Engineering

Colorado School of Mines has appointed a dean of graduate studies, who will lead efforts to strengthen research-based graduate programs, increase the university's international student population and promote professional master's and certificate programs.

Wendy Zhou, associate professor of geology and geological engineering, begins her new role at the start of the fall 2017 semester.

“I want to keep our uniqueness, but we need to do something different,” Zhou said. “I believe I have creative ideas that can keep Mines’ uniqueness but can change much needed areas of the graduate education here.”

Zhou’s initiatives will include working to promote professional master’s and certificate programs, increase international graduate student enrollment as well as undertaking a graduate student climate survey that will help Mines develop and implement programs and initiatives that enhance co-curricular support of the research-based residential graduate population.

“I want to feel the heartbeat of the students as a whole,” Zhou said. “The climate survey is part of the way to do that.”

Zhou also wants to hold town hall meetings and graduate student seminars to add opportunities for networking and socializing. In collaboration with Roel Snieder, the newly appointed W.M. Keck Distinguished Professor of Professional Development Education, she will create programs to help students develop professional portfolios.

“I see graduate student quality control as a pipeline,” Zhou said. “We will have quality control from admission to graduation, which will better prepare students for success after graduation.”

Zhou joined the Mines faculty in 2008. She received her PhD in geological engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology. She has a research group of seven graduate students. Her research is focused on the use of geographic information systems and remote sensing for environmental studies and to assess geohazards such as landslides and ground subsidence.

“I chose Wendy for the dean position because she is passionate about advancing a set of well-defined and institutionally important initiatives,” Interim Provost Tom Boyd said. “We hope to develop and create institution-wide initiatives aimed at providing our graduate students—and the programs in which they reside—the opportunity to further develop their professional skill sets.”

 

CONTACT
Joe DelNero, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3326 | jdelnero@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

Colorado School of Mines President Paul C. Johnson and GERENS President Armando Gallegos Monteagudo shake hands after signing the MOU.
Colorado School of Mines President Paul C. Johnson and GERENS President Armando Gallegos Monteagudo shake hands after signing the MOU.

On May 22, 2017, the Colorado School of Mines entered into a memorandum of understanding with GERENS Graduate School in Peru. 

Mines President Paul Johnson and GERENS President Armando Gallegos Monteagudo were in attendance to sign the document.

The agreement will mutually benefit mining engineering research and education at both universities by developing projects and learning opportunities for graduate students at both institutions. The agreement will also address the economic, environmental and sociopolitical aspects of the industry.

 

Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu

Map of the eastern Indian Ocean and surrounding regions. Location of the drilling expedition and the Sunda subduction zone also shown. The Indo-Australian plate subducts beneath the Eurasian plate at the subduction zone and it was the source of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami offshore Sumatra to Andaman Islands (rupture area shaded in yellow). Ocean drilling boreholes are red dots (U1480, U1481). The Bengal and Nicobar submarine fans are fed by river sediments eroded from the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau, creating very large thicknesses of sediment. (Credit: Lisa McNeill, University of Southampton.)
Map of the eastern Indian Ocean and surrounding regions. The Indo-Australian that plate was the source of the 2004 Sumatra earthquake and tsunami subducts beneath the Eurasian plate at the subduction zone (rupture area shaded in yellow). Ocean drilling boreholes are red dots (U1480, U1481).  (Credit: Lisa McNeill, University of Southampton.)

An international team of scientists has found evidence suggesting the dehydration of minerals deep below the ocean floor influenced the severity of the Sumatra earthquake, which took place on December 26, 2004, off the west coast of Indonesia.

The magnitude 9.2 earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated coastal communities of the Indian Ocean, killing over 250,000 people.

Research into the earthquake was conducted during a scientific ocean drilling expedition to the region August through October 2016 as part of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). Expedition 362 was led by researchers from Colorado School of Mines and the University of Southampton in collaboration with IODP scientist Katerina Petronotis.

