experience launching and growing plant/manufacturing-based companies.
February 24 - Andrew Whittaker- Department Seminar
Seminar Title: Seismic isolation of structures, components and systems in safety-related nuclear facilities
Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
University of Buffalo
AbstractSeismic isolation is a relatively mature technology that is suitable for the protection of structures, systems and components in safety-related nuclear facilities. The presentation will describe recent developments in the United States to implement isolation in nuclear facilities, including the writing of risk-oriented standards for analysis and design of isolated nuclear structures, and the development, verification and validation of advanced numerical models for elastomeric and sliding isolators, and their implementation in OpenSees and ABAQUS. Performance goals for isolated nuclear facilities will be identified and discussed, and differences with traditional practice for isolated buildings and bridges will be highlighted.
Andrew Whittaker is Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo, and serves as the Director of MCEER.
He is a registered civil and structural engineer in the State of California. Whittaker served as the Vice-President and President of the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering from 2003 to 2011, and on the Board of Directors of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the World Seismic Safety Initiative from 2008 to 2010.Currently, he is a member of the Advisory Board for the Southern California Earthquake Center.
Whittaker made significant contributions to the first generation of tools for performance based earthquake engineering (FEMA 273/274, 1992-1997) and led the structural engineering team that developed the second generation of these tools (FEMA P58, 2000-2013). Whittaker serves on a number of national committees including ASCE 4, ASCE 7, and ASCE 43, and ACI 349. He is Chair of the ASCE Nuclear Standards Committee.
His research interests are broad and include earthquake and blast engineering of buildings, long-span bridges and nuclear structures. The US National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, US Federal Highway Administration, and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission fund his research. He consults to federal agencies, regulators, consultancies, contractors, and utilities in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia.
April 7 - Sheryl Corrigan - Professional Development
Seminar Title: Striking the Balance: How environmental, regulatory and scientific experience bring value to your company
Director - Environmental Health and Safety
Why did an environmental scientist and former regulator end up at one of the largest manufactures in the world? Sheryl Corrigan, Director of Environmental, health and Safety for Koch Industries, Inc., understands that successful industrial innovation requires efficiencies that create in-demand products and services that use less resources. Large manufacturers need employees that understand the balancing act of addressing environmental needs, business growth priorities, and consumer demand. Devoted to environmental work from the beginning, Sheryl’s career included roles at 3M and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency where her passion for environmental science and safety grew and was matched by valuable leadership experience. She then brought that passion and experience to her role at Koch where she serves as the Director of Environmental, Health and Safety, driving environmental excellence initiatives across all Koch companies. By focusing on responsible operations and efficiency, Koch industries is not only making products and services we use every day, but meeting the challenge of producing more using less resources. As of 2012, there has been a 33% reduction in production related waste across Koch Companies while meeting market demands. Koch Industries has been recognized by the EPA for the third year in a row for being among the top two companies with the most pollution prevention initiatives.
During this seminar, Sheryl will discuss how a diversity of experience and approach can make you one of the most valuable people at the table and explore the interesting career paths at Koch Industries. With 120,000 employees worldwide and 70,000 strong in the U.S., Koch is integral to creating the essential products that benefit daily life most: food, shelter, clothing and transportation. By focusing on people and values, while having access to a multitude of industries and resources, employees have the opportunity to make a real impact in their careers.
Sheryl Corrigan is director of environmental, health and safety for Koch Industries, Inc., driving discovery of excellence and innovation opportunities, and providing oversight of Koch companies' environmental performance. Previously, Ms. Corrigan was senior vice president of environmental, health and safety for Flint Hills Resources, LLC; a subsidiary of Koch Industries.
Before joining Koch, Ms. Corrigan was commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, advising the governor and helping set the strategic direction for the state on environmental matters. She has also worked for 3M in a number of positions focusing on environmental, health and safety operational excellence.
Ms. Corrigan earned a bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology.
Based in Wichita, Kansas, Koch Industries, Inc. is one of the largest private companies in America with annual revenues as high as $115 billion, according to Forbes.
It owns a diverse group of companies involved in refining, chemicals, grain processing and biofuels; forest and consumer products; fertilizers; polymers and fibers; process and pollution control equipment and technologies; electronic components; commodity trading; minerals; energy; ranching; glass; and investments.
