This interactive webinar provides participants with useful information for applying to and thriving in graduate school. Sessions are open to all students exploring the option of PhD studies in CEE at MITLed by Current CEE students and Graduate Officer, Professor Colette Heald
Future Leaders in CEE: Self-Healing Materials: Toward Smart and Adaptive Materials for the Environment
Unlike biological systems, most materials we use every day cannot recover from physical or chemical damage on their own. Self-healing materials are a class of materials that can do just this, but their development and application has mostly been limited to inert and moisture-free systems. This presentation will discuss the design of selfhealing materials for environmental applications using water filtration membranes as an example. Two different approaches to self-healing will be discussed. One approach is to embed microscopic capsules or capillary tubes within a material. These containers serve like a network of blood vessels that can deliver various healing agents. When a material is damaged, a “healant” that is loaded within this network flows out and reacts with the outside environment to solidify in place and seal the damage. The second approach relies on the capacity of polymeric chains or other molecules to diffuse, reorganize, and re-form bonds with one another. If at least part of the underlying covalent or secondary bonds that hold the material together can re-form easily after breaking, this will allow the material to recover from damage. In both of these approaches, factors to take into account when designing self-healing materials for other environmentally oriented applications in general will also be discussed. Finally, I will discuss my academic journey and share my experience navigating the start of a tenure-track faculty position. Dr. Getachew is an Assistant Professor in Environmental Engineering at Rice University. She completed her Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Yale University, where she developed the first autonomously self-healing water filtration membranes. She also holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (ABET) from Yale. Prior to joining Rice University, Dr. Getachew spent two years as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her current research focuses on understanding the performance of “smart materials” in the context of water treatment technologies and resilient water infrastructure.
Future Leaders in CEE: Can a deeper understanding of diversity improve engineering? Expanding engineering education through developing Contextual Social Awareness
The training of engineers often focuses on technical aspects, relegating the role of diversity and social issues to a second place. In this talk, Pérez argues for expanding our notions of engineering epistemologies and what it means to become an engineer. Recognizing the importance of acquiring disciplinary knowledge, she offers educators the merits of incorporating broader context in developing engineering solutions. To exemplify her approach, she presents how the hybrid use of technical and social dimensions in the engineering classroom frames design considerations in students. Drawing on sociocultural theories from the learning sciences, she shows the different aspects that participants ponder in their designs. Data sources include students’ responses to a problem scoping task before and after an engineering course on equity, diversity and culture. Using a mixed methods approach, her results suggest a statistically significant increase in students’ considerations of communities impacted by or involved in their designs (e.g., the role of segregation, the identities of engineers). She offers the construct of Contextual Social Awareness (CSA) to capture these changes. The study highlights the generative potential of contextualizing design and explicitly connecting social and technical aspects. It offers a pathway for students to develop a broader understanding of what it means to know engineering and to be an engineer. This work does not challenge the crucial role of acquiring technical knowledge but seeks to enrich engineering learning by bridging the diverse practices of the field and the communities. Greses Pérez is an Afro-Latina engineer, learning scientist and educator. She is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University in Science Education and Learning Sciences. Her research focuses on the role of language and cognition in engineering and science learning, particularly for Black and Brown students. In addition to her ongoing work on culturally relevant VR education, Greses combines interdisciplinary perspectives and mixed methodologies to investigate issues of diversity and inclusion in engineering. Before coming to Stanford, she was a bilingual educator at low-income elementary schools in Texas. Prior to starting her career in education, Greses was an engineer project manager in the Caribbean. She holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Santo Domingo Technological Institute, a M.Eng. in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, and a M.Ed. in School Leadership from Southern Methodist University. Her work seeks to improve education for students who experience a cultural mismatch between the ways of knowing and speaking in their communities and those in STEM.
Future Leaders in CEE: Towards Network-driven Human-centered Infrastructure Resilience & Sustainability
Speaker: Arif Mohaimin Sadri, PhD, EIT, Assistant Professor, Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure & Sustainability Florida International University Dr. Arif Sadri is an Assistant Professor in the Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure & Sustainability (MSCIS) at the Florida International University (FIU). Previously he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an Adjunct Professor in the Civil Engineering Dept. at the Valparaiso University. Dr. Sadri received his doctoral training from the Lyles School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University with a solid background in Civil Engineering (Transportation), Network Science, and Social Science. Dr. Sadri specializes in resilience engineering, evacuation modeling, shared mobility, social influence modeling, machine learning, agent-based modeling, and network modeling. Dr. Sadri's research focuses on the critical interdependence between social and infrastructure networks and integrates human proactive decision-making components into the civil infrastructure management challenges. Dr. Sadri develops human-centered and network-driven techniques that complement to the science of infrastructure resilience and sustainability. Dr. Sadri's research is currently funded by National Science Foundation (NSF), United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Dr. Sadri’s previous research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The complex topology of real networks allows network agents to change their functional behavior. Conceptual and methodological developments in network analysis have furthered our understanding of the effects of interpersonal environment on normative social influence and social engagement. Social influence occurs when network agents change behavior being influenced by others in the social network and this takes place in a multitude of varying disciplines. The overarching goal of this talk is to provide a holistic understanding and present novel techniques to explore how individuals are socially influenced, both on-line and off-line, while making shared- trips, interacting in respective communities, and communicating risk during extreme weather. The notion of influence is captured by quantifying the network effects on such decision-making and characterizing how information is exchanged between network agents. The methodologies and findings provide key insights into the implementation of targeted strategies for various user groups in day-to-day as well as crisis events based on their social network characteristics, properties, activities, and interactions. As part of fostering system sustainability and resilience to external shocks, the purpose of identifying influential network agents in co-dependent socio-physical systems will also be discussed. Based on real stories, the talk will conclude how diversity and inclusion activities can be leveraged through social networks and peer influence.