On board the research vessel JOIDES Resolution, the researchers sampled, for the first time, sediments and rocks from the oceanic tectonic plate that feeds the Sumatra subduction zone. A subduction zone is an area where two of the Earth’s tectonic plates converge, one sliding beneath the other, generating the largest earthquakes on Earth, many with destructive tsunamis.

Findings of a study on sediment samples found far below the seabed are now detailed in a new paper authored by Dr. Andre Hüpers of the MARUM-Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at University of Bremen and published in the journal Science. Colorado School of Mines Associate Professor of Geophysics Brandon Dugan was one of the study’s coauthors and coleader of Expedition 362.

“It raised a lot of questions, because that wasn't a place in the world where we thought a magnitude 9 earthquake would occur,” said Dugan.

Expedition coleader Professor Lisa McNeill of the University of Southampton said “the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was triggered by an unusually strong earthquake with an extensive rupture area.” By unearthing the cause of such a large earthquake and tsunami, the scientists hope to be able to assess potential hazards in other regions with similar geological properties.

The scientists concentrated their research on a process of dehydration of sedimentary minerals deep below the ground, which usually occurs within the subduction zone. It is believed this dehydration process, which is influenced by the temperature and composition of the sediments, normally controls the location and extent of slip between the plates, and therefore the severity of an earthquake.


Expedition leaders from left: Lisa McNeill, Brandon Dugan, Katerina Petronotis.
Expedition leaders from left: Lisa McNeill, Brandon Dugan, Katerina Petronotis. (Photo credit: Tim Fulton, IODP JRSO.)

The Sumatra research team used the latest advances in ocean drilling to extract samples from 1.5 km below the seabed, taking measurements of sediment composition including chemical, thermal and physical properties.

At a certain depth, the researchers identified a layer where the water had lower salinity than the overlying and underlying sediment. This evidence of freshwater suggests that the water must have been released from within minerals in the sediment, as ocean water would have been high in salinity.

The researchers found that the sediments on the ocean floor, eroded from the Himalayan mountain range and Tibetan Plateau and transported thousands of kilometers by rivers on land and in the ocean, were subjected to geologic processes over millions of years. These sediments formed a sort of thick shell over minerals far below the seabed, causing chemical transformations within the subsurface.

 A 'free-fall funnel', part of the drilling process.(Photo Credit: Tim Fulton, IODP JRSO)

 A 'free-fall funnel', part of the drilling process.
(Photo 
Credit:Tim Fulton, IODP JRSO.)

These transformations caused the mineral bed to heat, pushing freshwater out of the mineral crystals up through the sediment layers.

At first, this water would have softened the sediment, actually decreasing the risk of a big earthquake by allowing it to absorb more force, Dugan explained. However, as the sediment moved closer to the fault over millions of years, the water flowed away, leaving the sediment dehydrated and brittle—the perfect setup for a megaquake.

The scientists ran simulations to calculate how the Sumatra sediments (currently not yet to the fault) would behave once they had traveled 250 km to the east toward the subduction zone and been buried significantly deeper. The simulations showed the sediment reaching higher temperatures, thus supporting their findings.

Hüpers said that the findings suggest that other subduction zones with thick and hotter sediment and rock could also experience this phenomenon.

“The 2004 Sumatra and 2011 Tohoku earthquakes made us reexamine our understanding of large earthquakes,” said Dugan. “This new analysis extends our knowledge of the conditions that can contribute to large earthquakes that generate tsunamis. We now can assess the potential for megaquakes in subduction margins with limited or no historical earthquake record.”

Subduction zone earthquakes typically have a return time of a few hundred to a thousand years, so applying this research to similar geological regions will allow scientists to better predict these hazards.

Similar subduction zones exist in the Caribbean (Lesser Antilles), off Iran and Pakistan (Makran), and off the western United States and Canada (Cascadia). The team will continue research on the samples and data obtained from the Sumatra drilling expedition over the next few years, including laboratory experiments and further numerical simulations, and will use their results to assess the potential future hazards both in Sumatra and at these comparable subduction zones.
 

