Published: April 19, 2022 By

Two NSF logostudents in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering have earned a major honor from the National Science Foundation.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.

Jasmine Garland and Martin Torres have each earned the fellowship, which includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $34,000, a cost of education allowance, and professional development opportunities.

Jasmine Garland

Architectural Engineering PhD student

Advisors: Kyri Baker and Ben Livneh
Lab: GRIFFIN Lab and the Water and Climate Research Group

My graduate research is at the confluence of climate change, extreme weather, and power networks. Here, I will use data modeling and machine learning methods to identify risk factors for power system vulnerability from natural disasters and probabilities that compounded power grid and climate events may occur. This is increasingly important as major cities such as Atlanta, GA, and Phoenix, AZ, report that power failures increased more than 60% within the past five years due to abnormal heatwaves and aging infrastructure, and the 2021 winter blackout in Texas left approximately 10 million people without electricity for periods reaching multiple days. Accordingly, this work can be used by government agencies, utilities, and policy makers to contribute to a more equitable and reliable power system.

Martin Torres

Architectural Engineering PhD student

Advisor: Wil Srubar
Lab: Living Materials Lab

The primary objective of my PhD research is to formulate novel statistical methods for accurately quantifying uncertainty and variability in life-cycle assessments (LCA). LCA is the primary method used to assess the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, transportation, construction, and end-of-life of building materials, often referred to as embodied carbon. Embodied carbon constitutes roughly 11% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions so there is an urgent need to decarbonize. My research will enable more informed design decisions, enhance comparability between whole-building LCAs with more accurate sensitivity analyses, and help standardize accounting methods used for biogenic carbon (carbon uptake associated with living materials such as wood).