Archive for 'Civil and Environmental Engineering'

College welcomes new students in style

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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On August 29, 2014, the college hosted the first annual event to warmly welcome more than 1,500 new engineering students to the College of Engineering community. This full day of activities included breakfast, lounging in the green space alongside Engineering Hall, a trek en masse to the chancellor’s convocation at the Kohl Center, lunch on [...]

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Collaboration aims at longer-lasting roads for northern states

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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By Scott Gordon More than 80 percent of major roads in the United States are still surfaced with asphaltic mixtures—and the liquid asphalt, a byproduct of oil refining, remains a bit of a chemical mess, an inconsistent, complex mix of hydrocarbons. So to understand how different kinds of asphalt will hold up under the weight [...]

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System alerts Great Lakes swimmers of dangerous currents

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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By Scott Gordon The history of the Great Lakes is one of people who underestimate their destructive power, often with tragic results. From two massive waves that smashed into Chicago’s harbors in 1954 to a rip current that drowned a young swimmer in Port Washington, Wisconsin, in 2012, Lake Michigan and its neighbors have a [...]

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Computing with grand demands

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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Wisconsin engineers find meaning in big data For all the scale and promise the term “big data” evokes, the exploding field of big data research really comes down to constraints. Even as high-throughput computers become increasingly powerful, it’s not feasible for them to simply brute-force their way through every massive set of information that might [...]

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Energy research for a stronger society

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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By Scott Gordon It’s hard to find an energy researcher in the College of Engineering who thinks only about one piece of the energy puzzle. Talk to an engine researcher about fuel efficiency, and pretty soon you’ll be discussing the engine as a bigger system. Ask an electrical engineer about power storage, and the conversation [...]

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Natural resources: Support helps faculty become self-sustaining

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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When a department hires a new faculty member, funding from the College of Engineering and the UW-Madison Graduate School helps to pay that person’s salary. However, new faculty also need a way to start research programs. Private gifts provide the initial support for faculty startup packages, which cover stipends, scholarships, and fellowships for students to [...]

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A big future for structural engineering

Posted on 23. Jan, 2014 by .

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For Jun Lee, structural engineering is more than a professional field. It’s a multigenerational force. It runs in the family for Lee, who earned his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD in civil and environmental engineering at UW-Madison. His mother, Florence Lee, who graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, ran her own building-design [...]

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For building owners, IPD is A-OK

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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In America,” says Tom Boldt, “we revel in low price.” It’s true, particularly in tough economic times. We’re a nation of cost- and value-conscious consumers seeking to get the biggest bang for our buck. However, in many situations, the lowest price doesn’t automatically guarantee a high-quality product or a high level of customer satisfaction. Take, [...]

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Innovation lifts limits of landfill liners

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Generally made from bentonite clay sandwiched between textile or membrane layers, geosynthetic clay liners are the “gold standard” for preventing industrial, hazardous and municipal solid wastes from seeping into the environment. Such liners are particularly effective barriers, because as the clay absorbs water, it swells and the pore spaces between its particles shrink. Yet, even [...]

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Quicker, quake-proof skyscrapers

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Peel back the outer layers of a skyscraper built in an area vulnerable to earthquakes and you’ll find a tangle of steel-reinforced concrete beams that span doors, windows and other openings in the structure’s many supporting walls. Those coupling beams play a critical role in helping a skyscraper withstand the effects of an earthquake. Yet, [...]

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Applying aquatic chemistry to solve our water quality problems

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Guest columnist Christina Remucal is an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. She joined the college in August 2012. Water is one of life’s necessities. Growing up in the high desert of northern New Mexico gave me a deep appreciation for the preciousness of water. My family has its own groundwater well and, thankfully, [...]

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It ain’t easy being green: Freshmen researchers tackle tough project

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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The 14 freshmen had almost no background in engineering—nor had they  conducted any research. Yet by the end of their first semester at UW-Madison, they had completed a seemingly daunting project: Coat a small diesel engine with a platinum catalyst, add extra hydrogen to the combustion process, and determine if those changes reduced vehicle emissions. [...]

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Our global footprint

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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Bob Lorenz walks eagerly to a favorite spot—a wall of photos of faculty, staff and students associated with Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC)—in the Mechanical Engineering Building. Among those photos are the faces of international students and visiting scholars, and Lorenz traces invisible lines between himself, former students who have returned as [...]

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Sharing the Badger pride

Posted on 10. Dec, 2012 by .

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By the time you are reading this message, I will have completed a tremendous chapter in my life. I am a December 2012 graduate of the UW-Madison Department of Mechanical Engineering, and I’m very proud to join the ranks of more than 45,000 UW-Madison engineering alumni around the globe. As a four-year member of the [...]

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Looking up

Posted on 10. Dec, 2012 by .

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Prestigious professorship is the impetus for a structural engineering renaissance at UW-Madison In our built environment, it seems even the sky’s not the limit. Over the past eight years, countries in the Middle East and Asia have completed the world’s five tallest skyscrapers. At 163 floors and 2,171 feet tall, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai [...]