 
 
Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu
 

 

A solar-powered LED system that alerts motorists to cyclists in bike lanes won the Colorado Department of Transportation’s RoadX challenge May 3, 2017, part of the spring innovation design competition for the EPICS 151 course at Colorado School of Mines.

Nineteen teams of Colorado School of Mines students exhibited their design solutions for the Colorado Department of Transportation’s RoadX challenge May 3, 2017, as part of the spring innovation design competition for the EPICS 151 course.

EPICS courses are required for all Mines students, with the centerpiece an open-ended design problem that students must solve as part of a team effort.

More than 500 students organized into 40 teams participated in the RoadX challenge to increase pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

All teams presented their ideas to judges on May 2; judges then selected 19 finalists who exhibited their designs May 3. After two rounds of judging, the winning teams were Team Guardian Angels in third place, Team Illuminatey in second and Team Side Swipers Safety in first. These top three teams were awarded scholarships totaling $1,750 and invited to attend the RoadX awards event in late May.

Team Guardian Angels created a crosswalk that illuminates pedestrians when it’s dark and tracks them as they cross the road. Team Illuminatey’s project, called Lit Lanes, is a strip of LED lights that run along bikes lanes and are activated in segments as a bicyclist passes them, creating an active, moving light strip that follows the biker’s path. Team Side Swipers’ winning design is a solar-powered LED bicycle alert system to help ensure motorists are aware of a bicycle in a bike lane.

“Our target was for vehicles that turn right without thinking to check for a cyclist approaching in the lane,” said Team Side Swipers member and mechanical engineering freshman Christian Tello. “When vehicles don’t check, it can lead to sideswipes, especially since the bicycles are much smaller than vehicles. With our proactive system, the LED array alerts drivers that a cyclist is inbound and we eliminate the need for humans to check. We used a police light pattern for the LED alerts to take advantage of the psychological effects of police lights and to ensure it catches the eyes of all drivers.”

As part of their course work, teams were required to conduct stakeholder interviews and research before beginning their design solution.

“As we worked on this problem, we began to realize how large this issue is—especially for people who commute by bicycle every day,” said Seamus Millet of Team Illuminatey. “We were happy to try and design a solution that would have a positive impact,”

“This semester’s RoadX challenge was an ideal EPICS I project,” said EPICS Program Director Leslie Light. “EPICS teaches open-ended problem-solving and workplace skills, and this challenge has many different solutions through a variety of disciplines,” she said. “Issues with biker and pedestrian safety affect us all, so the students could also relate to it and see the mark their work can leave on the world around them.”

 

Contact:
Megan Hanson, Communications Manager, Academic Affairs | 303-384-2358 | mhanson@mines.edu
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu

The Humanitarian Engineering Program at the Colorado School of Mines is evolving.

Having originated as a minor offered through the Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies (now the Division of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences), the program has now moved into the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences, and grown to encompass two minors: the original in Humanitarian Engineering (HE) and a new one in Leadership for Social Responsibility (LSR) that will be ready for student enrollment in Fall 2017.

The LSR minor aims to serve students who are passionate about working for the well-being of communities from within corporate environments. HE and LSR will also be two focus areas in the revised Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) program.  

“We are very excited to have a revised BSE among Mines’ program offerings, with HE and LSR in it, so that Mines can become the destination of choice for students seeking to serve society through engineering,” said Humanitarian Engineering Program Director Juan Lucena, professor in the Engineering, Design and Society Division.

The mission of Humanitarian Engineering at Mines is to teach students how engineering can contribute to creating just and sustainable solutions for communities. The program also offers several enrichment opportunities for Mines students, such as the Peace Corps Prep Program, the Shultz Family Fund Lecture Series and scholarships, as well as ongoing relationships with groups across campus such as Mines Without Borders which are committed to bettering the world through engineering.

“Humanitarian Engineering is an amazing program,” said CECS Dean Kevin Moore. “It was one of the reasons I moved to Mines in 2005, and although I didn't get involved in promoting and helping build it until 2011, HE’s goals inspire me as both an educator and as an engineer.”