Speaker: Dr. Darcy G. Gordon, Instructor of Blended & Online Learning Initiatives, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Dr. Darcy G. Gordon will discuss how her lived experiences at the intersections of privilege and marginalization, specifically gender, race, and disability, have influenced her navigation of higher education and current work in digital learning. She will explore the ways her experiences in academia have shaped her as a scientist-educator and have led to the alignment of her efforts in digital education and inclusive teaching at MIT. Dr. Darcy G. Gordon is an Instructor of Blended & Online Learning Initiatives in the Department of Biology, and former postdoctoral associate here at MIT. Previously, she completed her Ph.D. at Boston University studying the behavioral ecology and neurobiology of social insects, and developed curricula for science outreach programs. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she completed her B.A. at Colgate University in Biology and M.S. at Illinois State University in Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. As a core member of the MITx Biology course development team, Dr. Gordon collaborates with faculty to enhance on-campus instruction through technology and build Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for worldwide use. In this role she blends her pedagogical and scientific expertise to foster authentic learning experiences online, including the creation of visual resources and assessments. As part of her work, she looks to research from the learning sciences to improve in-person, hybrid, and online learning experiences. Promoting accessible and inclusive teaching is both a personal and professional passion for Dr. Gordon. As a postdoctoral associate she co-developed an inclusive teaching workshop that reached a couple hundred MIT community members within one year. Working with the MITx Biology team, she is currently in the process of expanding the reach of this project by adapting this material into an online module.
Speaker: Dr. Jimi B. Oke, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst As our cities and communities continue to grow in complexity, smart solutions are required to promote accessibility, resilience and sustainability, particularly in mobility and energy networks. In this talk, I describe a novel study of over 300 cities which employs unsupervised learning to determine the driving factors of mobility and sustainability in today’s urban areas. From several of these typologies, we develop prototype cities to analyse how future automated mobility-on-demand outcomes vary by city type. The dynamics of an epidemic can also be investigated across typologies. I discuss an agent- and activity-based fully-mechanistic epidemiological model which simulates the propagation of COVID-19 in US typologies. In this ongoing study, we analyse the activity-specific scaling properties of the highly spatio-temporally resolved contact networks of city populations. Our findings provide insights for understanding urban epidemic propagation and effective mitigation strategies in cities. Finally, I will discuss my academic journey and share insights in navigating the tenure-track faculty application. Dr. Jimi B. Oke is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he directs the Networks for Accessibility, Sustainability and Resilience Laboratory. From 2016 to 2019, he was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Intelligent Transportation Systems Lab working on the MIT Energy Initiative’s Future Mobility Study. Dr. Oke received his MSE and PhD in Civil Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied from 2012 to 2016. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Oke taught mathematics at The Pennington School after graduating from Williams College with majors in Physics and Music in 2010. His current research interests lie in advancing big data, machine learning and network science for energy-efficient, smart and resilient communities.
Speaker: Misty De Berry, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Literature; & Program in Women’s and Gender Studies Weaving together her experiences as an artist and scholar in the academy—where she literally grew up on her mother’s lap, Dr. De Berry explores the paradox of diversity. Although acts of diversity are worth celebrating, she asserts, we ought to return our attention continually to what such acts may also obscure. In the second part of the conversation, through gentle movement exercises and guided writing prompts, Dr. De Berry shares insights from her current project which takes up the relationship between structures of debt and the use of everyday aesthetics in the lives of Black women. She argues that institutional apparatuses like diversity or debt are embodied everyday performances. Taken by how such routine behavior can harm the lives of Black women, she asks how might we engage everyday behavior—from individual breath, movement, and perception, to collective care and the sharing of space—in order to re-imagine alternative modes of collectivity, inclusion, and social redress?
