2021 Civil & Environmental Engineering Kudos

October 2021

  • Cal Markert (CEE graduate) has been named county manager for Jefferson County (Birmingham).
  • Jim Cooper, active member of the CEE Advisory Board, was inducted to the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame, on August 14th, 2021
  • Dr. Jose Vasconcelos is a PI on a new NSF grant on Adverse Multiphase Flow Interactions in Stormwater Infrastructure, total budget is $780k, including $200k for AU.  Other partners include the University of Texas, Austin and University of Wisconsin, Madison, in collaboration with cities of San Francisco, CA; Columbus, OH; and Chicago, IL.
  • Dr. Anton Schindler has been elected to become a member of the Academy of Distinguished Alumni of the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering (CAEE) Department at The University of Texas at Austin (UT).  He plans to attend the induction ceremony in Austin on October 29, 2021. The UT CAEE Academy of Distinguished Alumni recognizes the department’s graduates that have made outstanding contributions as engineer practitioner, leader, academic, and/or researcher.  After nomination, each member is elected by letter ballot and 8-10 members are inducted into the UT CAEE Academy each fall semester.  UT’s CAEE Department has over 1,200 students and 50 faculty members, and its undergraduate and graduate programs were ranked in the top five in the country by the most recent U.S News and World Report.
  • Dr. Benjamin Bowers is PI on a new NOAA Effects of Sea Level Rise (ESLR) grant “Surface Transportation, Sea Level Rise, and Coastal Storms: A Sustainable Path to Increased Resilience”, total budget is $1,539,000, including $1.1M for AU. Co-PI’s include Dr. Jose Vasconcelos, Dr. Brian Anderson, and Dr. Frances O’Donnell from CEE, Mr. Rob Holmes from AU Landscape Architecture, and Dr. Wendiam Sawadgo from AU Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. The University of South Alabama and the University of Wisconsin, Madison are also members of the team. This important project that will quantify the vulnerability of coastal communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems to sea level rise (SLR) and inundation, as well as the benefits of using Natural and Nature-Based Features.
  • Dr. Ben Bowers has been invited to serve as a member of the Federal Highway Administration’s Sustainable Pavements Technical Working Group, which is under FHWA’s Sustainable Pavements Program. His initial term is 2-years with possible rotation at the end of that term.
  • Frank Russell, geotechnical MS Student working with Dr. Brian Anderson was just selected for the International Association for Foundation Drilling (ADSC-IAFD) Industry Advancement Long Family Fellowship.  Each year ADSC-IAFD awards $3000 fellowships to students pursuing graduate degrees in foundation, geotechnical, structural, and construction engineering.  Along with this prestigious award, the ASDC-IAFD provides an all expenses paid trip to their annual meeting to be recognized and network in the Foundation Drilling Industry.

August 2021

  • Dr. Ali Khosravi is a new Assistant Professor in Geotechnical Engineering, starting in January 2022
  • Dr. Justin Marshall has resigned from his faculty position as of August 2021
  • Mary Beth Bugg resigned from her regular staff position as of May 2021.  She will continue as a part-time TES
  • Fernando Cordero and Mitch Fisher (CEE students) were selected for the 2021 Graduate Research Award Program on Public-Sector Aviation Issues.  This is an extremely selective program sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation and administered by the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) of the Transportation Research Board/National Academies.  
  • Yangmo Zhu is the winner of the 12th Geosyntec Student Paper Competition for the paper titled A Novel Concentrate-&Destroy” Technology for ‘Green’ and Cost-Effective Destruction of Perfluorooctane Sulfonate in Water Using a New Adsorptive Photocatalyst”.  His adviser is Dr. Don Zhao.
  • Dr. Brian Anderson was re-elected to serve on the AU Senate for another term.
  • Veronica Ramirez and Dr. Mike Perez have passed the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam.  They will thus soon receive their Professional Engineer licenses that will allow them to practice engineering in the State of Alabama.
  • Dr. Mike Perez is the new Faculty Advisor for the CEE ASCE Student Chapter.
  • Zilan Yang (PhD student) won the Student Poster Competition at the 2021 Alabama/Mississippi Water Conference in Mobile. Her advisor is Dr. Shiqiang (Nick) Zou
  • Three CEE students have received competitive scholarships and recognition from the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, the premier technical organization for asphalt pavements researchers. Tiana Lynn, working for Dr. Bowers, won the Ward K. Parr Scholarship, Megan Foshee, working for Dr. Timm, won “runner-up” for the Ward K. Parr Scholarship, Faustina Keuliyan, working for Dr. Tran, won the Rebecca S. McDaniel Memorial Scholarship

