The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Dr. Carl Ho attended the Geo-Frontiers 2011, Advances in Geotechnical Engineering Conference, in Dallas Texas. During the three day conference Dr. Ho presented two papers and attended committee meetings.


One environmental engineer refers to the 407-mile-long Connecticut River, interrupted by some 4,000 small and large dams, as “probably the most highly dammed river in America.” That, indeed, is both the strength and weakness of the river. The dams provide flood control, hydroelectric power, and water supplies for much of New England, but they also drastically alter this vast ecosystem with a drainage basin extending over 11,250 square miles.

Dr. Song Gao received an invitation to speak at UC Berkeley at the Institute of Transportation Studies.  Dr. Gao’s talk was titled “Strategic Route Choice Behavior”. Dr. Gao present three studies on this topic where human subjects are recruited and their route choices solicited in hypothetical networks with risky travel times and real-time information. The presentation was attended by graduate students and professors in civil engineering.

Dr.Casey Brown receives a prestigious National Science Foundation Career Grant to Conduct Research on the Connecticut River Watershed. Dr. Brown will begin his research on this five-year, $419,097 NSF Career grant on July 1, 2011.

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department held its biannual Career Fair on Thursday, February 24, and 17 companies, state agencies, and federal recruiters showed up to interview scores of students from the department. In addition to three government entities – the Navy Northeast Recruiting District, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the Connecticut Department of Transportation – the private companies that sent recruiters included Alstom Power, Baltazar Contractors, Inc., Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc., Daniel O’Connell’s Sons, Inc., Environmental Compliance Services, Inc., Environmental Resources Management, Fuss & O’Neill, Inc., GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., O’Reilly, Talbot & Okun Associates, Inc., STV Inc., Tata & Howard, Inc., The Lane Construction Corperation, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., and Wright-Pierce.

Aimee O'Brien, a senior in the department, is leading a team of undergraduates to compete in the annual seismic design competition hosted by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.  The competition is held this year in San Diego. The team is hoping for a strong showing having gained experience in their first year of competition in 2010.

Dr. Song Gao was invited to attend a workshop organized by the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk (CERA) at Georgia University. She presented a paper entitled “A Rank-Dependent Expected Utility Model for Strategic Route Choice with State Preference Data”. The paper is co-authored with Michael Razo, a former MS student.

As reported by the Westford (Massachusetts) Eagle on February 2, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department alumna and New England Patriots cheerleader Patricia Fox returned late last month from a two-week tour overseas to visit deployed U.S. troops. “With the Patriots cheerleaders, I was given the opportunity to go oversees to visit the troops, which is an experience I will never forget,” said Fox. Six Patriots cheerleaders and their coach, Tracy Sormanti, began their tour on December 20 in Kyrgyzstan and then arrived in Northern Afghanistan on Christmas Day.

Please plan on attending the Civil & Environmental Engineering Career Fair on Thursday, February 24th, 2011. It will be held at the Gunness Engineering Student Center, Marcus Hall from 10:00am – 3:00pm. It is the perfect opportunity to meet potential employers. Ms. Jodi Ozdarski, Academic Assistant, stated that 17 companies will be attending.

Please use this link to access more information on the companies that are attending the Career Fair this spring.