Prof. Oral Buyukozturk Receives Hojjat Adeli Award for Innovation in Computing

June 11th, 2021News

Professor Oral Buyukozturk received the 2020 Hojjat Adeli Award for Innovation in Computing for his journal paper “Collaborative duty cycling strategies in energy harvesting sensor networks” published in the Journal of Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering. The paper was co-authored with James Long, MIT PhD ’17 and postdoc ‘20. In this manuscript, Buyukozturk and Long presented a comprehensive simulation that emulates the behavior of an energy harvesting sensor network, and used this simulation to develop monitoring strategies that maximize utility for civil infrastructure applications while minimizing energy consumption. The Hojjat Adeli Award for Innovation in Computing was established by Wiley-Blackwell [...]

Professor Oral Buyukozturk received the 2020 Hojjat Adeli Award for Innovation in Computing for his journal paper “Collaborative duty cycling strategies in energy harvesting sensor networks” published in the Journal of Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering. The paper was co-authored with James Long, MIT PhD ’17 and postdoc ‘20. In this manuscript, Buyukozturk and Long presented a comprehensive simulation that emulates the behavior of an energy harvesting sensor network, and used this simulation to develop monitoring strategies that maximize utility for civil infrastructure applications while minimizing energy consumption.

The Hojjat Adeli Award for Innovation in Computing was established by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing in 2010 and awarded annually to the most innovative paper published in the Journal of Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering. The journal is one of the most prestigious and highest-ranking journals in infrastructure computing.

Buyukozturk is a George Macomber Professor, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Director of the Laboratory for Infrastructure Science and Sustainability. He received his PhD in Structural Engineering from Cornell University and joined the MIT faculty in 1976.

+ More

Visualizing cement hydration on a molecular level

June 7th, 2021Research

Imaging technique could enable new pathways for reducing concrete’s hefty carbon footprint, as well as for 3-D printing of concrete. The concrete world that surrounds us owes its shape and durability to chemical reactions that start when ordinary Portland cement is mixed with water. Now, MIT scientists have demonstrated a way to watch these reactions under real-world conditions, an advance that may help researchers find ways to make concrete more sustainable. The study is a “Brothers Lumière moment for concrete science,” says co-author Franz-Josef Ulm, professor of civil and environmental engineering and faculty director of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, [...]

Imaging technique could enable new pathways for reducing concrete’s hefty carbon footprint, as well as for 3-D printing of concrete.

The concrete world that surrounds us owes its shape and durability to chemical reactions that start when ordinary Portland cement is mixed with water. Now, MIT scientists have demonstrated a way to watch these reactions under real-world conditions, an advance that may help researchers find ways to make concrete more sustainable.

The study is a “Brothers Lumière moment for concrete science,” says co-author Franz-Josef Ulm, professor of civil and environmental engineering and faculty director of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, referring to the two brothers who ushered in the era of projected films. Likewise, Ulm says, the MIT team has provided a glimpse of early-stage cement hydration that is like cinema in Technicolor compared to the black and white photos of earlier research.

Cement in concrete contributes about 8 percent of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions, rivaling the emissions produced by most individual countries. With a better understanding of cement chemistry, scientists could potentially “alter production or change ingredients so that concrete has less of an impact on emissions, or add ingredients that are capable of actively absorbing carbon dioxide,” says Admir Masic, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.

Next-generation technologies like 3D printing of concrete could also benefit from the study’s new imaging technique, which shows how cement hydrates and hardens in place, says Masic Lab graduate student Hyun-Chae Chad Loh, who also works as a materials scientist with the company Black Buffalo 3D Corporation.

Loh is the first author of the study published in ACS Langmuir, joining Ulm, Masic, and postdoc Hee-Jeong Rachel Kim.

