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.