Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Sabatini Receives International Service Award

CEES professor David A. Sabatini was selected to receive the 2017 International Association of Hydrogeologists, U.S. National Chapter’s International Service Award for his many years of promoting sustainable water resources projects in developing and impoverished countries, particularly through the creation of the OU Water Technologies for Emerging Regions Center. Sabatini has shown outstanding commitment to the international community and its groundwater needs.

“This award is well-deserved and reflects the international stature of Professor David Sabatini in his field,” said OU President David L. Boren. “No one has done more to help develop safe water for those who desperately need it. The OU family is very grateful to Dr. Sabatini.”

Sabatini, David Ross Boyd Professor and Sun Oil Company Endowed Chair of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science in the Gallogly College of Engineering, is being recognized as director of the OU Water Center and for his career-long commitment to improving the lives of others through the development of water technologies. He received the prestigious service award at the 2017 Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in Seattle in October.

Sabatini founded the OU WaTER Center in 2006 to promote peace by advancing health, education and economic development through sustainable water and sanitation solutions for impoverished regions. As the organization’s director, he has been integral in the success of the center and the biennial University of Oklahoma International WaTER Conference, which is designed to bring together participants from multiple disciplines worldwide in response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of bringing water and sanitation to emerging global regions.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

OU Could Create a Fast Track for Environmental Science Degrees

OKLAHOMA CITY– The University of Oklahoma could soon award students a master's degree in environmental science without requiring them to spend years on the campus.

Robert W. Nairn, Ph.D.
Robert Nairn is a professor at the university's School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science. He said there is a program in the works that would allow students to complete their degrees online. That would be geared toward people who are already working in the field, he said.  "What we’re seeing is that in environmental fields in general, the long-term job outlook is better than average," he said. "There are going to be jobs out there.  What we do often see, though, are employers looking for a certain level of experience.  The online program would allow the scientists to raise their education level without sparing their time in the professional world", Nairn said.

Job growth in environmental science is outpacing the country's average growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment demand for environmental scientists and specialists is projected to increase by 11 percent from 2014 to 2024. Over the same time period, employment demand in general is expected to increase 7 per

"In Oklahoma", Nairn said," some of that growth can be attributed to a less obvious natural resource.
 Water is right now and is only going to be a bigger and bigger issue in the state of Oklahoma," he said. "There are a lot of opportunities to be more efficient and more effective. We all know how critical too little and too much water might be."

The Oklahoma Legislature implemented the Water for 2060 Act in 2012. The ambitious plan would keep Oklahoma's water consumption flat from 2012 to 2060 despite the state's population growth projections.  Three groups that use the most water are projected to demand 20 percent more by 2060, if no conservation takes place. Oklahoma's largest water users are municipalities, industrial users and crop irrigators. The state's long-term water conservation plan aims to save 98 billion gallons annually.

"The state's most visible natural resource industry is also seeing some more demand for environmental services", said Jason Martin, a managing member at Boomer Environmental in Oklahoma City. The firm offers several services, but focuses on environmental cleanup. "Oklahoma's an oil and gas state", he said. "The oil and gas companies are kind of coming around to be more environmentally friendly."  He said that demand is increasing for the services, and that people might want to go back to school to get into the field, but having to stop working might keep them from doing so.

Copyright 2017 BridgeTower Media. All Rights Reserved.
(c) 2017 Dolan Media, all Rights Reserved.

This article is copyrighted. All rights reserved. Source: Journal Record, The (Oklahoma City, OK)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

ODOT Now Implementing ShakeCast Software

Scott Harvey
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation  reported in a press release dated Monday, August 7 that it is now implementing ShakeCast, a program originally created by the U.S. Geological Survey. CEES assistant professor Scott Harvey and professor K.K. Muraleetharan implemented ShakeCast for ODOT in collaboration with ODOT bridge engineers and Infrastructure Engineers, Inc. of Edmond..  The program is designed to assist ODOT employees to quickly prioritize which bridges need to be inspected immediately after an earthquake. 