Rosalie O’Brien, a 2016-2017 Shultz Scholar majoring in environmental engineering, said she started in humanitarian engineering because she wants to make a positive difference in the world. “After all, we design for people,” she said. “To me, it only made sense that my undergraduate education should incorporate classes about human-centered problem-definition and community engagement. Becoming a Shultz Scholar was an extension of my education and provided me more outlets to engage with faculty members.” 

In addition to O’Brien, the Shultz Scholars for 2016-2017 were mechanical engineering senior Kekahu Aluli , chemical engineering senior Stephanie Martella, geophysical engineering seniors Micaela Pedrazas and Michelle Pedrazas and civil engineering junior Vy Duong. Each student was awarded approximately $8,500 to support his or her studies over the course of one year. The scholars engaged in student recruitment and program outreach, and presented their research to academic and professional audiences.


The 2016-2017 Shultz Scholars.
The 2016-2017 Shultz Scholars from left: Micaela Pedrazas, Rosalie O'Brien, Vy Duong, Kekahu Aluli, Michelle Pedrazas, Stephanie Martella.

“Being a Shultz Scholar has allowed me to really connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for innovative solution solving,” said Aluli. “I have come to learn that engineering is more than just looking for a perfect technical solution. The social impacts are just as important, and the Shultz Scholarship has allowed me to take a critical look at engineering in an effort to better the process toward deriving sociotechnical solutions.”

Aluli plans to return to Mines next year to pursue a degree in Engineering and Technology Management, and eventually hopes to combine his knowledge with that gained through the HE program to become a social entrepreneur.

Lucena noted the increased engagement that the Shultz Family Fund has brought to the program, saying that it “has allowed us to bring HE and LSR to new faculty, student and professional audiences, to engage new programs and departments on campus and to explore new opportunities for students beyond the minor.”

HE aims to increase engagement particularly with programs in the geosciences, sparked by growing faculty and student interest in organizations like Geoscientists Without Borders and alumni participation in organizations like Geology in the Public Interest. A new alumni interest group in Leadership in Social Responsibility sponsored by the Mines Alumni Association is seeking to connect Mines community members who work around issues focused on social responsibility and humanitarian engagement.  

O’Brien notes the connections she has already made through the Shultz Scholar program, saying that the best part of her experience has been working with the other scholars. “They are some of the brightest, most enthusiastic and overall amazing people that I’ve had the pleasure to meet at Mines.

Eventually, program leaders hope to make humanitarian engineering at Mines the first such degree program in the country.

Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

 

Team DiggerLoop, a group of 14 mechanical and electrical engineering seniors at the Colorado School of Mines, was awarded first place in the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences (CECS) Spring Senior Design Trade Fair on April 27, 2017. The team’s winning design was part of a national competition to design a pod that can travel on SpaceX’s high-speed transportation Hyperloop track—Mines recently became one of 27 teams to advance to the final competition weekend in SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition II.

"While we knew our project was already pretty awesome, we were a bit concerned about our success at the trade fair because our project is still just a design, while other teams had things you can touch and feel,” said Austin Genger, the team’s project manager. “Fortunately, our entire team knows the project inside and out, so that aided in us in talking our project up to the judges during the Trade Fair. Even still, we were pretty shocked to find out we won. It's quite an honor at a school like Mines!"

Team Hyperloop’s lead engineer also received a personal honor at the Trade Fair. Karl Grueschow received first place in the Broader Impacts Essay Contest for his paper, “Power Shortage: Social Impacts of Electric Transportation.”

“Winning the essay competition was completely unexpected,” said Grueschow. “My main focus over the last year has been the design competition with my team, but it is an honor to receive this individual recognition as well.”

Zachary Swanson received second place for writing on the “Impacts of the Tesla Model 3 on a Sustainable Future,” and Kenneth Larson received third place for “Natural Gas for the Environment.”

Other teams who received recognition include the Catalyst Designs team for their design of a portable generator system that can run on a wide range of continuously varying gaseous fuels, and the Efficient Energies team who were challenged to reduce the 2015-16 electrical peak demand level by 20 percent. The teams received second and third place honors respectively.

