All Ears MIT Takes on Climate Change

April 24, 2015

Photo: PodcastIn a new All Ears MIT podcast, four MIT faculty members, including CEE professors Andrew Whittle and Dan Cziczo, discussed the historical and scientific significance behind the earth’s warming climate, as well as deliberated mitigation methods for the global temperature. Cziczo, also an associate professor in EAPS, relayed his research analyzing the effects of clouds in a progressively warming climate. Whittle, a geotechnical engineer, followed with his experience serving on the panel that assessed New Orleans’ hurricane protection systems after Katrina, and the safety review of Boston’s Big Dig tunnel system. To listen to the podcast, please see here.

Atmospheric Research Representative Visits D.C.

April 24, 2015

Photo: Dan CziczoThis May, an advisory board for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) will meet with meet with house and senate representatives in Washington DC, in a consultation to focus on the promotion of increased funding in the geosciences. According to CEE and EAPS Associate Professor Dan Cziczo, an MIT representative to UCAR and an active member of the UCAR President's advisory board, this is one area that has been specifically targeted for cuts at the National Science Foundation (NSF). “Our hope is to show how everyday life - from transportation to farming to health and safety - are affected by research in the geosciences," said Cziczo. For more information, please see here.

CEE Alumnus Contributes Drones to Boston Marathon

April 24, 2015

Photo: 2015 Boston MarathonBoston officials declared the 2015 Boston Marathon, held on Mon. April 20, a “no drone zone” the week before the event, employing an anti-drone technology developed by MIT CEE alumnus Brian Hearing ’97 to ensure the 30,000 marathon runners’ protection. Brian Hearing, co-founder of Washington, D.C.-based Drone Shield, explained the sensors would alert Boston police officers via email or text message if an incoming drone was nearby. According to Hearing, the two-year-old company volunteered its technology, and anticipates a paid contract for the 2016 marathon. For more information, please see here.

CEE Alumnus Contributes Drones to Boston Marathon

April 24, 2015

Photo: 2015 Boston MarathonBoston officials declared the 2015 Boston Marathon, held on Mon. April 20, a “no drone zone” the week before the event, employing an anti-drone technology developed by MIT CEE alumnus Brian Hearing ’97 to ensure the 30,000 marathon runners’ protection. Brian Hearing, co-founder of Washington, D.C.-based Drone Shield, explained the sensors would alert Boston police officers via email or text message if an incoming drone was nearby. According to Hearing, the two-year-old company volunteered its technology, and anticipates a paid contract for the 2016 marathon. For more information, please see here.

CEE Magnifies Vibrations in Bridges and Buildings

April 24, 2015

Photo: Oral and Co.To most, buildings and bridges appear stationary, fixed in place. However, a recent study indicates that a team of MIT researchers perceives infrastructural movements a little differently. CEE Professor Oral Buyukozturk, CEE graduate student Justin Chen ’13 and others developed an innovative method to see these otherwise invisible vibrations through employing high-speed video with computer vision techniques. While high-speed video normally wouldn’t detect a building’s vibrations, the researchers used “motion magnification” to exaggerate the tiny, sub pixel motions. “Depending on your objective, perhaps you could use the camera on your cellphone for screening, and if you detect something, you could concentrate on it with a high-power camera,” said Buyukozturk. “There are levels of inspection, and you don’t always have to start with the highest-quality camera.” For the full story, please see here.

Clean Earth Hackathon Solves Sustainability Challenges

April 24, 2015

Photo: Clean Earth HackFrom Friday, April 17 to Sunday, April 19, more than 70 members of the MIT and non-MIT communities converged to devise solutions for real-world environmental challenges in the inaugural MIT Clean Earth Hackathon. Sponsored by CEE and the Office of Sustainability at MIT, eight companies challenged the event’s participants with a myriad of sustainability problems. Attendees then broke up into groups according to their desired challenge, worked throughout the weekend to develop  solutions and presented their final product Sunday evening to a panel of judges. “Teams organized themselves around complementary skills and talents,” said CEE Department Head Markus Buehler. “Their solutions epitomized what ‘Big Engineering’ is all about — producing large-scale impact on people and sustainability, covering a spectrum of activities from environment to systems to infrastructure.” Four winning teams were each awarded $1,000. For the full story, please see here.

