2013 Spring Newsletter

“Creating leaders and solutions for the built and natural environments.”

A note from the Chair

Bridget Bero 230

Dear Friends,   

Time marches on and activity in CECMEE continues to grow.  Numbers of students (and grads) in CE and EnE are at an all-time high with CM enrollment hitting a low from the recession – but with the recovery on its way, 85% of our CM grads are already spoken for.  We’re seeing an increase in donations to the programs along with more summer internship opportunities for our majors.  Highlights of the past year include:

  • CE and EnE enrollments are up 41% to 411 from 292 in 2008; CE was up 21% to 265 and EnE was up 100% to 146.  In the same time period, the number of graduating students in CE and EnE programs is up 61%, indicating better retention to graduation – a primary goal for NAU.
  • Graduation numbers from Spring &Fall 2012 were 40 CM and 66 CENE.
  • The CM program did indeed receive the maximum 6 years of accreditation from the ACCE, the CM accrediting board.  CE and EnE programs are right behind in renewing their 6 year accreditation  – this year we are preparing for a Fall 2013 visit from ABET.
  • The new C4P (Construct4Practice program, the CM equivalent to the Design4Practice program in engineering) started this past fall; read more about this novel CM program in the following pages. 
  • We welcome Dr. Chun-Hsing (Jun) Ho to the CM faculty.  Jun is a tenure-track Assistant Professor and a Civil Engineer.  We also welcome new Internship Coordinator Elizabeth Glass and Scholarship Coordinator Kelley Ann Horn, plus Jen Johnson, a third advisor who is dedicated to our ever increasing foreign student population.

Visit our website at: http://nau.edu/CEFNS/Engineering/ and our LinkedIn groups. 

Sincerely Yours,

Bridget Bero Signature

Bridget N. Bero, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor and Chair
Bridget.Bero@nau.edu

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Welcome new CECMEE faculty and staff

Chun-Hsing Jun Ho
Chun-Hsing “Jun” Ho, new CM Assistant Professor.


Chun-Hsing (Jun) Ho, PhD, Assistant Professor, is a civil engineer specializing in transportation engineering (pavement systems) and heavy civil construction.  He replaces Greg Ohrn, who retired in Spring of 2011.  Jun got his PHD from the University of Utah in 2010 where he was an Eisenhower Transportation Fellow.  Before coming to NAU, he led the civil engineering technology program at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology.  Jun is originally from Taiwan and is a registered PE in civil, geotechnical and structural engineering there.  Jun has worked on massive airfield pavement construction projects for the Kaohsiung International Airport and structural and geotechnical analysis and design projects for the Taiwan Railway Administration; he also performed project management and contract administration for these jobs.  He has experience in surveying, estimating, scheduling, building construction, and safety inspection.  He is active in ASCE (Airfield Pavement Committee) and TRB (Rail Transit Infrastructure Committee).  He is doing a great job of bridging between the CM and CENE cultures in the department.  His goal is to build a research program in asphalt pavement construction and technology here at NAU to recruit more deserving students to the pavement engineering areas. Jun resides in Flagstaff with his wife and his two children. Beyond academic activities, he enjoys playing guitar and going out hiking with his wife.

Elizabeth Glass 230
Elizabeth “Lil” Glass, new Internship Coordinator.

Elizabeth (Lil) Glass is tasked with creating a CEFNS Career Development Center. She will be managing the CEFNS career fairs; keeping the career development information up to date on the CEFNS web pages; facilitating connections between employers and students for careers and internships; arranging speakers to present on career related topics; as well as facilitating interdisciplinary entrepreneurial connections between engineering students and business students across the quad. For engineering students, she will also be providing one-on-one career advice and resume/cover letter/application material editing. She can be reached at elizabeth.glass@nau.edu and 928-523-5704.