May 2021

  • Dr. Ben Bowers has been profiled in TR News, the magazine for the Transportation Research Board, January-February 2021 edition as a “Transportation Influencer”.  This is an important sign of national recognition.
  • Dr. Lauren Beckingham received 2021 Alumni Engineering Council Junior Research Award
  • Dr. Lauren Beckingham and Mollie Sabo received 2021 Mark A. Spencer Creative Mentorship Award,
  • Sylwia Stawska received 2021 100+ Women Strong Graduate Leadership Award
  • Dr. Molly Hughes received William Walker Teaching Award
  • Dr. Benjamin Bowers received 2021 Outstanding CEE Faculty Award
  • Allison Licavoli received 2001 Outstanding CEE Student Award
  • Dr. Robert Barnes received 2020 Outstanding CEE Faculty Award
  • Guy E. O’Connor, was selected to receive 2020 Outstanding Departmental Alumni Award
  • Christopher Kramer, was selected to receive 2021 Outstanding Departmental Alumni Award
  • Hemendra Kumar, a dual CEE MCE and Biosystems PhD student, received the Outstanding Doctoral Student award from the university. Dr. Frances O’Donnell is his MCE advisor.
  • Elizabeth Prior received a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship award. She was an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Frances O’Donnell’s group who graduated from our department in 2019 and is currently a PhD student at Virginia Tech. Undergraduate preparation is a major component of the GRFP evaluation, so this is a big accomplishment for our department.  
  • Hu “Oliver” Zhao is the recipient of the 2021 CEE Stone Leadership Award. The Stone Leadership Award was established by Jeffrey I. and Linda J. Stone for the purpose of promoting the development of the leadership abilities of Auburn’s civil and environmental engineering undergraduates by recognizing those students who have exhibited outstanding leadership and by encouraging students to seek out leadership opportunities beyond the department of civil and environmental engineering. 
  • Dr. Larry Rilett received the Frank M. Masters Transportation Engineering Award by ASCE. This prestigious award is a memorial to the outstanding professional accomplishments of Frank M. Masters, Hon.M.ASCE.
  • Dr. Anton Schindler was elected by the CEE faculty for a 3-year term to begin on August 16th, 2021.