Two CEE Students Win MIT Awards

April 21, 2015

Photo: MIT Awards ConvocationTwo Course 1 undergraduate students were named as the 2015 recipients of MIT awards during the MIT Awards Convocation. 1E student Phoebe Whitwell ’15 received the honor of the William L. Stewart, Jr. Award – an award to recognize outstanding contributions by an individual student or organization to extracurricular activities during the preceding year. Another 1E student, Majdolene Khweis, was one of two recipients of the Laya and Jerome B. Wiesner Student Art Award that acknowledges outstanding achievements in and contributions to the arts at MIT. For the full list of 2015 winners, please see here.

Building a More Resilient NYC through Big Engineering

April 21, 2015

Photo: Resilient CitiesOn Wednesday, May 6 at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center in New York, a team of CEE faculty will present to an audience of MIT alumni in a community reception entitled, “Building a More Resilient NYC through Big Engineering.” Each faculty member will demonstrate his/her cutting-edge research and its impact on the role of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the construction of more resilient cities in a 10-minute lecture followed by a Q&A with the audience. The panel will consist of Department Head Markus Buehler and professors Lydia Bourouiba, Carolina Osorio, Saurabh Amin, Marta Gonzalez and Jesse Kroll. A brief introduction will be made by CEE alumnus Daniel Zarrilli SM ’99, Director of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency at NYC Office of the Mayor. For more information or to register, please see here.

Dedication and Lecture of Sean Collier Memorial

April 21, 2015

Photo: Collier MemorialIn honor of fallen MIT police officer Sean Collier who died in the line of duty in 2013, a permanent campus memorial in his name now stands at the intersection of Vassar and Main Streets. On Monday, April 27 at 6pm in room 10-250, CEE Professor John Ochsendorf will present a lecture about the collaborative efforts to design, engineer and construct the memorial as well as explore the way the team merged stone-setting techniques with robotic fabrication technologies in the construction. The public dedication of the Collier Memorial will take place Wednesday, April 29, beginning at noon on the North Court near the site of the memorial. For the full story, please see here.

Inaugural MIT Water Innovation Prize Hosted Final Pitches

April 21, 2015

Photo: Water Innovation PrizeOn April 6, the MIT Water Club hosted the final pitches for Water Innovation Prize — an opportunity for MIT students to work in tandem with real-world mentors on water startups and ventures. Over the course of four months, seven MIT-based teams prepared their enterprises for the chance to win $20,000 in innovation grants. “The mission of the MIT Water Club and Water Innovation Prize is to support the MIT community developing their understanding of global water challenges, to act as a hub for interaction among likeminded people and to learn about current, cutting-edge research in the water sector,” said MIT Water Club co-president and CEE graduate student Neha Mehta. The prize, co-sponsored by and initiated through seed funding from CEE, launched in the fall semester with an "Idea Pitch and Generator Dinner”. For the full story, please see here.

Recap of Twitter Chat for Prospective 1-ENG Students

April 21, 2015

Photo: Twitter Chat PosterOn Tuesday, April 14, Department Head Markus Buehler hosted his first-ever Twitter chat for prospective 1-ENG students to ask questions about the department, program and opportunities available. Alongside Buehler, the panel consisted of Course 1 juniors Anthony McHugh and Julia Heyman, as well as Course 1 graduate student Alex Konings ’09. The Twitter chat participants used the hashtag #ONEatMIT to follow the conversation and pose their own questions at any point throughout. To read the recap of the chat, please see here.

Two 2015 CEE Inductees in the Quarter Century Club

April 10, 2015

Photo: Quarter Century ClubOn Wednesday April 15, 2015, two new members from the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will be inducted into the MIT Quarter Century Club (QCC) with a celebratory luncheon. The 2015 CEE inductees include Professor Dara Entekhabi and Donna Hudson from the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub. New membership in the QCC is offered to the faculty, administrative, research, support and service staff who will celebrate their 25th anniversary with the Institute on or before June 30, 2015. The full list of this year's QCC class can be viewed here.

Manufacturing Innovation Consortium Underway

April 10, 2015

Photo: MIT Forum for Supply Chain InnovationThe MIT Forum for Supply Chain Innovation, founded by CEE Professor David Simchi-Levi, has recently announced the launch of a manufacturing innovation consortium. According to the team spearheading this initiative, the consortium will unite members of the global manufacturing and retail industry in collaboration on industry challenges, as well as share insights in data science, technology and supply-chain optimization research conducted by Simchi-Levi. “Data science and machine-learning techniques can have a profound impact on current industry business models and can quickly help companies achieve a competitive advantage,” says Simchi-Levi. Read the MIT News article for more information.

