Tuesday, March 24, 2015

CEES to Co-host Water Reuse Forums

Water reuse in Oklahoma is the topic for three upcoming educational outreach forums open to the public at no cost.  Meetings are designed to inform the public and allow people to provide input for Oklahoma’s future water resource planning.  Wastewater recycling, reclamation and reuse may be an option for many communities to augment their drinking water supplies, especially in areas where fresh water resources are limited.

The forums are sponsored by the Oklahoma Water Survey together with faculty at the University of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, Oklahoma Dept. of Environmental Quality, the City of Norman and Garver Engineering.

Three sessions have been scheduled for 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. on:

Thursday,  April 23
Thursday, May 14
Thursday, June 18

The location for all three meetings will be the National Weather Center, 100 David L. Boren Blvd., Room 1313, Norman, Oklahoma.  Click here for a full copy of the agenda.

While the forums are free and open to the public, sponsors are requesting that participants register at http://oklahomawatersurvey.org/

Thursday, March 5, 2015

OU CoE Faculty Members Are Key Participants in Recently Announced $20M NIST Community Resilience Center of Excellence

Naiyu Wang
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology announced February 19 that it has awarded a $20M cooperative agreement extending over five years to Colorado State University to establish the Community Resilience Center of Excellence. The centers’ multi-disciplinary team includes experts from 10 universities in the fields of engineering, economics and social sciences and data and computing.  Co-directed by Professors John W. van de Lindt and Bruce
Ellingwood in CSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the team includes OU
College of Engineering faculty members Asst. Professor Naiyu Wang and Assoc. Professor Amy Cerato of CEES and Asst. Professor Charles Nicholson of Industrial and Systems Engineering.  All will play key roles in the centers’ research program.

Amy Cerato
The new center will collaborate closely with NIST to achieve its long-term goal of developing science-based tools and guidelines that individual communities can use to assess their resilience.  This includes evaluating the effectiveness of alternative measures intended to improve performance, minimize post-disaster disruption and recovery time and target public and private investments in resilience enhancement.   The centerpiece of the centers’ effort will be NIST-CORE—the NIST-Community Resilience Modeling Environment.   NIST-CORE will provide the measurement technology for developing resilience metrics and decision tools to enhance the resilience of the built environment.  In addition to physics-based models of civil infrastructure systems, it will integrate models of social and economic systems that are vital to the functionality and recovery of communities such as health care delivery, education, social services, financial institutions and others and allow the synergies between essential systems to be examined rationally and quantitatively.  Built on an open-source platform, NIST-CORE, with its associated software, databases and transparent user-interfaces, will incorporate a risk-based approach to decision-making that will enable quantitative comparisons of different resilience strategies. As NIST-CORE is developed, its performance will be tested against data gathered from past disasters.  Ultimately, NIST-CORE will be able to learn from one analysis to the next; a capability that does not exist in any other risk or disaster resilience model in the world. 

Wang will be responsible for research tasks related to:

·         developing resilience metrics for buildings
·         inventorying buildings and highway systems
·         examining the impact of climate change on natural hazard modeling
·         analyzing uncertainties in the underlying risk-informed decision framework
·       optimizing investments for risk mitigation and community recovery for building inventories and transportation infrastructure networks.

Nicholson will conduct research tasks related to:

·         stochastic network analysis
·         modeling interdependencies between infrastructure systems
·         developing novel and efficient meta-heuristic optimization algorithms that support the decision framework by permitting efficient and intelligent searches for solutions in complex decision spaces that involve hundreds or thousands of decision variables.

Cerato will focus on:

·         geo-system integrity of transportation and utility systems
·         research related to underground pipeline behavior, foundation modeling and foundation system fragility analysis.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the University of Oklahoma to play a central role in addressing a problem of national significance,” said Wang.   “My colleagues and I are very excited about the prospects of collaborating with leading researchers in many disciplines nationwide to advance the state-of-the-art in community resilience assessment.”

P. Scott Harvey Joins CEES Faculty

In Fall 2014, CEES enthusiastically welcomed Dr. P. Scott Harvey as its newest Assistant Professor.  Harvey joins CEES after completing his Ph.D. and postdoctoral appointment at Duke University.  His research interests center on the behavior of nonlinear structural systems, especially as related to mitigating damage to building contents during seismic events. Other areas of interest include optimal control with application to controllable damping systems and stability and dynamics of slender structural components. 

P. Scott Harvey

David Sabatini Joins OU Faculty Members Headed to Uganda

Ecolatrine Under Construction

Dr. David Sabatini will join OU colleagues on an exploratory trip to Gulu, Uganda in April.  The interdisciplinary group will be hosted by CNN Hero Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe and the Saint Monica’s Vocational School.  Representatives from diverse colleges including Architecture, Arts and Science, Business, CCEW, Education, Engineering, International Studies and Medicine will identify service learning projects for future student teams to adopt.  The vision is for interdisciplinary class(es) to be taken at OU where students will design a system that will subsequently be implemented in Uganda as the culmination of the educational experience.  Sabatini will represent CEES, the WaTER Center and the College of Engineering.  Potential projects range from ecolatrines to earth block buildings to solar powered systems.  Stay tuned for exciting updates!