Read the full article on MIT News

+ More

CEE Awards and Honors 2021

June 3rd, 2021News

Today, the annual CEE Award recipients were announced during a virtual ceremony. Congratulations to all the students, postdocs, faculty and staff for their outstanding work, exceptional achievement and commitment to the values and mission of the department. UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT AWARDS CEE Best Undergraduate Research Award - Jarek Kwiecinski The Juan Hermosilla (1957) Prize .- Luke Bastian The Leo (Class of 1924) and Mary Grossman Award -Aron Brenner The Paul L. Busch (1958) Prize - Selma Sharaf GRADUATE STUDENT AWARDS CEE Best Doctoral Thesis - Isabelle Su The Trond Kaalstad (Class of 1957) Fellowship - Annika Gomez Maseeh Annual Award for [...]

Today, the annual CEE Award recipients were announced during a virtual ceremony. Congratulations to all the students, postdocs, faculty and staff for their outstanding work, exceptional achievement and commitment to the values and mission of the department.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT AWARDS

CEE Best Undergraduate Research Award – Jarek Kwiecinski

The Juan Hermosilla (1957) Prize .- Luke Bastian

The Leo (Class of 1924) and Mary Grossman Award –Aron Brenner

The Paul L. Busch (1958) Prize – Selma Sharaf

GRADUATE STUDENT AWARDS

CEE Best Doctoral Thesis – Isabelle Su

The Trond Kaalstad (Class of 1957) Fellowship – Annika Gomez

Maseeh Annual Award for Excellence as a Teaching Assistant – Linda Seymour

POSTDOCTORAL AWARDS

CEE Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring, Teaching and Excellence Award –Matti Gralka

STAFF AWARDS

CEE Excellence AwardKathleen Briana & Bori Stoyanova

FACULTY AWARDS

Maseeh Excellence in Teaching Award – Prof. Josephine Carstensen

Distinguished Service and Leadership Award – Prof. Markus Buehler

MIT SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AWARDS

Henry Ford II Scholar Award – Jarek Kwiecinski

Infinite Mile Award – Roberta Pizzinato

The Ellen J. Mandigo AwardVicki Murphy

To see past award winners and learn more about the award categories, visit: https://cee.mit.edu/cee-awards/

+ More

A new ocean soundscape

May 24th, 2021Graduate Profile

MIT-WHOI Joint Program student turns ocean data into tunes When you think of the sounds of the ocean, you might think of waves pounding on the shore or the call of a humpback whale. But can the ocean create music? In a sense, it can. Noah Germolus, a third-year MIT-WHOI Joint Program chemical oceanography student, converts chemical data he’s gathered in the ocean into musical notes he plays on his tenor sax. His original compositions are not only interesting to the ear, but offer a unique window into the chemical makeup of different areas of the ocean. The idea grew [...]

MIT-WHOI Joint Program student turns ocean data into tunes

When you think of the sounds of the ocean, you might think of waves pounding on the shore or the call of a humpback whale. But can the ocean create music?

In a sense, it can. Noah Germolus, a third-year MIT-WHOI Joint Program chemical oceanography student, converts chemical data he’s gathered in the ocean into musical notes he plays on his tenor sax. His original compositions are not only interesting to the ear, but offer a unique window into the chemical makeup of different areas of the ocean.

The idea grew out of Synergy II, a volunteer-based program aimed at conveying ocean science through artistic expression. For the program, Germolus paired up with a former museum director and contemporary artist, Heather Stivison. They are working together on a four-painting exhibit that Germolus describes as “expressively representative” of ocean chemistry.

“Working with Heather got me looking at art a bit differently,” he says. “But I’m not a visual artist, so I wanted to stimulate a different sense and turn the same data that was used to inspire the paintings into music.”

Germolus is passionate about music and has played in rock bands as a saxophone player and singer since his undergrad days. He’s also had a long-time fascination with chemistry, something that stems from his own realization that chemicals are essential to the life of every living cell.

“Music and chemistry complement each other, and this project is probably the only time I’ve tried to so explicitly connect the two things,” he says. “I’ve tried writing lyrics about chemistry before, but believe me: they were either hopelessly obtuse or tiringly pedantic.”