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Chemistry for a cleaner environment

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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When Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Matthew Ginder-Vogel joined UW-Madison in spring 2012, he added yet another dimension to the university’s renowned interdisciplinary group of faculty in environmental chemistry. This broad group includes a dozen or so faculty experts in environmental technology, and aquatic, terrestrial and air pollution chemistry. Ginder-Vogel focuses on redox-active environments, [...]

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Digging into energy from the earth

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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Drawing on data gathered from a heavily instrumented Adams County, Wisconsin, home, Engineering Professional Development and Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor James Tinjum is seeking to provide scientific support for a deep insulated single-hole (DISH) geothermal heat pump system, a novel heating and cooling method that capitalizes on heat stored in geological structures deep [...]

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In Yosemite meadow, study could spark conversation about restoration

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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About Yosemite National Park, the famous naturalist and conservationist John Muir once said: “It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.” With majestic granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves and a wealth of biological diversity, this 1,169-square-mile wilderness boasts a rich natural [...]

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Active, engaging education. Anywhere. And right here.

Posted on 28. Aug, 2012 by .

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In every building on the College of Engineering campus, there are classrooms and lecture halls packed with students listening to lectures. Yet, increasingly, that very traditional way of learning is not the only way UW-Madison engineering students are learning. “The 50-minute lecture is one of the most inefficient methods for human learning to occur,” says [...]

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New engineering podcast series launches with e-business, sustainability experts

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by .

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In the inaugural edition of the Badger Engineering Perspective podcast, Industrial and Systems Engineering Professor Raj Veeramani talks about how new information technology can allow businesses to implement innovative new processes for getting work done. He also discusses the role of the University of Wisconsin E-Business Consortium in allowing companies to share their innovations and [...]

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The ideal intersection, in a roundabout way

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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They’ve become the subject of myriad YouTube “how-to” videos. Entire department of transportation websites explain how to navigate them. And, they elicit more than a little anxiety and confusion in the minds of drivers entering, circling and exiting them. Yet, roundabouts are rapidly cropping up in locales ranging from city streets to rural intersections and [...]

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Freight consortium picks up speed

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $3.5 million grant to the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE). Led by researchers at UW-Madison, CFIRE is a partnership among 10 U.S. universities and encompasses a geographical area that serves the majority of freight traffic in the United States. The new grant will [...]

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An honor fit for a dream come true

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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In January 2012, Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Jae (Jim) Parkreceived the Order of Service Merit (red stripes medal) from the president of South Korea for his contributions to the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project, a multibillion-dollar river restoration project in that country. The Order of Service Merit is among the highest and most coveted [...]

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Benson, Carbon, among nation’s elite engineers

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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On February 9, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) named two UW-Madison engineering faculty members to its 2012 class of new members. Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of Geological Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering Craig Benson and Engineering Physics Professor Emeritus Max Carbon are among 66 new members and 10 foreign associates elected to the NAE [...]

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Retaining quality faculty

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by .

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Collective giving effort keeps star prof on board The offer was expansive: a chance to join the leadership of a new center for environmental technology in a brand-new building and a brand-new lab, collaboration with one of the leaders in the field of environmental engineering, and a chance to work in a state—Arizona—with huge support [...]

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Gifts that last for life

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by .

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The College of Engineering is preparing globally competent engineers for the 21st century. Engineers today require both great disciplinary technical depth and interdisciplinary and cultural breadth to tackle the complex global challenges we all face. Alumni and friends are vital to this goal. Your gift will provide us with the resources to prepare the next [...]

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Conduit from Rufus King to Madison: Scholarship attracts top students

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by .

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Normally, the student transition from high school senior to college freshman means adjusting to a faster pace, a deeper curriculum and ramped-up expectations. Not so much for Korey Jasper, who experienced all those things as a 2010 graduate of Rufus King International Baccalaureate High School in Milwaukee. “They have high standards; they throw everything at [...]

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Does ‘green’ behavior occur in a green building?

Posted on 06. Oct, 2011 by .

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Completed in December 2010, the UW-Madison Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Building marries majestic light-filled public spaces with state-of-the-art scientific facilities. But while a hallmark of the building is its visual appeal, equally important to its users are the mechanical, electrical and other systems that operate behind the scenes. In each of these systems, building designers [...]

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Revealing the chemical fingerprints of a crime

Posted on 05. Oct, 2011 by .

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On September 4, 2006, Mark Wangler’s wife Kathy died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the couple’s Bath Township, Ohio, home. Yet, Wangler, who was sleeping in another bedroom, survived. Detectives who visited the home as a matter of protocol began to wonder why only one spouse died—particularly since Wangler claimed the carbon monoxide accumulated because [...]

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Keeping U.S. transportation investments on track

Posted on 05. Oct, 2011 by .

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In the finance world, ROI, or return on investment, is a common performance measure that essentially tells investors whether their money was well-spent, or not. In Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Teresa Adams’ case, the investors were U.S. citizens, and the money they spent funded transportation projects via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. On [...]

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