MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
It has been quite some time since the department has produced a newsletter, but thanks to the efforts of Professor Erik Coats, Stephanie Bunney, from the department, and Rob Patton from the College of Engineering staff, we are pleased to share this with you. The newsletter will provide updates about department highlights, activities and achievements of faculty and students and alumni, hopefully on a quarterly basis. We hope you find this interesting and worthwhile and we welcome any suggestions for news and features for future newsletters.
Richard Nielsen, Department Chairman
FUNDAMENTALS OF ENGINEERING EXAM
For many years, the University of Idaho Civil Engineering Department has had an outstanding pass rate for students taking the National Council of Engineering Examiners (NCEES) Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam. That trend continues, with University of Idaho CE students passing the exam at rates typically fifteen to twenty percent higher than national average for its peer group (Carnegie Research Intensive institutions). The department is justifiably proud of its students and their dedication. These results also reflect the faculty’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate education.
On a somewhat historical note, the results from Fall Semester 2013 are the last for the paper-based FE Exam. As of the start of Spring Semester 2014, the NCEES has moved to a computer-based FE Exam. In addition to the obvious change in test format, the change also entails substantial changes in exam content. No longer will the exam feature a four-hour morning session on math and engineering science common to all engineering disciplines and a four-hour afternoon session on CE discipline-specific topics. The new exam is now six hours long and covers a shorter list of topics. Without the common topics in the morning, civil engineering students are no longer be tested on Thermodynamics, Chemistry or Circuits. It will be very interesting to see how those changes affect the exam results, but we are confident University of Idaho civil engineering students will continue their outstanding performance.
CIVIL ENGINEERING GRADUATE STUDENTS TO PRESENT AT PACIFIC NW CLEAN WATER ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
Three CE graduate students will present on their research at the annual PNCWA conference to be held October 26-29
in Vancouver, WA. Ed Stowe, who is conducting his research on multi-stage anaerobic digestion to maximize methane gas production from dairy manure, will present his research “A Novel 2-Stage Parallel Anaerobic Digestion System to Enhance Resource Recovery from Residual Organic Matter.” Ben Watson, who is focused on the conversion of fermented dairy manure to bio-plastics, will present his research “From Waste to Resource: Utilization of Aerobic SBR for Nitrogen Removal and Biomass Conditioning.” Felicity Appel, who is studying a new biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal process configuration, will present on “Post-Anoxic Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) with Nitritation.” All three students are conducting their research under the direction of Dr. Erik R. Coats
. Congratulations to Ed, Ben, and Felicity!
In addition to these three current graduate students, other recent UI alumni from Dr. Coats’ research group are presenting: Alex Mockos (now with HDR Engineering), Chris Horgan (J-U-B Engineers), David Watkins (J-U-B Engineers), Kiersten Lee (MWH), Matt Gregg (Brown and Caldwell), and Matt Winkler (Brown and Caldwell). Overall, UI Civil Engineering is very well represented at the conference. Also at this conference, Dr. Coats will assume a one-year position as association president.
ASCE PACIFIC NORTHWEST STUDENT CONFERENCE RECAP
Twenty-four students from the University of Idaho’s ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) Student Chapter participated in this year’s Pacific Northwest Student Conference, hosted by Portland State University on April 25th and 26th. The students competed in a variety of competitions including: Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge, Surveying, Technical Paper, Transportation Scavenger Hunt, and Concrete Bowling. The Vandal team won second place in the Surveying competition, and was very competitive in all of the other challenges. The Student Chapter, led by outgoing President Molly McGee and incoming President Christie Wendle, figures to be very competitive as they build on their successes from the past year and begin planning for next year’s activities and Student Conference in Pocatello, Idaho (Idaho State University). For those planning ahead and to all of our ASCE alumni, the University of Idaho will host the 2016 Pacific Northwest Student Conference. If you would like to volunteer, donate, or be added to our event notification list, please contact Kevin Chang, ASCE Faculty Advisor
. As it is never too soon to begin planning, the collective efforts of the student chapter, department, college, university community, and you will ensure a successful and memorable event for each and every participant.
ASCE Vandal Steel Bridge Competition Team.
2014 ASCE University of Idaho Concrete Canoe.
THREE STUDENTS TO BE RECOGNIZED AT THE 21ST NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON RURAL PUBLIC AND INTERCITY BUS TRANSPORTATION
Civil Engineering students Christopher Bacon, Riannon Heighes, and Brett Seely have won paper competitions administered by the National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation. Each student will receive a cash prize and travel funds to attend the conference on October 26-29, 2014 in Monterey, California. This year’s conference theme is “Setting Our Course for the Future”. Students were asked to envision four alternative perspectives for our transportation future: a vision of continued growth, one of disciplined or constrained growth, a future of decline and collapse, or one of transformation. Understanding these four alternative perspectives is important as many believe that the way we envision our future actually shapes the future. Christopher participated in the graduate student research paper competition. His paper, entitled “Real-Time Information Projecting Towards the Future,” received second place honors. Riannon and Brett competed in the undergraduate student essay competition, finishing in first place and second place, respectively. Congratulations Christopher, Riannon, and Brett! We know that you will represent the University of Idaho and the Department of Civil Engineering well.
STAY IN TOUCH
Please let us know how we are doing. If you have comments or suggestions on our department newsletter please contact the Civil Engineering Department via email
or call us at (208) 885-6782.
If you are on Facebook, be sure to “like” U-Idaho Civil Engineering @UIdahoCivil
to get regular updates on what is happening in the department.