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News brief

New CENE Industrial Advisory Board members

  • Dr. Andrew Scanlon, P.E., is a civil engineer specializing in the performance of concrete bridge and building structures.  Currently a Professor of CE at Penn State, Dr. Scanlon will be spending 2013-2014 with CECMEE on his sabbatical.
  • James Matteson, P.E., is a retired civil engineer with a long career in transportation engineering in both public and private sectors.  He currently resides in Arizona’s White Mountains and also serves on the Board of Northland Pioneer College.
  • Thomas Nelson has a master’s degree in structural engineering and currently works for Hubbard Merrell Engineering in Flagstaff, AZ.  Thomas also is active in our ASCE student chapter, serving as a Capstone project advisor; he is also a part-time instructor in our program.

Scanlon, Matteson, and Nelson
From left to right: Andrew Scanlon, Jim Matteson, Thomas Nelson.

Supporting CECMEE: the following have been very generous with supporting our programs!

  • The Beavers Foundation has created a $50,000 endowed scholarship for CM and CE students interested in careers in the heavy civil industry.
  • Kinney Construction Services has created a $25,000 endowed scholarship to pay program fees, supporting CM, CE and EnE students who are independent/working students.
  • CM’s “Generation Next” fundraising campaign has raised over $50,000  so far this year.  This program supports all facets of CM programs, from student project support to faculty development.
  • CEMEX has donated $2000 to the concrete canoe team for materials and student travel to compete at the ASCE Pacific Southwest Regional Conference.
  • The Arizona Society of Civil Engineers added $2500 to the American Concrete Institute/ASCE scholarship fund to support CE majors.
  • Granite Construction donated a 2008 Ford F250 pickup truck to replace our decaying workhorse.
  • The CM Industrial Advisory Board sponsored a Sporting Clay Tournament as a fundraising event in February at the Ben Avery Range in north Phoenix for CM programs.  This event adds to our existing fall golf fundraising tournaments – one for CM and one for CENE (sponsored by the Northern Arizona Branch of the ASCE).   Save the date, the next ASCE Northern Arizona Branch Golf Tournament is Monday, October 7, 2013 at Forest Highlands Meadows Course!
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Faculty news

  • CM Assistant Professor John Tingerthal successfully defended his doctoral thesis “Applying the Decoding the Disciplines Process to Teaching Structural Mechanics: An Autoethnographic Case Study” earlier this month; congratulations to Dr. T!  John and CM Professor Tom Rogers are delivering a paper at the ASC Annual Meeting in April titled “Blended Learning and Fully “Flipping” the Construction Management Classroom for Improved Teaching and Learning.”  John is also going to receive the national Excellence in Teaching Award from the Associated Schools of Construction.
  • The department started recognizing exemplary faculty, to be done annually as part of the faculty review process.  Faculty recognized this past year are:
  • Terry Baxter, EnE, outstanding award for Service
  • Robin Tuchscherer, CE, outstanding award for Research
  • John Tingerthal, CM, outstanding award for Teaching
  • In 2012, CE Assistant Professor Josh Hewes received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor and CECMEE Chair and Associate Professor (EnE) Bridget Bero was promoted to Professor.  In 2013, CE Assistant Professor Ed Smaglik received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor, and EnE Assistant Research Professor Pat Ellsworth was promoted to Associate Research Professor.  Dr. Ellsworth is assigned to NAU’s Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals.
  • CM Lecturer Kathleen Viskocil resigned to continue her CM work with NAU’s Facilities department.  We’re of course still in touch and a search is currently underway for an Assistant Professor of Practice to fill Kathleen’s shoes.
  • CM Assistant Professor of Practice Susan Thomas announced that she will be retiring at the end of Fall 2013 semester.

Jonathan Upchurch
Dr. Jonathan Upchurch, P.E., Adjunct faculty


  • CE Adjunct Faculty member Jonathan Upchurch , P.E., received a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE).  Dr. Upchurch has been in the transportation engineering profession for more than 40 years, with a specialty in traffic engineering and operations, transportation policy and planning, and highway safety.  He has served on the national Transportation Research Board and has been very active in ASCE and the ITE.  Congratulations, Jon!
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Student activities