Future Leaders in CEE: From subsonic to supersonic: a site-specific study of single microparticle impact bonding
Speaker: Alade Ahmed Tiamiyu, MSc, PhD, EIT, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, DMSE, MIT From a humble background, the journey from the city of Lagos, Nigeria to Canada, and then, USA, will be discussed. I will highlight the unique challenges faced in the process leading to my current position and how I overcome them. The talk will be capped up by addressing Diversity and Inclusion from a small-scale family-model point of view. Cold spray is a fast-growing solid-state coating process with a high deposition rate that has been attracting industrial interest in the last decade. It involves the acceleration of solid powder particles at supersonic speed to impact and adhere to a substrate or previously deposited particles, forming coats. This unique technique is used to mitigate corrosion by depositing more noble materials of superior corrosion resistance on metallic substrates. It can also be used for in situ repairs of cracks, restoration/remanufacturing of unserviceable engineering/aeronautical components or corroded parts that are in service; making them reusable and in turn, save the cost of buying new products. For bonding to occur during cold spray, the impact velocity of the particle, must reach and exceed a critical velocity, and an intimate metal-metal clean contact must be achieved between the metal lattices. To expand the wide-spread application of cold spray to unconventional areas, the underlying mechanism of metal-metal bonding must be unearthed. Till date, the mechanism of bonding is under debate due to the difficulty in experimental observation of microparticle impacts that only span nanoseconds. In this talk, the major advances made in unravelling events that lead to bonding by studying single particle impacts from subsonic to supersonic regimes will be highlighted. Microstructural evolution at the particle-substrate interface will also be discussed.
Future Leaders in CEE: Transit User Mode Choice Behavior in Response to Rapid Transit Service Disruption
The Department of Civil and Environmental (CEE) Engineering at MIT has initiated a monthly seminar series to foster diversity and inclusion. Speakers from diverse backgrounds who are highly successful in their careers will give a talk about their journey to achieve success and their research. The goal of this initiative is to address the relative lack of representation of certain minority groups and to present examples of those who were able to overcome unique challenges. The format is that each speaker will present a two-part seminar - one part of the seminar will be an overview of their research, and another part of the seminar will be how they navigated through various challenges associated with diversity, equity, and inclusion in their careers. Speaker: Teddy Lin, MASc, EIT Transportation Planner at IBI Group Disruption of transit service is a common occurrence in many cities around the world, and these incidents may have serious impacts on the transit user’s journey. The purpose of this study is to investigate transit user commuting mode choice in response to rapid transit service disruption in the City of Toronto. A joint Revealed Preference and Stated Preference survey is designed to gather information on the respondent’s actual response to the most recent service disruption and also responses under a set of hypothetical service disruption scenarios. A transit trip planner tool is developed to generate alternative transit options to avoid the disrupted segment. Econometric models are presented, including a joint RP-SP model, showing that the following factors, in addition to travel time and cost, are significant at 95% confidence: frequency of subway trip, trip purpose, subway delay, shuttle bus delay, weather, age, and income. Policy implications are also discussed. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important to leverage the full range of talent and skills and to realize the full potential of collective research advancement and education. Canada is a welcoming place that fully embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this talk, the speaker will discuss how he has overcome challenges throughout his journey and how diversity, equity, and inclusion has shaped his life.
Future Leaders in CEE: Emission Characterization and Criteria for Remediation of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Lower-Income Public Schools
Join the MIT Civil and Environmental Department for its Future Leaders in CEE: Supporting research, career development, diversity, equity and inclusion seminar series that brings together speakers from diverse backgrounds who are considered future leaders in STEM and civil and environmental engineering to share their journey to achieve success. This month's speaker is PhD candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa, Moala Keshei Bannavti Seminar topic: Emission Characterization and Criteria for Remediation of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Lower-Income Public Schools In a school, airborne polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) exposure may come from multiple sources. We hypothesized that there are both Aroclor (historic) and non-Aroclor (modern) sources within a single school and that PCB concentration and congener profiles differ among rooms within a single building. To evaluate this hypothesis and to identify potential localized sources, we measured airborne PCBs in nine schoolrooms. School room concentrations and congener profiles statistically varied from one room to another. Rooms in the oldest wing of the building, constructed between 1920 and 1970, had the highest PCB concentrations. The congener distributions indicate historic use of Aroclor 1254 as well as modern sources of non-Aroclor congeners associated with paint pigments and surface coatings. Our findings suggest this noninvasive source identification method presents an opportunity for targeted source testing for more cost-effective prioritization of materials remediation in schools, making PCB remediation more accessible for disadvantaged school districts. About the Presenter: Moala is a PhD candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa, studying room-to-room variation and remediation of polychlorinated biphenyls in minority-predominant, low-income public schools. As a first generation Cameroonian immigrant raised in urban NJ, Moala identifies first-hand with the issues in minority predominant low-income school districts and is determined to bridge the gap in environmental justice experienced by those of low socioeconomic status. Please email Stephanie at email@example.com if you would like to attend.