2017 Spring newsletter
Annual NAU CECMEE overview
Note from the Chair
Hello! Spring 2017 has seen a rather stable year for CECMEE – but a few things are changing. First of all, I am stepping down as Chair and heading out on a sabbatical year. (Hence this shorter newsletter!) Professor Paul Gremillion will be stepping up to take on this task, and he’s already had practice as we worked together this year on Chair functions so he is ready to go! Best of luck to Paul!
Visit our website and our LinkedIn groups to stay in touch year-round!
Bridget N. Bero, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor and Chair
Highlights for 2016-2017 Accordion Closed
- CECMEE programs graduated 57 CEs, 21 EnEs and 43 CMs this past academic year. CE and EnE were down slightly from last year and CM was up by about 50%.
- NAU invested heavily in CECMEE surveying courses this year (CENE 270 and CM 253). ~$150,000 was invested to upgrade our surveying storage room to better secure our equipment, and 10-years’ worth of planned equipment upgrades were able to be purchased at one time. Professor Kai Kaoni with the help of Professors Gary Slim and Mark Lamer did a lot of on-the-ground work to make sure that the new equipment is here and ready to go for summer classes.
- CM is gearing up for an accreditation visit this fall by the ACCE.
- Graduate funding is at an all-time high, with four master’s students supported on research assistantships this year, and as many planned for this coming year. Drs. Smaglik, Russo, Mohebbi and Bero are supporting these students in the area of transportation, water resources and environmental engineering.
- The CENE Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) annual Infrastructure Workshop was held this past semester, and hosted Jerry Cannon and his work on the Navajo Bridge. The workshop investigated using cell phones for students to provide feedback as well as some small group work. We will continue to develop this Advisory Board-sponsored event.
- A $10,000 donation from McCarthy Construction will start an endowment for the CM Program to support faculty development. The agreement was signed May 23 to start the “Friends of Faculty” endowment
New Faculty Accordion Closed
We welcome new Assistant Professor Amin Mohebbi (water resources) who is replacing Charlie Schlinger, along with a new CECMEE adviser Ruben Ricardo. Also a new Budget Manager, Singne Slayton, who is replacing retiring Budget Manager, Juana Blum, and a new Professor of Practice, Agnes Drogi (CM), who is replacing retiring, Steve Mead.
Student news Accordion Closed
CECMEE has a new student group! In addition to ASCE and ITE, we are forming a student chapter of AWWA/WEF with the support of the Arizona Young Professionals of the Arizona Water Association. Dr. Amin Mohebbi will be the faculty advisor.
- Our ASCE Student Chapter scored an Honorable Mention by the national ASCE for its outstanding 2016 annual report. No project is great until it’s documented! Our concrete canoe “Paddlegonia” scored 8th at the PSWC conference this year, and our steel bridge “The North Brace” scored 9th.
- Our CE Capstone team who competed in the PCI Big Beam competition produced a video showing their beam under testing. Check it out at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKXk1AXaOHU and watch the yellow string at the bottom!
- Cristian Tafoya (CE), Yijie Gao (CE) and Aide Robles (CE) received the NAU Gold Axe Award. Cristian was also recognized as a CEFNS Outstanding Senior at the Fall graduation.
- Sabrina Ballard (CE) was awarded the CEFNS Outstanding Senior award at the Spring graduation. These are no small achievements – CEFNS awards more than 1000 degrees each year.
- CENE students receive awards around the state:
- Dan Monar (EnE, Fall 16 grad), 3rd place at 2017 AZ Water Association conference on Building Our Sustainable Water Future for his poster “Sustainable Agriculture Design Project: Aquaponics”
- Cristina Martin (CE, Spr 17 MSE grad), 1st overall at 2016 AZ Pavements Student Poster Competition for her project “Modeling freeze-thaw cycles of asphalt mixtures”
- Yijie Gao and Yuzhi Zhang (CE), 2nd in undergraduate category for their project “Mechanical responses of polymer dust suppressant mixed with soils in Northern Arizona”
- Anas Almonnieay, Khin Kyaw, Phoo Myat Sandy Maung (CE, Fall 16 grads), 3rd in undergraduate category for their project “Optimizing the use of recycle glass in concrete”
- Miranda Aakre and Christian Tafoya (CE, Fall 16 and Spr 17 grads), Best Arizona Undergraduate Student Research Paper at the ITS AZ Student Paper competition for their project “pavement Data Collection: What Bikes Can Tell Us”
- Sabrina Ballard (CE Spr 17 grad), 1st overall for student research paper at the AzSCE conference for her paper “Use of Photogrammetry to Assess the Condition of Existing Structures”
- The CM Program took five teams to the ASC Student Competition in Reno Nevada the week of February 6th. These teams competed alongside over forty other universities from across the United States and took home awards in three competitions along with two individual awards! It’s a grueling 48 hour real-world competitions in the areas of Commercial Construction, Heavy Civil Construction, Mixed Use Construction, Concrete Construction, and Sustainability. Three of the five teams brought home awards with the Commercial team placing 2nd, the Mixed Use team placing 2nd and the Sustainability team receiving honors for best presentation. Brandon Zirnheld was awarded a Pinnacle Award for Expertise and Samantha Standen was awarded an MVP award for her leadership.
Department News Accordion Closed
- The new CENE 333L Water Resources 1 lab had its inaugural year. The new lab contains labs focusing on pipe friction, open channel flow, pump systems and a hydraulic bench.
- CENE majors will be taking a new Junior-Level Writing course starting this fall. We are replacing EGR 386W with CENE 386W. The course will focus on individual writing around a selected engineering failure. Ethical and economics will also be included in the course. The course redesign is occurring this summer by Professors Mark Lamer, Willie Odem and Dianne McDonnell and its content will be better aligned with our D4P sequence of EGR 186 – CENE 286 – CENE 386W – CENE 476 – CENE 486C.
- The NAU Construction Management Spring Demolition Ball was held April 28th. The event was a great success with over 250 attendees. In attendance were 27 different Construction Companies, graduates, families, faculty and NAU Administration including President Cheng, Provost Kain and CEFNS Dean Jagodzinski. The keynote speaker was Steve Whitworth, President of Kitchell Contractors, who gave an inspiring speech to the graduates and attendees.
- The first annual CM Alumni event was held January 12th at the Top Golf in Scottsdale Arizona. We were thankful to have over 60 graduates attend the event and we are looking forward to even more next year for the 2nd Annual!
- The CENE IAB has several new members: alumni Kenton Mills and Hilary Moore (EnE) and Dave Bruggeman coming on board this fall. And many thanks to outgoing board member Greg Blanchard from WL Gore for his hard work and commitment to the program.
Contact Us Accordion Closed
Giving to CECMEE Accordion Closed
If you would like to donate to CECMEE please visit the links listed below with their specific fund numbers:
CM Students and Program – Fund #4847;
CENE programs – Fund #4482;
CENE students – #4740.
If your company is interested in supporting the Construction Management Program, contact John Tingerthal to join their Generation Next campaign. Each sponsor- ship level gives companies priority to fundraising events and our Construction Industry Seminar presentations.