A newer tradition at the Trade Fair is the Humanitarian Engineering Award, given this year to team Banding Together for their masonry design to build earthquake resistant homes in Nepal.

“I am always very proud at the end of each semester to see the finished product of not just our seniors’ Capstone design projects, but their entire education at Mines,” said CECS Dean Kevin Moore. “These projects put all that they have learned into practical application, and I am continuously blown away by what they come up with. Congratulations to all of our seniors!”

Learn more about the Capstone Design Program at Mines by visiting capstone.mines.edu. Photos from this year’s event can be seen in the slideshow below.


Contact:
Megan Hanson, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science and Engineering | 303-384-2358 | mhanson@mines.edu
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu


 

 

Colorado School of Mines students have teamed up with architecture students from the University of San Francisco in the Gabion Band Ring Beam Challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to test and evaluate masonry home designs and their resistance to seismic activity.

In 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, devastating communities and areas in the Kathmandu region. As homes and buildings lay in ruin, the question became, “How can the effects of a natural disaster be minimized in an area like Nepal, where homes are constructed with unreinforced masonry, and where materials are simply inaccessible?” 

The Gabion Band is a constructive technique that uses ring beams of stone wrapped in wire mesh to tie the masonry walls together to become more stable in seismic events. 

Team “Banding Together” is made up of Mines civil engineering seniors Jessie Berndsen, Molly Epstein and Jared Roberts, along with mechanical engineering seniors Caitlin Kaltenbaugh and David Pum. The team constructed models and performed tests on a shaker table throughout the course of one year as part of a project for the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Capstone Design Program. The shaker table is able to simulate earthquakes of various magnitudes, allowing the team to evaluate the construction and integrity of their masonry design for use on Nepalese homes. 

The team will get the opportunity to showcase their findings at the CECS Capstone Senior Design Tradeshow on April 27, 2017, and they hope that the project will continue with future classes of seniors.

Learn more about the team's project in the video below.

UPDATE: After judging for the CECS Capstone Senior Design Tradeshow, the team eceived the Humanitarian Engineering Award for having the project with the highest humanitarian impact.

Contact:
Joe DelNero, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3326 | jdelnero@mines.edu
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu

The Colorado School of Mines chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers hosted its annual Joint Session on April 12, 2017, bringing together Mines students, faculty, alumni and oil and gas industry professionals from across Colorado. 

The speaker this year was SPE International President Janeen Judah, who spoke to the bustling Friedhoff Hall audience about current trends in the industry and gave career advice for those looking to enter the field.

“Joint Session is essentially when the ‘Petro Mafia’ gets together from across Colorado to eat, drink and network with Mines students,” said Alexandra Susich, junior in petroleum engineering and director of this year’s Joint Session. “Having an SPE president—two out of the three years we've put on Joint Session here at Mines—reflects how well-respected Mines is by the industry.”

Judah highlighted current trends in the oil and gas industry, focusing on the “Big 3”: big data, automation and robotics, and visualization and simulation. She encouraged students to get involved with these latest technologies to stay up to speed with the evolving industry.

Judah went on with more career development tips, framing her talk around the “3 Es”: excellence, endurance and empowerment. She explained that in such a highly cyclical industry, endurance and empowerment and the ability to pay it forward and work through the hard times, are essential. She also challenged audience members to come up with other industries that are not overly affected by economic ups and downs, emphasizing that “it’s not just our industry”.

Excellence, Judah stressed, should never be overlooked, even when working an internship unrelated to your true interests. “Be good at the job that you have now,” she said. “Don’t be thinking so much about becoming a manager that you forget to be an engineer.” 

Mines SPE Chapter President Bryan McDowell was proud of how the event came together, and is confident that the club will continue to exemplify the excellence that has gained Mines SPE its reputation as a leader among student chapters nationwide.

“Leading the SPE student chapter has been a great experience, both personally and professionally,” McDowell said. “The level of commitment from our officers and members continues to amaze me. Maintaining high standards is tough, but maintaining those standards while innovating and reinventing our club takes another level of dedication and talent.”