Four CEE Graduate Women to be Honored

April 10, 2015

Photo: Graduate Women of ExcellenceWe are proud to announce that four CEE graduate students were selected as honorees for the 2015 biennial celebration of Graduate Women of Excellence. The CEE representatives are PhD candidates Andriani-Ioanna “Nina” Panagiotidou ’13 and Xiaojing “Ruby” Fu as well as graduate students’13 and Jane Chui. The Graduate Women of Excellence celebration is an event meant to commemorate those graduate women who exemplify leadership and outstanding accomplishment. The formal occasion will take place on April 23, 2015 and will feature posters that detail each nominee’s life journey, their path to MIT and their overall aspirations. The full list of honorees can be viewed here.

15th Annual Kendall Lecture on April 15

April 10, 2015

Photo: Jochem Marotzke of the Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyWhat do recent global temperature trends tell us about anthropogenic climate change? On Wednesday, April 15, the 15th Annual Henry W. Kendall Lecture will explore this query and more in a discussion led byIllustrating the fundamental manifestation of anthropogenic climate change, Dr. Marotzke’s talk will emphasize a particular focus on the significant increase in the ocean’s heat content as a function of the rising greenhouse-gas concentrations. Co-sponsored by the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, join us for this annual event at 5 pm in E51-115. For more information, please see here.

CEE to Host Flash Coffee Cart

April 10, 2015

Photo: Coffee with spiralAs part of the upcoming MIT Campus Preview Weekend, the Course 1 team will wheel around a one-time-only CAFÉ@ONE cart on the morning of April 16 for students and parents in need of a caffeine boost. Join us near the Concourse Office (Bldg.16/Bldg. 8 stairwell) from 11am-1pm and claim your CEE-crafted beverage! Seasonal options include a TREX 2015 coffee, sourced straight from the Big Island, and a ONE@MITea. Any prefrosh and freshman with proper identification will receive a free drink and a special ONE@MIT cup.

Save the Date: Careers Across MIT

April 10, 2015

Photo: Careers Across MITThe 3rd annual Careers Across MIT, hosted by MIT Human Resources, will take place on May 14, 2015 from 12-2 pm in Walker Memorial. Join us for this unique, Institute-wide opportunity to network with individuals representing a multitude of schools, departments, and centers – all while exploring career opportunities and related training options. The event, debuted in 2013, connected over 400 MIT affiliates and has been brought back each year by popular demand. For more information, please see here.

MIT Water Innovation Prize Finale

April 3, 2015

Photo: MIT Water Innovation PrizeOn Monday, April 6 the inaugural MIT Water Innovation Prize Final Pitch will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Kirsch Auditorium (32-123). Organized by the student-led MIT Water Club, the prize joins MIT's growing force of initiatives tackling water issues – establishing a foundation of teamwork as a means of designing “scalable water technologies and processes across a range of domestic and global sectors.” This year, eight teams will compete for $20,000 in innovation grants. “We had a great start for our first year. Excellent participation and interest from students and community members across MIT and surrounding area,” said Liz Voeller, director of the event. To watch the teams present their solution, register for free tickets here.

CEE Student Strives to Spread Credible and Impactful Environmental Science to the General Public

April 3, 2015

Photo: The EarthIn an effort to spread credible environmental science to the general public, Course 1 graduate student Qingjun “Judy” Yang has spearheaded an initiative to produce monthly videos that feature MIT research focused on the fundamental principles of the environment and its impact on society’s daily life. “Densely-populated countries, such as China, have a desperate need for credible, environmental knowledge,” said Yang. “CEE, with its reputation for integrity and scientific excellence, has the ability and responsibility to impact these people.” Yang asks that any student or faculty member interested to share his/her research and perspective to contact her at qjyang@mit.edu.

