University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Associate Professor Sergio Breña is travelling in April with an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) team as part of an effort to document and evaluate the performance of existing reinforced concrete buildings during the recent 8.8 magnitude Chilean earthquake. The ASCE team is made up of approximately 20 individuals participating in different aspects of the post-earthquake reconnaissance effort.

Three College of Engineering juniors – Daniel Bercht in Computer Systems Engineering, Brian Goss in Mechanical Engineering, and Saranthip Rattanaserikiat in Civil Engineering – have each received $750 scholarships from the UMass Amherst Alumni Association. The William F. Field Alumni Scholars Program was established in 1976 to recognize and honor 60 third-year students for their academic achievements at UMass Amherst. 

On March 25th, Dr. Richard Palmer, a professor and the head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, and Dr. Raymond Bradley, a distinguished professor in the Department of Geosciences and director of the Climate System Research Center, hosted a workshop at UMass Amherst on the “Effects of Climate Change on New England, a Call for Action.” The workshop was attended by more than 45 people, representing faculty from a variety of academic departments at UMass Amherst, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell, UMass Boston, and Smith College. 

John Tobiason attended the American Water Works Association Inorganic Contaminants Workshop in Denver, Colorado from February 28th to March 2nd, 2010. He gave a presentation titled "Removal of Trace Contaminants from Waste Ion Exchange Brine" based on research funded by the Solano County (CA) Water Agency via MWH Engineers.

Associate Professor Sergio Breña will be travelling in April with an ASCE (SEI/ATC) team as part of an effort to document and evaluate the performance of existing reinforced concrete buildings during the recent 8.8 magnitude Chilean earthquake.

Dr. Richard Palmer recently presented an invited paper at the Northwest Hydroelectric Association’s annual meeting (February 16-18) in Portland Oregon. Dr. Palmer presented the results of a two year study sponsored by the Snohomish Public Utility District.

Meghan Krupka, CEE student, was recently honored as a finalist for the prestigious SOM Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship. The fellowship is a '$10,000 award that aims to foster an appreciation of the aesthetic potential in the structural design of buildings and bridges by enabling a gifted graduate to experience works of architecture and engineering first hand.'

The UMass Team competed against 22 other schools at the 2010 Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition in San Francisco on February 3-6th. The Team, which consisted of group leader Meghan Krupka, Marco Adorno, David Fortin, and Aimee O'Brien, tested a model building of their own design for structural stability in a simulated earthquake.

Casey Brown, Assistant Professor of CEE specializing in climate risk management, recently gave two presentations on the management of climate uncertainty.

Brown spoke at a multi-federal agency workshop titled Nonstationarity, Hydrologic Frequency Analysis, and Water Management (January 13-15) in Boulder, Colorado. The goal of the workshop was to present and discuss proposed operational alternatives to the assumption of stationarity in hydrologic frequency analysis.  

The University of Massachusetts Amherst student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) hosted its 11th annual Tech Day on March 11. The keynote address was presented this year by UMass Amherst alumnus Jeffrey B. Mullan, the Secretary and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), who talked about "Facing Transportation Challenges in the Commonwealth."