Civil and Environmental Engineering
CEE Faculty Opening
Bryan Coday, a Civil & Environmental Engineering PhD student of Prof.Tzahi Cath, won the best student paper award at the 2013 Annual AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference.
He presented a paper titled "Evaluating membrane performance in osmotically driven membrane processes: enhancement of testing methods for industrial wastewater treatment applications".
Bryan follows a long tradition at CSM/CEE for winning this award. Previously, Dr. Chris Bellona and Dr. Nathan Hancock won this award when they were PhD students in the program.
Bryan will receive a plaque and a $1500 cash award.
On April 4-6, the CSM ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) chapter participated in the Rocky Mountain Regional Student Conference at Utah State University. Mines placed 4th overall, including 3rd place in the Concrete Canoe competition, 4th place in the Steel Bridge competition, and 1st place in Mystery Design. Thirty-five students traveled to Utah State and participated in the conference proceedings. The Concrete Canoe teams are advised by Susan Reynolds and Jim Sulzbach, the Steel Bridge teams are advised by Roxanne Hayes and Jeff Holley, and the chapter adviser is Candy Sulzbach.
Vaughan Griffiths is a Director of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) serving on a board of 17 members governing a Society with over 140,000 members and an annual budget of $50M. Dr. Griffiths is the first faculty member at CSM ever to reach his level of leadership within ASCE.
$5M gift boosts underground construction program
A 1976 alumnus has contributed $5 million to Colorado School of Mines to support the university’s Underground Construction and Tunneling Program and to provide scholarships for undergraduate students. Of the total funding, $4.5 million was allocated to the university's underground construction and tunneling education and research – including $3.5 million in faculty support and $1 million in additional startup funds – and $500,000 will go to providing scholarships for undergraduate students.
Underground construction and tunneling is a growing area of expertise at Mines that brings together students and faculty from mining engineering, geology and geological engineering, and civil engineering. In 2011, the university established the Center for Underground Construction and Tunneling as an interdisciplinary center for the study of subsurface engineering. Academic programs and research within the center provide student training and education with exposure to industry topics including site characterization, design and construction of underground infrastructures – including water, highway or subway tunnels – and subsurface underground facilities underneath major metropolitan cities.
“The underground construction and tunneling industry relies on a highly skilled engineering workforce and technical innovation that is only possible through interdisciplinary research and education,” said Mike Mooney, professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and acting director of the Center for Underground Construction and Tunneling at Mines. "This financial support will expand our program, helping us to better prepare our students to become the engineering workforce that industry requires to address the increasingly complex challenges faced today."
The center currently offers an interdisciplinary minor program and area of specialization for undergraduate students, and is developing interdisciplinary degree programs for graduate students. Students in the program participate in focused coursework, industry-driven research, field trips and technical conferences, and have the opportunity to work with industry professionals on special projects and internships. As the program grows, Mines' students, faculty and industry partners plan to collaborate on new, specialized training and emerging research initiatives related to underground construction and tunneling.
CEE Associate Professor Tzahi Cath was just awarded a major DOE grant to study Power Generation from Waste Heat with Closed Membrane Based Systems. Yale University and Colorado School of Mines will develop a system to generate electricity using low-temperature waste heat from power plants, industrial facilities, and geothermal wells. This system will use waste heat and the difference in salt content between two liquid streams to create electricity through membrane processes known as pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO) or reverse electrodialysis (RED). This technology could produce electricity from waste heat at low cost. For more information please see http://www.arpa-e.energy.gov/media/news/tabid/83/vw/1/itemid/60/arpa-e-awards-$130-million-for-66-transformational-energy-technology-projects.aspx
CEE Associate Professor Dr Terri Hogue has been elected as Secretary of the American Geophysical Union Hydrology section. Her two year term will start in January 2013.
CEE Hydrology student Kristin Mikkelson and faculty co-authors (Eric Dickenson, Reed Maxwell, John McCray and Jonathan Sharp) will be publishing an article in Nature Climate Change on October 28th titled, "Water-quality impacts from climate-induced forest die-off". Their study found significant increases in disinfection byproducts at water treatment facilities in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado that received their source water from mountain pine beetle infested watersheds. These findings illustrate that with the changing ecosystem dynamics associated with climate change, water quality may be one more parameter that is adversely affected.
CEE Faculty Awarded NSF Water Sustainability and Climate Grant GOLDEN, Colo., Sept. 27, 2012 – Researchers at Colorado School of Mines have been awarded part of a four-year $1.5 million NSF Water Sustainability and Climate program grant to investigate urban ecosystems and water management in the city of Los Angeles.
The project at Mines is headed by Civil & Environmental Department Associate Professor Terri Hogue, from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, and is a collaboration with Diane Pataki, the study’s principal investigator from the University of Utah, and Stephanie Pincetl from the University of California, Los Angeles.
The goal of this new NSF project will be to understand the coupled eco-hydrologic and decision making processes that determine the availability of local water resources in southern California. Ultimately, results will help western cities optimize local ecosystems and the long-term sustainability of urban water supplies.
Like many cities in the western U.S., Los Angeles relies on extensive, centralized redistribution projects for its water supply. Water is transported hundreds of kilometers to support agricultural and urban activities in southern California; however, allocations from remote sources have been declining due to drought, over-extractions, and competing water needs.
Increasingly, local governments and water districts are committing to increased reliance on local water sources within the southern California region including local groundwater, rainwater capture, conservation measures, and recycled water sources. Resources in Los Angeles are managed by a complex set of agencies and water districts with different structures, histories, and priorities, but which often access similar water resources.
For more information about the $27 million in grants through the Water Sustainability and Climate program, see the NSF website.
National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center Award - America's cities face a looming water crisis, driven by climate change, growing population and a crumbling infrastructure. Recognizing the critical importance of this issue, the National Science Foundation has selected Colorado School of Mines to join a partnership of four U.S. universities that addresses this challenge by developing new, sustainable ways to manage urban water.
Dr Tissa Illangasekare from the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department has been named the 2012 Henry Darcy Medalist by the European Geoscience Union (EGU).This is the highest honor given to an individual for scientific achievements in water resources research and water resources engineering and management by the EGU. Past recipients have been well known European hydrologists and water engineers. Dr Illangasekare will receive the medal at the EGU meeting in Vienna in April 2012, where he will deliver the award lecture.