Read more in Oceanus Magazine on the Woods Hole Oceangraphic Institution.

Learn more about the CEE joint graduate program with WHOI

+ More

New study examines topology optimization of rigid interlocking assemblies

May 17th, 2021Research

Building materials and construction is growing and responsible for 11 percent of carbon emissions. How can we design and build better materials and structures that can reduce emissions and have better impacts on the environment? These are some of the questions being investigated in the top+ad lab of Assistant Professor, Josephine Carstensen, where topology optimization design methods are examined to leverage new and improved manufacturing possibilities. Carstensen’s latest research examines the complex challenge of using topology optimization for the design process of rigid interlocking assemblies to lock components into place without use of adhesives or fasteners such as mortar, glue, [...]

Building materials and construction is growing and responsible for 11 percent of carbon emissions. How can we design and build better materials and structures that can reduce emissions and have better impacts on the environment? These are some of the questions being investigated in the top+ad lab of Assistant Professor, Josephine Carstensen, where topology optimization design methods are examined to leverage new and improved manufacturing possibilities.

Carstensen’s latest research examines the complex challenge of using topology optimization for the design process of rigid interlocking assemblies to lock components into place without use of adhesives or fasteners such as mortar, glue, bolts, nails or screws. Examples of rigid interlocks can be found in timber framing, constructed globally and throughout history, in both building and furniture carpentry. For the example of building and designing with wood, most traditional interlocking connections have straight edges that can be manually cut by saws and chisels. According to the study, these straight edge requirements leave a large range of unexplored design options. With the recent rapid development of manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing and CNC machining, the design and performance of rigid interlocking assemblies for various applications have gained renewed relevance, interest, and development potential.

You can read more about the study on Science Direct website.

+ More

Tackling air pollution in India and the developing world

May 12th, 2021Graduate Profile

PhD student Sidhant Pai works on atmospheric chemistry models that may help policymakers improve air quality in their region. “I grew up with asthma as a kid, so bad air quality holds a visceral significance for me,” says Sidhant (Sid) Pai ’14, who spent much of his childhood in Pune, India. Located about 90 miles southwest of Mumbai, the city’s population has mushroomed over the past few decades, creating significant waste management concerns and poor air quality. Witnessing these unintended consequences of development and urbanization has shaped Pai’s interests in environmental engineering — first as an undergraduate at MIT and [...]

PhD student Sidhant Pai works on atmospheric chemistry models that may help policymakers improve air quality in their region.

“I grew up with asthma as a kid, so bad air quality holds a visceral significance for me,” says Sidhant (Sid) Pai ’14, who spent much of his childhood in Pune, India. Located about 90 miles southwest of Mumbai, the city’s population has mushroomed over the past few decades, creating significant waste management concerns and poor air quality. Witnessing these unintended consequences of development and urbanization has shaped Pai’s interests in environmental engineering — first as an undergraduate at MIT and now as a graduate student.

“I’ve been fortunate to live in areas with relatively good air quality, but air pollution results in over a million premature deaths in India every year, heavily impacting under-served communities that live in the most polluted regions,” he says. “That’s what makes studying regional air quality in India an important and potentially impactful space.” Pai’s doctoral work is broadly motivated by his passion for human-centered environmental problem-solving.

That passion inspired him to found a social enterprise project, called Protoprint, in Pune after he finished his bachelor’s degree at MIT in 2014. The organization works collaboratively with a waste-picker cooperative, using low-cost and decentralized technology interventions to upcycle waste plastic. Protoprint provides a market-driven solution to augment waste-picker incomes while also increasing profitable recycling avenues for the city.

Pai is particularly interested in exploring translational science related to air quality and climate. “I tend to be pretty scattered in my interests,” he says laughing, “but I’m generally motivated by a sense that I’m contributing to a tangible problem that people actually care about — something that I can intuitively validate as important. I knew I wanted to work on air pollution and climate issues even as an undergrad, but felt like I needed to better understand the science if I was interested in contributing to solutions.”

Read more on MIT News

+ More