Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hatami Receives Alumni Award



CEES associate professor Kianoosh Hatami, Ph.D., PEng, has been selected by his alma mater, McMaster University, for his achievements in geotechnical and earthquake engineering.  The faculty of engineering are celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary by recognizing the achievements of their top 150 engineering alumni in Canada and throughout the globe.

Hatami is a world-renowned scholar in the field of geosynthetics and soil reinforcement, with four U.S. and international patents, and more than 110 peer-reviewed technical publications.  His research and educational contributions have been recognized internationally and at OU through several prestigious awards including the Sir Casimir Gzowski Medal from the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, the Middlebrooks Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the OU College of Engineering and Michael F. Price College of Business Alumni Teaching Awards.  Hatami will be featured in the McMaster Engineering distinguished 60th anniversary gallery in 2018.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Amy Cerato Highlighted in Deep Foundations Jan/Feb Issue

When Professor Amy Cerato, P.E., was growing up, she didn't hear the word "engineer" until she was in junior high school.  Today, she is a widely admired engineer and a gifted researcher and educator according to many of her peers.  Looking back to when the profession first attracted her interest, she recalls an eye-opening high school internship in the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park in Kentucky.  Seeing how much needed to be done sparked her later recognition of the connection between geotechnical engineering and the environment.  Read more....

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

CEES Hosts Inaugural PDH Workshop and Alumni Reception



CEES hosted our inaugural PDH workshop and alumni reception on Friday, October 14.  The event is the brainchild of our CEES Visiting Council and is meant to provide a venue for CEES alumni and friends to connect in both a professional and social setting.  The 90 minute workshop entitled “Important Aspects of Chemical Stabilization for Fine Grained Soils” was conducted by CEES professors Amy Cerato and Jerry Miller.  The complimentary reception was held on the 5th floor terrace of Devon Energy Hall and was sponsored by Cabbiness Engineering, Garver, Olsson Associates and Poe & Associates.

We hope to make the workshop and reception an annual event so please keep an eye out for details about next fall’s schedule.  We will send announcements to professional society list serves, our alumni e-mail data base and through LinkedIn, so please keep us up-to-date on your e-mail address should it change.  We invite you to recruit, engage and support our students, so please stay connected.  If you are not already a member of the CEES LinkedIn Group, here is the link for the University of Oklahoma CEES Alumni and Friends https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8325288 so join today!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ron Conlon Retires



Many of you will fondly remember CEES staff member Ron Conlon as a long standing member of the CEES family.

Ron's career at OU began in the department of geology in 1998 before joining CEES in 2000.  He has been responsible for upkeep, repairing, purchasing and decommissioning assets of the school and has played a major role in the re-allocation and fitment of offices and laboratories as well as all safety related issues in the school.  Of his time here, Ron observes that “I have been very fortunate and proud to be able to be a part of the education of hundreds of university students. It takes special skills to have a career as a support staff member in the multi-facetted and challenging environment of academia where few tasks are repeated and no week is quite like the last.”  Ron is looking forward to new adventures in his homeland of Canada when he retires this month. 

Said director Randy Kolar, “We are fortunate to have staff members of the caliber of Ron as members of the CEES family.  The depth of experience and expertise will be sorely missed going forward.  We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

CEES Launches Student Excellence Fund



This fund will provide a means for the CEES director to offer discretionary support to CEES students or student organizations that are striving for excellence and enriched academic experiences.  Funds may be allocated on a discretionary basis for student enrichment or experiential learning opportunities.  Examples include, but are not limited to, support for:

·         student travel/participation in technical, academic or professional conferences;
·         student expenses to present research;
·         students and/or teams participating in design/build competitions;
·         students in teaching, research, exchanges, or international experiences;
·         student awards and recognition events.

Please consider making a gift this season to help support this exciting initiative!

Friday, December 16, 2016

2016 Quick Updates


Old bridge (Lincoln County)
New bridge (Lincoln County)
Associate professor Kianoosh Hatami is working with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Regional Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to repair and replace deficient bridges on county roads across Oklahoma with a novel system called Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge Systems . GRS-IBS has been promoted for use across the U.S. by the Federal Highway Administration, as part of their Every Day Counts initiative over the past decade.


Faculty and students in CEES worked with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and industry partners to revise ODOT’s post-earthquake bridge inspection protocol, increasing preparedness, saving money and time, and better allocating state resources. 

Associate professor Chris Ramseyer authored Appendix Y, “Tornado Provisions for Residential Structures,” of the OUBCC adoption of the 2015 International Residential Code that was signed by Governor Mary Fallon 2016.  This is the first residential building code to address tornadoes in the United States.



Assistant professor Scott Harvey, together with 20 other US researchers, attended a conference and workshop in New Zealand as part of the NSF-sponsored Pacific Rim Earthquake Engineering Mitigation Protective Technologies International Virtual Environment  project.  The PREEMPTIVE project aims to promote and accelerate the adoption of seismic protective systems for building response reduction to provide for resilient and sustainable societies.


 Harvey also attended an NSF-sponsored workshop at Lehigh University in December. The workshop showcased the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure Lehigh Experimental Facility. This state-of-the-art facility is capable of conducting full-scale hybrid tests to simulate the effects of natural hazards on the civil infrastructure.  Harvey intends to utilize this facility in his future research.




Professor Robert Nairn completed a second passive treatment system for mine drainage associated with the specific discharges at the Tar Creek Superfund Site near Commerce OK.  Click here to see a short film in which Nairn explains the importance of cooperation and collaboration at the site.



The OU WaTER Center entered the 10th year of its biennial symposium/conference cycle in 2016 with the selection of its 5th OU International Water Prize recipient, Mr. Eric Stowe.  Stowe is the founder and director of Splash, an organization that is delivering clean drinking water to orphanages all across China.  The announcement of Stowe’s selection was made at the 5th OU WaTER Symposium which brought five international jurors together to select the prize recipient and discuss pressing water and sanitation issues.  Stowe will receive the prize at the 2017 OU International WaTER Conference and International Water Prize Award Ceremony, Sept. 18-20, 2017.  Click here for conference updates.


An annual interdisciplinary service-learning course, co-sponsored by the College of International Studies and the OU WaTER Center, began in June 2016 with 19 students and 5 faculty spending a month studying clean water challenges faced by students and nearby villagers at Sr. Rosemary Nyirumbe's orphanage and tailoring school in Uganda, Africa.



 Professor Musharraf Zaman leads the Southern Plains Transportation Center, a Regional University Transportation Center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, whose focus is on climate adaptive transportation.  The Center made significant contributions toward educating tomorrow’s transportation leaders and finding solutions to pressing regional issues, including the following: provided funding for more than 40 research projects; sponsored more than 100 internships for engineering students; created the Transportation Leadership Council at each of the eight consortium universities that helps transition colleges students to transportation careers and leadership; helped organize the Tribal Transportation Safety Champion Workshop; and sponsored the second Transportation Climate Summit on the OU campus.