  • The ASCE Concrete Canoe team finished 6th at the Pacific Southwest Regional competition in mid-April.  Out of 16 schools, NAU’s finish is great for one of the smallest (and smallest funded) programs!  This year’s team consisted of Elise Cheever, Jonathan Brusnahan, Sara Watts, Kelli Rider, and Naser Aljaberi.
  • The EnE program sent two of our senior Capstone project teams to the International Environmental Design Contest sponsored by the Institute for Energy & the Environment – WERC (Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development), held at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM on April 7-11, 2013.  22 teams from universities around the country and Canada competed in several design task divisions.   Our two projects were the design of a solar-powered water distillation unit and a composite landfill cap design using paper sludge waste material.  The landfill team won the Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Award for Innovation in Sustainability for their design. This team also won a $7500 Engineering Award for Connecting Professional Practice and Education from NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying).

Landfill Team Awards Ceremony
Landfill Team Award Ceremony. From left: Freeport-McMoRan rep, John Jowers, Nathaniel Lail, Gabriel Murray, Annalise O’Toole, Daniel Hamill, Amy Anderson
Solar Distillation Team
Solar Distillation Team: From left: Yiguo Chen, Ben Shields, Yang Yang, Chaz Enbody, Banning Burt, faculty advisory Willie Odem (bottom)

2013 CENE Senior Capstone Projects

CENE Senior Capstone Projects 2013 are underway.  This year, we are starting a CENE 476 section this spring to conclude in Fall 2013 to support December graduates.  For full project details, check out:http://www.cefns.nau.edu/Research/D4P/ProjectList.php

Fall 2012 / Spring 2013 Projects
  • Design of NAU Challenge Course Obstacle Wall (2 teams)
  • ASCE Pacific Southwest Regional Conference – Concrete Canoe
  • ASCE Pacific Southwest Regional Conference – Steel Bridge (2 teams)
  • WERC Environmental Competition – Design of Solar Distillation System Design
  • Cinder Lakes Landfill – Evaluation and Design of Waste Paper Pulp Sludge as Landfill Composite Cap
  • Flow Restoration for Native Fish Downstream of the Diamond S Irrigation Diversion, Verde River
  • Site Plan and Design for a Proposed Hualapai Museum
  • Evaluation of BNSF Bridge for Use on the FUTS Trail, Picture Canyon
  • Hazard Evaluation of the Ashfork-Bainbridge Steel Dam. The dam was built in 1898 – 14 years before Arizona became a state! It is one of only three existing steel dams in the U.S. and is recognized as a historic landmark by ASCE. The dam is 46’ high and about 300’ long. Located within the Kaibab National Forest, it currently operates under the supervision of the National Forest Service.  Students are responsible for assessing its current condition including a structural analysis of the steel members and a stability analysis of the supports.

PCI Big Beam Team 230
PCI Big Beam Team, from left: Junfeng Qian, Qi Wang, Shiyu Wang, Jessica Kettelkamp, Daniel Washburn.


  • PCI Big Beam Contest (2 teams).  Sponsored by TPac Precast Phoenix, the Precast / Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), and Sika Corporation, NAU’s teams are the first from Arizona. Teams collaborate with a PCI Producer Member (TPac Precast Phoenix) to build a 20’ long precast-prestressed concrete beam capable of carrying 20,000# without cracking and failing at a load < 39,000#.  Prior to testing, students must predict the cracking load, ultimate load, and ultimate deflection. Beams are slated to be tested in April.
Spring 2013 / Fall 2013 Projects
  • Schultz Creek Restoration
  • Cave Springs Restoration
  • NAU On-Site Wastewater Demonstration Site Lift Station Evaluation
  • Camp Verde Community Parks and Recreation Fields Site Department
  • Flagstaff Watershed Modeling
  • Pervious Concrete Testing
  • Nitrate-Contaminated Groundwater Treatment

Year 1 Report on the New C4P

C4P Classroom
The new C4P “classroom.”

Our first year of C4P (Construct4Practice) has received excellent reviews by both students and professors.  The lab is a highly collaborative environment between senior, junior and sophomore students who take on the respective roles of construction project managers / superintendents, designers, and subcontractors.  The three teams work together using online project management software and in-person communication to design and build a complicated system of interrelated construction materials.  The class culminates in a full size 8’x8’ commercial building mockup containing aspects of concrete, masonry, metal stud framing, exterior sheathing, waterproofing, plumbing, electrical, drywall, and acoustical ceilings.  The real world conversations and constructability challenges that the students experience during the semester have proven to be a learning opportunity that effectively ties all of their classroom studies together in one project.