 

View photos from the event in the slideshow below.

SPE Joint Session 2017

Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

 

 
David LaPorte, a master’s student in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, is working to help mitigate landslide risk in communities in Guatemala thanks to a Fulbright grant. 
 
In 2015, a devastating landslide in a Guatemala City ravine killed an estimated 350 people in the settlement of El Cambray II, highlighting the urgent need for more research on landslide risk management.
 
LaPorte is conducting research at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, with the cooperation of Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres, as part of a project to evaluate landslide risk management in precarious settlements of Guatemala City’s metropolitan area and develop cost-effective solutions.
 
“These settlements are built on the slopes of steep ravines and are populated by the area’s most economically vulnerable population,” explained LaPorte, whose ultimate goal is to help those who have little choice but to live in at-risk areas by studying ways to better manage these natural hazards.
 
To do this, LaPorte is evaluating the current landslide risk management initiatives put in place by Guatemalan government agencies and NGOs, such as risk-reduction tools and educational programs. “I plan to evaluate the effectiveness of some of these initiatives through a study of risk perception and behavior of the inhabitants of at-risk communities,” he said. Currently, there are no statistics in this field, which LaPorte’s research is working to address. Communities will be surveyed before and after risk-communication strategies are implemented, with the ultimate goal of improving initiatives to encourage risk-reducing behavioral change.
 
One of the biggest challenges LaPorte has faced during his three months in Guatemala thus far has been breaking into the existing network of researchers and organizations, many of whom have been working on this issue for years. “As an independent researcher, it has been challenging to catch up on the understanding of the way things are done here, and the recent history of risk-management initiatives in the settlements,” he said.  But LaPorte said everyone he has collaborated with has been very helpful, and finds this opportunity to experience a new community and culture very rewarding.
 
“The core of the Fulbright program is based on increasing cultural exchange and mutual understanding between people in the US and those abroad,” he said. “Being able to dedicate ten months of my master’s degree to not only my thesis project field work, but also to this cultural exchange, is such a joy.”
 
LaPorte is confident that the experience will help him “ become a more globally competent citizen and engineer.” 
 
“It is work that I love, and that has been made possible by the Fulbright grant.” 
 
Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

 

Two Colorado School of Mines professors in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have been recognized for their achievements in geotechnical engineering with national awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Ning LuProfessor Ning Lu received the Ralph B. Peck Award, given for outstanding contributions to the geotechnical engineering profession through the publication of a case history or publication of recommended practices based on case histories. Professor D. Vaughan Griffiths received the H. Bolton Seed Medal, awarded for outstanding contributions to teaching, research or practice in geotechnical engineering.

Lu was recognized for his multiyear case study monitoring the subsurface hydrological and mechanical conditions leading to landslide occurrence on the coastal bluffs between Seattle and Everett, Wash., and for using the data collected to develop a new hydromechanical framework for slope-stability analysis.

The ASCE said Lu’s research over the past decade has made significant contributions to the study of rainfall-induced landslides. The recurring landslides in Washington are a major concern for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Sound Transit, which operates a railway along the bluffs. Results from Lu’s research is now being used to develop a comprehensive hazard mitigation strategy for the railway.

D Vaughan GriffithsGriffiths was honored for his innovative software developments, publications, textbooks and professional short courses on finite elements and probabilistic methods. According to the ASCE, “his highly cited work on finite element stability analysis has transformed the way engineers perform slope-stability analysis in practice.”

Griffiths’ workshops have made him a de facto “ambassador” for the profession, according to ASCE. He is currently chair of the ASCE GeoInstitute Risk Assessment and Management Committee, a core member of the equivalent ISSMGE TC304 Committee and has co-chaired two major GeoInstitute conferences. He is a current editor of Computers and Geotechnics, a recent past editor of ASCE’s Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering and on the editorial/advisory board of two other journals.

Contact:
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu
Ashley Spurgeon, Editorial Assistant, Mines magazine | 303-273-3959 | aspurgeon@mines.edu

 

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