Since 2003, Koch companies have invested more than $70 billion in acquisitions and other capital expenditures. With a presence in about 60 countries, Koch companies employ more than 100,000 people worldwide, with about 60,000 of those in the United States.
From January 2009 to present, Koch companies have earned more than 1,000 awards for safety, environmental excellence, community stewardship, innovation, and customer service. Familiar Koch companies' brands include STAINMASTER→ carpet, LYCRA→ fiber, Quilted Northern→ tissue, and the Dixie→ brand of cups, plates and cutlery.
April 28 - Mary Kasarda - Department Seminar
Seminar Title: The Virginia Tech Smart Infrastructure Laboratory: A High Performance Smart Building for Research and Education on the VT Campus
The Virginia Tech's Smart Infrastructure Laboratory (VT-SIL) mission is to advance education and research in topics that utilize sensor information to improve the design, monitoring and daily operation of civil and mechanical infrastructure as well as to investigate how humans interact with the built environment. The centerpiece of VT-SIL is the full-scale living laboratory in the new, 160,000 sq ft, 5-story Goodwin Hall, which is the most instrumented public building in the world for vibration monitoring with over 212 accelerometers installed. Goodwin Hall is a campus building that includes classrooms, laboratories, meeting spaces, and offices. Vibration data from these sensors has been used to examine the building structure as well as human activity in a variety of pilot research and educational projects. This presentation will cover the development of the building instrumentation infrastructure, results from pilot research and educational work, and future opportunities for smart building applications.
Mary Kasarda is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. She is an Associate Director and Co-Developer of the VT Smart Infrastructure Laboratory. She received her BS, MS, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia. She has five years of professional engineering experience, including analytical and field work in the area of high-speed rotating machinery with Du Pont and Ingersoll Rand. Her research areas are in vibration-related topics such as system health monitoring, smart building applications, and magnetic bearings as well as in areas of engineering education. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the U. S. Navy, and DaimlerChrysler, among other sponsors. She has over 10 years of ABET accreditation experience, and she currently serves as an ASME delegate on the ABET Board of Delegates. She is active in efforts to support U.S. Military Veteran success in higher education, and she is the faculty advisor for the VT Veterans in the College of Engineering student organization. She is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award, and she is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
May 5 - Meagan Mauter - Department Seminar
Seminar Title: Redesigning the regulated power plant: Cost-effective emissions control through innovation in policies, processes, and materials.
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering and Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University
Coal fired power plants (CFPPs) are the largest industrial emitters of air toxics, aqueous contaminants, and greenhouse gasses in the US. Though market conditions and regulatory pressure have reduced the fraction of electricity generation by CFPPs to 33% in 2015, some regions are still highly dependent on coal. Most atmospheric CO2 stabilization scenarios assume that the US will cut >80% of electricity sector CO2 emissions by 2050, but transitioning away from high-carbon intensity CFPP generation will be a 20-35 year process. Efforts to control carbon emissions are also likely to impact plant processes for criteria air pollutant and water emissions control.
In this seminar, I will share recent work on policies, processes, and materials innovations that hold promise for cost-effectively reducing air and water emissions at existing generation facilities. I will highlight tradeoffs in air and water emissions control technologies, discuss work on optimizing energy allocation to environmental control processes, and highlight the role of improved process and materials performance on mitigating the energy intensity of emissions control technologies.
Professor Meagan Mauter holds bachelors degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering and History from Rice University, a Masters of Environmental Engineering from Rice University, and a PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from Yale University. She completed post-doctoral training in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she was an Energy Technology Innovation Policy Fellow.
At Carnegie Mellon University, Professor Mauter runs the Water and Energy Efficiency for the Environment (WE3 Lab) and is jointly appointed in the departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy. She also holds courtesy appointments in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering. Her present research seeks novel approaches to sustainably meet water and energy supply in a carbon constrained world by re-thinking the policies surrounding water treatment, re-defining the inputs to the treatment process, and re-envisioning the materials in membrane-based water treatment processes. Her work has been recognized through an NSF CAREER Award, the James J. Morgan Early Career Award, and the NAMS Young Membrane Scientist Award, among others.