“This technology is one of the biggest advances in ensuring public safety that I’ve seen in my 30-year career at the department,” said Casey Shell, ODOT chief engineer.  “By comparing state bridge data with the severity of an earthquake’s ground motions, ShakeCast will allow us to inspect fewer bridges but with a much greater degree of confidence that we could quickly find any potential damage.”

K.K. Muraleetharan
“This has been an incredible opportunity for the University of Oklahoma to play a central role in addressing a problem of state significance and national interest,” said Harvey.  “My colleagues and I are very excited that we have been able to save ODOT time and money, as well as easing some of the concern surrounding Oklahoma’s earthquake activity.”  Read more......

Monday, June 12, 2017

News9 Features Building of Wind Turbine for OU Boeing Engineering Days

OU Civil Engineering and Environmental Science was featured on News9 for their efforts as part of the OU Boeing Engineering Days - a day where high school students learn more about engineering disciplines. Friday afternoon's focus, presented by Dr. Keith Strevett, focused on building a wind turbine.

View News9 video.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Vogel Selected as Director of the OWS and Joins CEES Faculty

The University of Oklahoma
Norman Campus

Dr. Jason Vogel
Jason R. Vogel, Ph.D., P.E., has been selected as the second Director of the Oklahoma Water Survey at the University of Oklahoma. Located in Five Partners Place on the University Research Campus, the Oklahoma Water Survey was founded in 2011 and serves as an important focal point and catalyst for the University’s wide and deep expertise in research, outreach, and education in water topics. Its mission is to study the state’s water resources and to collect, analyze, interpret and disseminate research-based information about water to industry professionals, researchers, students, teachers, citizens, governments, businesses and organizations. The Oklahoma Water Survey is affiliated with four other natural-resource state surveys (Archeological, Biological, Climatological and Geological) as part of the planned Plains Institute at the University. With its statewide responsibility, the Oklahoma Water Survey works with federal, state and tribal governments, organizations, universities, industry, communities, businesses and citizens who have interests in Oklahoma’s water resources. This is the first of three positions to be announced as part of an Environmental Leadership cluster hire, which will catalyze, synergize and expand links among the University’s strong assets and capabilities in environmental research and education.

Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Vogel held faculty and research positions at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Dr. Vogel received his Ph.D. from OSU in 2001 and also has degrees from Texas A&M University and the University of Nebraska. In addition to his administrative appointment at the Oklahoma Water Survey, Dr. Vogel will have an appointment as an Associate Professor in the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science at OU.

For over 20 years, Dr. Vogel has worked to facilitate and develop solutions to water issues throughout the Great Plains. While at OSU, he has developed an award-winning research and outreach program on stormwater and stream management and is recognized as one of the leading experts in low impact development (LID) stormwater management systems in the region. In his role at OSU, Dr. Vogel has presented and/or organized water-related educational programming to more than 10,000 individuals, including water-industry professionals, government officials, regulators, youth and the general public at more than 230 events. These activities include founding and organizing the Biennial Great Plains LID Research and Innovation Symposium and an associated multi-disciplinary LID Design Competition for local professionals. Prior to joining the faculty at OSU, Dr. Vogel conducted research on a wide variety of complex water issues as a Research Hydrologist with the USGS and as an adjunct faculty member in Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Nebraska.

Dr. Vogel has served the water sector in leadership positions and on committees at the national, state, and local levels for a variety of groups including the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), the American Ecological Engineering Society (AEES), the Oklahoma Clean Lakes and Watersheds Association (OCLWA), the Disaster Resilience Network (DRN) of Tulsa, the Green Country Sustainability Forum and the Stillwater Drainage Appeals Board. 

Dr. Vogel will soon be moving to Norman with his wife, Stephanie, and their twin daughters. When not working on solutions to Oklahoma’s water issues, he enjoys watching college football, listening to red dirt music, and fishing. We are pleased to announce the beginning of Dr. Vogel’s tenure as Director of the Oklahoma Water Survey.

Kelvin K. Droegemeier
Vice President for Research
The University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
15 May 2017