March 2021

  • Dr. Ben Bowers was chosen as the 2021 Outstanding Faculty in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • AU student chapter of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) has been selected to be named an ACI Excellent University for 2020 for the outstanding work during 2020.   This is ACI’s highest honor for student chapters and is to recognize universities for their excellent participation in ACI-related activities. Our student chapter will be recognized during the upcoming ACI Virtual Concrete Convention March 28 – April 1, 2021. Considering that ACI currently has more than 15,000 student members and over 250 student chapters around the world and that our chapter is one of only seven US universities to receive this distinction, this is a great accomplishment.  This award was earned by our chapter under the excellent leadership provided by faculty advisor Dr. Anton Schindler and the following students: Kelly Turner (President), Megan Foshee (Vice President), Melanie Monaghan (Secretary), Hadiah Rawajfih (Treasurer), and Zack Coleman (Outreach / Safety Coordinator).  Our ACI student chapter also collaborated with the local concrete industry to complete a service project in the fall 2020 semester where they constructed a driveway and parking area for a homeowner impacted by the 2019 tornadoes in Beauregard, Alabama. 
  • Coleman Barrie (CEE PhD Student) was selected to join the Auburn University NSF Research Traineeship Program on Climate Resilience. Her advisor is Dr. Frances O’Donnell.
  • Dr. Lauren Beckingham received the 2021 ASEE- Southeastern Section New Faculty Researcher 2nd Place Award.  The award will be presented during Awards Ceremony on March 10th
  • AU ITE student team won the state level Traffic Bowl competition. Three team members, Yukun Song, Mitchell Fisher, and Anthony Aspito will represent Alabama to attend SDITE level competition on April 15, 2021.
  • Dan Xu, a Ph.D. student in Transportation, won the 2nd place of SDITE general member technical paper competition.
  • Yukun Song, a Ph.D. student in Transportation, won the 1st place of SDITE young member technical paper competition.
  • Dan Xu, Chennan Xue and Dr. Hugo Zhou’s paper, “Analysis of Headway and Speed based on Driver Characteristics and Work Zone Configurations Using Naturalistic Driving Study Data,” has been selected for the 2020 Best Paper Award by the TRB’s Standing Committee on Human Factors of Infrastructure Design (ACH40). 

February 2021

  • Allison Licavoli has been chosen as the 2021 Outstanding Student in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • Laurence Rilett - Director of Auburn University Transportation Research Institute and Professor of CEE. His major research area is Transportation Engineering
  • Anton Schindler has been selected to receive the 2021 ACI Delmar L. Bloem Distinguished Service Award.  ACI stated that the award is for outstanding leadership of ACI Technical Committee 237 that covers Self-Consolidating Concrete.  The award will be presented at the ACI President’s Reception on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 during the virtual ACI Spring 2021 Concrete Convention and Exposition.
  • Natalie Capiro has been appointed to the 2021 RemTEC Summit Scientific Advisory Board. This highly motivated, volunteer group is made up of industry leaders and stakeholders within the academic, government, regulatory, and consulting in the environmental engineering, science, and remediation fields. 
  • Lauren Beckingham was selected as the first recipient of the International Association of Geochemistry and the Journal of Applied Geochemistry’s Emerging Investigator Series featuring her paper with PhD student Fanqi Qin titled “The impact of mineral reactive surface area variation on simulated mineral reactions and reaction rates.”
  • PhD students Parisa Asadi and Chidera Iloejsi were selected as two of twenty participants in the nationally competitive RECS program, an interdisciplinary Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration for students and young professionals from across the U.S. Their advisor is Dr. Lauren Beckingham.
  • PhD student Chidera Ilojesi was selected as one of two graduate students to receive the 2020 scholarship of the Southern Section of the Air and Waste Management Association (advisor is Dr. Lauren Beckingham).
  • Jeff LaMondia was elected as the Treasurer to the International Steering Committee on Travel Survey Methods

January 2021

  • Shiqiang (Nick) Zou – new Assistant Professor in Environmental Engineering
  • Justin Marshall – Lab Director of ASEL (Advanced Structural Engineering Lab)
  • Rob Crosby – Lab Manager of ASEL
  • Jacek Chmielewski – Visiting Scholar from UTP University in Poland
  • Harry Schultz – instructor for ENGR 2050 Statics
  • Roger Robertson  - instructor for CIVL 2010 Surveying
  • PhD students Parisa Asadi and Chidera Iloejsi were selected as two of twenty participants in the nationally competitive RECS program, an interdisciplinary Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration for students and young professionals from across the U.S. Their advisor is Dr. Lauren Beckingham.
  • PhD student Chidera Ilojesi was selected as one of two graduate students to receive the 2020 scholarship of the Southern Section of the Air and Waste Management Association (advisor is Dr. Lauren Beckingham).

Last Updated: 10/6/21 12:23 PM