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Departmental News:

Congratulations to Dr. Heo for a one year project from Office of Naval Research (ONR) to investigate the feasibility of the smart risk management concept for instrumented buildings using public ground motion databases, which potentially lead to a successive multi-year project to calibrate the numerical models using multi-phase sensor data measured from ship structures. This research will contribute to ONR by developing smart inference engines for unmanned naval systems to determine cost-effective and timely strategies to manage their system integrity in operations during the extended service life. This research will be transferable to offshore and marine structure.  

CWRU engineering students Aaron Mann (Civil & Environmental), Kevin Pataroque (Chemical Engineering), and Peter Thompson (Civil & Environmental) won first prize in the Northeast Section of the Ohio Water Environment Association (NESOWEA) Student Design Competition for their design for an upgraded biosolids treatment process for the Upper Tuscarawas Water Reclamation Facility. The team, mentored by Civil & Environmental Engineering Prof. Kurt Rhoads, will represent Ohio in the national competition at WEFTEC 2020 in New Orleans in October, 2020.

Judy Zhang, associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, received a two-year, $200,000 grant from the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) for a project entitled "Regeneration of Phosphorus Sorbing Materials (PSMs) toward Sustainable P Removal from Agricultural Runoff and Tile Drainages."


Posted 4/9/2020

Prof. Yue Li co-leads with Dr. Ji Yun Lee of Washington State University, on a study that aims to evaluate resident perception of wildfire risk.  The decisions of homeowners to protect themselves from wildfire risks are based on numerous factors, including the characteristics of houses and the homeowners themselves, but they affect the recovery of the entire community. This research, based on an online survey and field study of Sonoma County residents whose properties were damaged by the 2019 Kincade Fire, is a first step toward a longitudinal study aimed at understanding the proactive actions of homeowners in response to wildfire.  The work is funded by the Natural Hazards Center at Colorado State University (Details can be found at


CWRU students showed their steel trivia skills during the American Institute of Steel Construction’s (AISC) Live Student Steel Trivia Contest.  Structural Engineering Master’s Degree students, Patricia Cheng and Isabel McLeod, took part in a virtual trivia competition against Civil Engineering students nationwide. The event, held on February 27, 2020, is the first time that AISC has put students’ steel knowledge to the test in this type of friendly competition. The women came in third place, winning some steel “swag” which they will use with pride!

An article led by Ram Krishna Mazumder, a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 'Seismic functionality and resilience analysis of water distribution systems,’ is featured as the Editor’s Choice in the Journal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice. Ram Krishna Mazumder co-authored the paper with his advisor Professor Yue Li, along with Professor Xiong (Bill) Yu, and Professor Abdullahi Salman, who is a faculty at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and was a research associate at Case Western.

Dr. YeongAe Heo, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and a 2017 Early-Career Research (ECR) Fellow of the Gulf Research Program (GRP), received a grant titled Cascading Effects of Rising Coastal Risks for Petrochemical Facilities on Socio-Economic-Ecological Vulnerability and Risk Perceptions.   It is a collaborative project with two other GRP ECR fellows having expertise in environmental chemistry, and human geography. This two-year project is to develop a pilot risk model to quantify the impact of potential oil and gas infrastructure failures on human and ecosystem health. This project integrates components representing Safer Offshore Energy Systems, Healthy Ecosystems, and Thriving Communities, respectively. The team aims to synthesize research fields that have been developed separately in parallel over the past years and lead to a paradigm shift in emergency plans, policies, and procedures for community resilience toward integrative risk mitigation approaches.

Representatives from the Department faculty, students, Alumni convened during the annual Alumni Breakfast at the 2019 Ohio Transportation Engineering Conference, between Oct 29-30 at Columbus, OH.    Ms. Kelly Hendricks, Director of Alumni Relation, introduced new initiatives by the Case Alumni Association to engage Alumni.  Dr. Bill Yu, Interim Chair, provided an overview update on the progresses at the Department, including various recent awards received by the Department faculty and students, new activities and organizations initialized by students under guidance by faculty.   Noteworthily, with the generous supports by alumni and friends, the Department will build a new Concrete Laboratory, which is projected to start construction in middle February 2020 and finish by early Summer 2020.

Full story can be found on the article in Observer, the Magazine by CWRU Students.  Students in Professor Katie P. Wheaton’s class, ECIV 160 Surveying and Computer Graphics, traded the classroom for the field when they surveyed at the University Farm this November. A request from the Case Amateur Radio club prompted the class to embark on two site visits. The purpose was to help the club find optimal locations to place antennas during their annual Field Day Competition, taking place next June.  After surveying tree and building locations as requested by the club, the students processed the measured data in AutoCAD and generated a report for their “client” with suggested antennae locations and cost estimates.

                        Dr. Christian Carloni and Professor Katie Wheaton, along with 6 undergraduate students from the Department, visited the Duke Energy Convention Center on October 18-21,2 019 for this year’s American Concrete Institute (ACI) Convention in Cincinnati, OH.   Dr. Carloni is currently Chair of the joint ACI-ASCE 446 Committee and attended ACI convention regularly, but this was Professor Wheaton and the students’ first appearance at a ACI Convention.