CEAE News

Greetings from the Chair, Balaji Rajagopalan

Dear CEAE Alumni and Friends,

Balaji Rajagopalan2015 was another great year for the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering's research program. Our faculty brought in $16.1 million in new contract and grant funding, the second highest amount among the college's departments.

We're also proud that our faculty are involved in new and diverse research efforts. As you'll read below, John Crimaldi is helping to lead an interdisciplinary team studying olfactory navigation in animals. Yunping Xi and Mija Hubler will collaborate on a new technology to seal leaks in CO2 storage formations, funded by the Department of Energy. Petros Sideris and Abbie Liel received an National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study the performance of hybrid sliding-rocking (HSR) bridge systems under seismic excitation, while Wil Srubar will use an NSF award to advance the engineering of natural-fiber composite materials that are fully biorenewable and economically viable on a global scale.

To continue to advance our research missions, we are conducting a faculty search for multiple tenure-track positions to begin in the 2016-17 academic year. We are focused on building and energy engineering systems; construction engineering and management; and geotechnical engineering and geomechanics, though other areas will also be considered.

We look forward to continuing to build the reputation of our department in the year ahead. 

Happy New Year!
Rajagopalan Balaji, PhD
Professor and Department Chair


Two CEAE Alumni Earn College's Top Award

On April 22, two civil engineering alumni will be honored with the College of Engineering and Applied Science's Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award. Established in 1966, these awards are given to individuals who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding personal qualities, knowledge and significant contributions to their fields.

Paul HamiltonPaul Hamilton (CivEngr'75, MS'77) is founder and president of Novello GTL LLC. He is a highly respected environmental engineer, entrepreneur and alternative energy specialist, and an expert in the areas of refining, petrochemicals, renewable energies and gasification. He is a dedicated volunteer to the college and also funds scholarships for engineering students.

Doug SmithDouglas G. Smith (MCivEngr'75) is assistant dean for programs and engagement in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, where he is responsible for the development and leadership of programs that support college growth and excellence, as well as implementation of the college brand and communications. He has also impacted thousands of engineers through leadership roles with the city of Boulder, Tetra Tech, MWH Global and Black & Veatch.

Congratulations to Paul and Doug!

More Alumni News: ‘Solid foundation’ at CU-Boulder leads to international career


Professor Leading Olfactory Navigation Research Project

Illustration of odor plumes from the Crimaldi LabAnimals are experts at following their noses and using odors to detect everything from food to mates to potential predators. Now, an interdisciplinary research team led by Professor John Crimaldi has won a major funding award from the NSF to uncover the behavioral and neurological processes that govern the deeply embedded science of smell.

The $6.4 million NSF grant, awarded as part of the White House's BRAIN Initiative, will allow the researchers to quantify the structure of odor plumes using 3D laser-based technologies, and then measure both an animal's behavioral responses and its real-time brain activity as it navigates through an odor environment. 

"Animals make efficient use of the information embedded in odor plumes and react to different spatial and temporal odor patterns in different ways because their lives depend on it," said Crimaldi. "Currently, we know very little about how the brain makes these decisions, and that's the central question that this project will address." >> Read More

More Faculty Headlines


Design-Build Team Takes 3rd in National Competition

Building rendering created by DBIA teamGrieble and Co. may not be a real company, but they sure look good on paper.

That's the name five CU-Boulder students gave their fictitious company for the Design-Build Institute of America's National Student Competition, held in November 2015. The competition challenged teams to use design-build methods to submit a proposal for a college science building.

Team member Mike Penner said he thinks the team's ability to "sell" Grieble and Co. -- named for team member Keegan Grieble -- helped propel them to third overall in the competition. The team wrote a mission statement, put together a project portfolio and assembled biographies for their "staff members," even going so far as to photograph older family members for an extra touch of realism. 

"We understood that every team had the same technical aspects, so it came down to how could we sell ourselves the best," Penner said. >> Read More

More Student Headlines


New Continuing Education Opportunities

Our department now offers two professional master's programs (PMP) that are perfect for working engineers looking to add to their skillset.

The goal of the PMP in Water Engineering & Management (WEM) is to provide working engineers with the skills they need to lead a team, initiative or division in the water profession. Especially relevant for those working for consulting engineers, utilities, government or regulatory agencies, the program combines technical course with courses that address leadership, communication, financials, governance and water management. Many classes are offered online through Be Boulder Anywhere. >> Learn More

The Master of Engineering program with an emphasis in Engineering for Developing Communities will challenge you to expand your way of thinking about the world and engineering's effect upon it. Taking a holistic, interdisciplinary approach, you will learn to view engineering challenges as opportunities to help create a more sustainable, equitable world. >> Learn More


Recommended Reading 

Professor Bernard Amadei's newest book, A Systems Approach to Modeling Community Development Projects, looks at the application of one branch of systems science, called system dynamics, to develop conceptual models of small-scale communities and address specific issues they might be facing at different scales.

Associate Professor George Hearn has published State Bridge Load Posting Processes and Practices, a synthesis of the practices of U.S. state governments in restricting weights of vehicles that can cross highway bridges and culverts to levels below legal loads. Bridges and culverts restricted for vehicle weights are called load posted structures. The load posting practices of bridge owners include the identification of structures to post for load, the evaluation of safe load capacities of these structures, and the implementation of restrictions on vehicle weights at structures.


Class Notes

Matt Ladd (CivEngr'84) has joined Brinkmann Constructors as vice president of the western division, located in Denver. Ladd is a licensed professional engineer in Missouri and licensed civil engineer in California.

Samer T. Tamimi (MCivEngr'86, PhD'89) has been promoted to senior vice president with Hill International's Project Management Group in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Tamimi is a registered professional engineer in Colorado and a certified Project Management Professional.

John Mattson (ArchEngr'88) is semi-retired and working on a retirement career of writing and inspirational speaking with his book "Dancing on the Edge of an Endangered Planet." He lives in Nederland, Colo.

Nicole Vranesh (ArchEngr'97) was inducted into the CU Athletic Hall of Fame this November. As a Buff volleyball player, she was a two-time, first-team All-Mideast Region selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She helped bring the Buffs to the national stage in volleyball and as setter led the Buffs to the 1992 and 1993 Big Eight Tournament Championships and the 1993 Big East title.

On April 25, 2014, Michael Diaz(CompSci'00) and Lynne Diaz (ApMath'00, CivEngr'06, MS'08) welcomed their fourth child, Ethan Diaz. Michael holds a scrum master position at CA Technologies and Lynne is enjoying staying home with the kids in Timnath, Colo.

Mechanical engineer Peter Alspach (MCivEngr'03) was promoted to principal at Arup, where he's worked since 2001. Peter leads the sustainability, mechanical and plumbing teams in the Seattle office and is the global skills leader for environmental and building physics. He has worked on more than 150 projects at Arup and is a specialist in the design of low-energy buildings.

Jeremy I. Walbert (MCivEngr'05) was promoted to senior associate at the Becker Morgan Group, where he works as a structural engineer in the company's Salisbury, Md., office.

Anna Campbell (EnvEngr'13, MCivEngr'14) received the 2016 Young Professional of the Year Award from the American Council of Engineering Cos. Campbell is a water resources engineer at Wright Water Engineers Inc. in Denver.

Tell us what's new in your world! We'd love to hear and share your news, accomplishments and other changes in your life in upcoming editions of this newsletter. 
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