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College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
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Fall 2021 Newsletter
Research News

Badireddy.Raju.membrane lab (29 of 46)Prof. Raju Badireddy received two brand new research grants that we are excited about. The first is from NASA along with Profs. Amber Doiron, Jeff Marshall and Matthew Wargo on Diagnostics and Mitigation of Life Support System Biofilms using Magnetic Nanoparticles. This research will provide fundamental insights into biofilm properties that can be exploited to mechanically and chemically mitigate biofilm formation under microgravity conditions.  The second grant is on PFAS Behavior in Solid Waste Combustion Treatment at Landfills from Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF). This work will generate critical data associated with thermal treatment processes at landfills to make a preliminary assessment of potential PFAS emissions and their impacts.

CEE_Elizabeth Doran

Exposure to extreme heat in urban areas has been making headlines, but as our climate warms it is also a growing concern in rural places too. Profs. Elizabeth Doran and Greg Rowangould received a $300,000 grant from NOAA’s Climate Program Office to investigate extreme heat exposure risk in small cities and rural settlements. The project involves both graduate and undergraduate students in data collection and modeling to map heat vulnerability and create new information to guide heat adaptation and mitigation efforts in Vermont and other rural places. The UVM team was one of only 5 selected through a competitive review process.

CEE_Greg RowangouldProf. Greg Rowangould, Director of the UVM Transportation Research Center participated in a Capitol Hill briefing on electric vehicle markets hosted by the National Center for Sustainable Transportation that addressed some of the successes, barriers, and policy gaps that Vermont and neighboring states in the northeast face with electric vehicle adoption as largely rural states in cold climates. The transportation sector accounts for the largest share of US greenhouse gas emissions. Transitioning to a zero-emission vehicle fleet will be key to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. But making this transition will be challenging - zero-emission vehicles made up less than two percent of the 17 million new passenger vehicle sales in 2019.

CEE_Dana RowangouldThe ability to vote is a fundamental foundation of democracy. Research by Prof. Dana Rowangould and the University of Texas’s Prof. Alex Karner found that the targeted closure of secure ballot drop-off locations in Texas during the 2020 presidential election significantly increased travel times for voters who rely on transit. Because the closures had the greatest impact in the Houston region, they also disproportionately affected Black, Hispanic, and Asian voters. Read the full research article.

Faculty Recognitions

CEE_Arne BombliesCEE_Eric HernandezCEE_Donna RizzoCEE_Matthew Scarborough

Prof. Arne Bomblies co-authored a new book, Projecting the Impacts of Climate Change on Malaria Transmission in Africa. There are more than 200 million malaria cases every year. As climate change affects the delicate balance of human and mosquito populations in places such as Africa, that number could be affected-potentially for the worse.

Prof. Eric Hernandez was named President-elect for the New England chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI).

Prof. Donna Rizzo was named 2021-22 University Scholar. Since arriving at UVM in 2002, she and her students have worked collaboratively with colleagues across five different UVM colleges, using a variety of machine-learning tools to tackle multi-scale environmental problems.

Prof. Matthew Scarborough received Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award. Matt's nomination highlights his wide capacity for compassion for students, involvement in community, and innovation in the classroom.

CEE_Britt HolménProf. Britt Holmén retired earlier this year, but will continue to be engaged with the department as an emerita. Britt’s scholarly contributions at the Transportation Air Quality Lab centered on ultra-fine particles from vehicle tailpipes, recently for hybrid electric vehicles and biodiesel fuels, built on earlier work that included transit buses and on-road experiments where pioneering methods informed the California Air Resources Board.  The theme of agriculture has also been woven throughout her career starting with particle pollution from field operations to USDA-funded work on the relative toxicity of biodiesel-derived particles.  Britt has been an exceptional educator. Her project-based classes were known for rigorous work expectations and building effective communication skills. It was not surprising that she was selected this year for the Outstanding Teaching Award from the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Northeast section.

CEE_David RosowskyKansas State University recruited Prof. David Rosowsky to be their Vice President for Research. He will also serve as chair of the board of directors for K-State Innovation Partners, K-State’s hub of corporate engagement, technology commercialization and economic development. We are very sad to see David move, but we wish him the very best in this new chapter in his career.

Featured Alumni

CEE_Jennifer Fitch

Jennifer M. V. Fitch '02, P.E., is now the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services (BGS) at State of Vermont. Jennifer was an environmental engineer for the Johnson Company providing construction oversight for a superfund site immediately after graduation. She then joined Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) in 2004, serving as the Research Program Manager and then as a project manager in the newly established Accelerated Bridge Program in 2011. Jennifer was promoted to lead the Project Initiation and Innovation Team (PIIT) in 2014. She has been with BGS since 2017. Jennifer received Vermont’s Young Engineer of the Year Award in 2014 and the VTrans Secretary’s Innovation Award in 2015. She is also on our department’s Board of Advisors.

CEE_Jonathan GriffinJonathan Griffin, P.E. ’10 was named Vermont’s 2021 Young Engineer of the Year. “I believe that the experiences and opportunities provided to me by my years enrolled at CEMS certainly helped to shape me both personally and professionally,” he says. Read more about his accomplishments and reflections.

CEE Chandler SmithDr. Chandler Smith ‘13 returned to UVM CEE for graduate school after working in the industry for a couple years completing his PhD in 2019 with Prof. Hernandez. He was an IGERT Fellow and interned at the Sandia National Laboratories for a summer during his graduate degree. While at UVM, Chandler developed his expertise in structural engineering with specialization in vibration-based inverse problems for applications such as damage identification, force reconstruction, and parameter estimation. Upon graduation he joined Sandia as a Research and Development Computer Scientist. Chandler is currently working on a variety of projects for Sandia such as leveraging shape and material optimization to design mechanical wave-based communication systems that can transmit messages through impenetrable faraday cages, estimating turbulent boundary layers from vibration measurements collected from flight tests, and writing algorithms that optimally place electrodynamic shakers and accelerometers on flight vehicles in order to estimate structural dynamic properties.

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