Friday, October 23, 2015

Calhoun Receives 2nd Place at OK-LSAMP Poster Competition

Skylar Calhoun received 2nd place for his research poster at the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Research Symposium on September 26.  The title of his poster was "Importance of Vertical Accelerations in Pendulum-type Isolation Systems."  A junior from Norman, Oklahoma, Calhoun is guided in his research by his advisor CEES assistant professor Scott Harvey.

"I chose civil engineering as my major because I was interested in traveling at an early age and would usually be the navigator when my family would go on road trips throughout the United States.  I seriously considered civil engineering after meeting then CEES student Derek Holmes (BSCE '12) who told me about the opportunities available to him to improrove his hometown of Houston," Calhoun Said.

Calhoun's research focuses on the mitigation of earthquake hazards through the use of rolling isolation systems (RISs) which provide a simple and effective means to protect buildings and their contents from strong ground and floor motions produced by earthquakes.  "RISs reduce horizontal accelerations by transmitting energy into vertical motion, similar to a pendulum.  The goal of this project is to experimentally measure the resulting vertical accelerations, which have been ignored to date.  We believe these accelerations may be just as damaging as the distrubances we are attempting to mitigate.  Applications of RISs include the protection of servers in data centers.  These critical data systems directly influence the social and economic aspects of our society.  Therefore, it is important to prevent the chance of losing these systems at all cost," said Calhoun.

A recipient of the American Society of Civil Engineers Scholarship in CEES, Calhoun is also a recipient of the Tomorrow's Engineer and Fred & Norma Ackman Engineering Scholarships from the Gallogly College of Engineering, the First Christian Church Scholarship, and the Frierson Scholarship from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

Serving as the event/social media chair for the student chapter of ASCE, Calhoun is also a Young Life volunteer, a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and a partcipant in the Gallogly College of Engineering Multicultural Engineering Program.  He works part-time as a student aide at Project Threshold here at OU which is a student support service program that provides first-generation, finanacially disadvantaged, and disabled students access to resources such as one-on-one tutoring, computer labs, and advising.

Calhoun is currently in the accelerated master's program in CEES and will stay to complete his master's degree upon graduation.