Professor Harold Hemond’s Book Recognized with Award

April 3, 2015

Photo: Harold HemondAn Elsevier textbook written by CEE Professor Harold Hemond and co-author Liz Fechner ‘91 entitled, “Chemical Fate and Transport in the Environment” was a recipient of a 2015 Textbook Excellence Award (Texty) from The Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA). In the book, Hemond and Fechner explain the key principals of mass transport, chemical partitioning and chemical/biological transformations in surface water, soil, groundwater and air. Nominations are judged based on the following criteria: interesting and informative, well organized and well prepared, up to date and appealing, and teachability. For more information on the book, see here.

Smarter Stoplights Can Reduce Energy Consumption and Emissions of Urban Traffic

April 3, 2015

Photo: StoplightsFrustration and irritation are standard emotions felt by drivers stuck day to day in city congestion. Heavy traffic, however, increases much more than just the population’s blood pressure: it also emits excessive greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. A recent study led by CEE Professor Carolina Osorio offers efficient methods of programming a city’s stoplights to tackle these challenges. “What we do is develop algorithms that allow major transportation agencies to use high-resolution models of traffic to solve optimization problems,” said Professor Osorio, lead author of the study. The studies developed unprecedented algorithms to retime traffic lights; ultimately improving travel times as well as reducing fuel consumption and emissions across the city. Read the MIT News story

Course 1 Undergraduates Publish Study on the Sulfur Emissions from Hawaiian Volcano Kilauea

April 3, 2015

Photo: Course 1 undergraduates work with a mobile lab in Hawaii.A recent study published by 28 Course 1 undergraduates investigates the atmospheric pollutant mix emitted by the active Hawaiian shield volcano Kilauea. In coordination with the 2012 and 2013 expeditions of TREX, the group of students and 11 CEE affiliates carried out real-time measurements of the key chemical components from Kilauea’s volcanic plume to reveal two fundamental features: a strong dependence of sulfur partitioning on meteorology and time of day, and highly acidic particles. “Given that millions of people live close to volcanoes globally, it is important to understand plume chemistry before we can characterize the impact that the emissions have on human health and the environment,” said Course 1 undergraduate participant in the 2013 trip Sidhant Pai ‘14. “The work done by TREX is an important step in that direction.” Read the MIT News Story.

Twitter Chat with Markus: Q&A for Prospective Course 1 Undergraduate Students

April 3, 2015

Photo: Twitter ChatJoin us on April 14 for a special Q&A forum on Twitter, hosted by CEE Department Head Markus Buehler. From 1-2 pm, Markus and a panel of undergraduate students will participate in a Twitter chat that consists of a series of commonly asked student questions. We invite all prospective Course 1 students interested to learn more about the undergraduate program to watch the chat using the hash tag #ONEatmit and to take advantage of this unique opportunity to ask the department head Course 1-related questions. Follow Markus on Twitter (@ProfBuehlerMIT), as well as the department (@MIT_CEE).

Inaugural Clean Earth Hackathon

April 3, 2015

Photo: Clean Earth HackathonOn April 17-19, CEE and Sustainability at MIT will team up to host the debut of the Clean Earth Hackathon – a new student-run initiative that provides a unique opportunity for students or young professionals to devise sustainable practices and find real solutions for a positive environmental impact. On Friday, the attending industry and academic representatives will pose real-world environmental challenges for the participants to tackle throughout the weekend. At the conclusion of the event, the teams will showcase their solution to a panel of faculty judges, and prizes will be awarded in each of the four categories: Natural resource management; mobility in the modern world; environmentally conscious design; and re-fueling the next generation. “This is an exciting new initiative that will engage many members of the MIT community,” wrote Professor Markus Buehler, CEE Department Head. “The signup of well over one hundred participants reflects MIT’s potential to make a difference in addressing critical challenges.” For the full event schedule and more details, please see here

Distinguished Speaker on the Theory of Explosive Fragmentation

April 3, 2015

Photo: Dr. Emmanuel VillermauxIn the second installment of the CEE Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS), Professor Emmanuel Villermaux discussed the theory of fragmentation in relation to the forced radial expansion of a spherical liquid shell, or bubble. Providing a widespread explanation of the fragmentation process, Villermaux’s stimulating lecture drew in a full audience on the evening of Monday, March 30. “You want to disaggregate something, which is cohesive, and then you wonder what the fragments will be,” Villermaux prefaced his lecture. “The concept I will discuss concerns all the phenomenon where cohesive forces compete with disaggregation forces.” For details on the next DSS event, please see the website.