Friday, September 11, 2015

Quiroga Receives Hughes Centennial Fellowship

CEES doctoral student Allison Quiroga has been awarded a Hughes Centennial Fellowship by the OU Gallogly College of Engineering.  The fellowship is provided by OU alumnus and GCoE Executive Committee member Mr. Robert W. Hughes (BSChemE, 1958).

A native of the Dallas/Fort Worth metro, Quiroga is both a National Merit and a National Hispanic Scholar.  She was named the Outstanding Senior in Architectural Engineering in CEES upon completion of her bachelor’s degree in 2012 and received her master’s degree in civil engineering with a geotechnical emphasis from CEES in 2013.

Quiroga has worked with her advisor, professor “Muralee” Muraleetharan, since her sophomore year.  As an undergraduate she was a recipient of the National Science Foundation funded Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics grant.   In addition, she  just completed the Bridge to Doctorate program which is also funded by NSF and  is awarded annually to successful LSAMP STEM recipients.  Both programs are administered by the Gallogly College of Engineering Minorities in Engineering Program.  “I am grateful to former student Zac Thompson who helped mentor me as an undergraduate student in the lab.  I’ve been able to be involved in many cool projects through the years like the full-scale field test in Miami, Oklahoma where we used a large in-situ mixer to test for lateral capacity of piles and determine whether or not the capacity increased when the soil around the pile was strengthened.”

Quiroga’s research is focused on creating a constitutive model that will estimate the strength behavior of a cement mixed clay soil element with an emphasis on cyclic behavior.  “We hope long-term to incorporate this model with other techniques to gain a better understanding of the ways cement improvement may benefit whole structures under earthquake loading”, said Quiroga.
While here at OU she co-found the Architectural Engineering Institute student organization and was a member of Alpha Sigma Kappa - Women in Technical Studies organization.  She is currently an officer of the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter.

 “I am excited and honored to accept this award and am looking forward to continuing my work in CEES”, said Quiroga.

After graduation Quiroga plans to continue her research and teach in higher education.