Concrete research

Tanner Wytroval 230
Tanner Wytroval testing a SFRC section in the lab.

Concrete Research has MS candidate Tanner Wytroval studying the confining properties of steel fiber-reinforced concrete (SFRC). Tanner’s investigation is the first of its kind and, contrary to common belief, he discovered that steel fibers can provide a structural benefit or increase in compressive strength. Concrete reinforced with as little as 0.5% fibers by volume was able to achieve as much as a 22% increase in strength.

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Alumni showcase

Lisa Andes 230
Lisa Andes has transformed her CE degree into coastal engineering.

Lisa Andes - Civil Engineering is a great start for a career in Ocean Engineering

A 2005 CE grad, Lisa was convinced she’d love structural engineering – until she did a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates at Montana State with the Western Transportation Institute.  The project got her hooked on water, and after graduating from NAU, she went to Columbia where she got a master’s in CE where she focused on modeling tidal currents and their interaction at estuary boundaries.  After 3 years as an Ocean Engineer at Sea Engineering in Santa Cruz, she’s now working for the Army Corps in San Francisco as a Coastal Engineer where she performs analyses of coastal flood risks, shoreline and erosion protection projects, and keeps navigation channels open.  NAU CE was a “great education that propelled me forward” – her advice to new grads is to follow your interests.  Off the water, Lisa enjoys running, cooking and travel.

Jake Crissup 230
Jake with Department Chair Bridget Bero at the Hall of Fame award ceremony.

Jake CrissupFrom football and environmental engineering to the oil & gas fields of OK

A Magna Cum Laude EnE grad (2000), Jake recently returned to NAU to be inducted into the NAU Hall of Fame.  His football career at NAU is legendary; he credits NAU for his successful engineering career.  He was the first recipient of the David Couture-Maltbie Memorial Scholarship (endowed) that supports the ideals of student/athlete/volunteer, and is a champion of fundraising for his friend and former teammate and roommate’s memorial.  Since graduation, he has worked for environmental consulting giant URS doing all-around enviro sampling, monitoring and remediation work, got his MS in engineering management (UT-Austin), worked for a small consultant where he got to know the oil and gas industry, and currently works for QEP Energy in Tulsa OK as the Operations Manager for the company’s Haynesville Division.  Jake will be returning to NAU this month as a Capstone project judge and will be doing an Info Session on the oil/gas industry for engineering and geology majors.

If you’d like to be featured in a future newsletter, please contact Bridget.Bero@nau.edu.

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Giving to CECMEE

Directing a donation to the CECMEE Department is a great way to make sure your dollars help the programs you care about. You can specify which program (CM, CENE) or activity (student projects, faculty development) you want to support.  Contact Bridget Bero (bridget.bero@nau.edu) or online for information on funds and how-to do an online donation.

A matching donation from your company is a great way to double the impact of your donation!  NAU’s tax ID # is 86-0193726.  Be sure to identify a fund for CENE or CM.

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Stay in touch!

It’s easy - don’t forget to sign up for either our NAU-CM or NAU-CENE LinkedIn pages – or both!  This is a great way to stay connected with former classmates, post job openings and connect with other industry leaders and professionals.  Contact Bridget.Bero@nau.edu or John.Tingerthal@nau.edu for more information.

Sporting Clay Tournament 470

Ben Avery Shooting Range 470
Guns on Campus? No way! But it’s safety first at the CM Industrial Advisory Board Sporting Clay Tournament at Phoenix’s Ben Avery Shooting Range. The event had 50 participants from 13 supporting companies and raised $4000 for the CM program. The winning team was Flagstaff’s own Kinney Construction Services, with Core Construction second and I-Frame third. CM students and faculty were on hand to help set up, keep scores and pass out awards to the winning teams.

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