Department of

Civil and Environmental Engineering



December 14, 2011

Peggy Johnson

Peggy Johnson, Head and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been selected to receive the ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute Margaret S. Petersen Outstanding Woman of the Year Award based on exemplary EWRI leadership, outstanding contributions to her profession via her academic career, and mentorship of young people, especially women, pursuing a water-related technical career. She will be presented the award during a ceremony in May, 2012, at the EWRI World Congress in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


November 16, 2011

This past summer, a group of 38 students and faculty from Penn State and Jiagnan University journeyed to Lake Taihu in Wuxi, China, as part of a united research effort to study the country's third largest freshwater lake. For the team, it was a sobering look at the price China has paid for its meteoric economic growth and expansion.

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November 15, 2011

The Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations office has recognized the workplace excellence of three exceptional Penn State engineering students with 2011 Student of the Year awards for outstanding achievement in co-op and internship positions.

The Anita M. Todd Internship Student of the Year Award is awarded annually to students who show high levels of personal motivation and talent in their short-term professional work assignments. One of this year's recipients is Michael Burkentine.

Michael Burkentine, a senior majoring in civil engineering, worked at The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company. Mr. Burkentine introduced the use of the iPad to improve construction project efficiency and effectiveness in the field and trained project managers to use the device. Mr. Burkentine’s nomination was supported by Theodore Border of Whiting-Turner with faculty support from Andrew Scanlon.

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November 1, 2011

Maria Lopez de Murphy, associate professor of civil engineering, was elected a fellow of the American Concrete Institute (ACI).

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October 27, 2011

James Palmer, civil engineering undergraduate and Schreyer Honors student, has been awarded a scholarship from the Highway Education Foundation, sponsored by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors. His proposed solution to the intersection of SR 322 and SR 144 near Potters Mills to the Transportation Infrastructure Solution Scholarship contest was named "Best Entry".

October 21, 2011

The D. R. F. Harleman Memorial Lecture in Water Resources originally scheduled for Thursday, October 27, 2011 has been postponed.

October 11, 2011

Two students and two professors from the College of Engineering are part of the 2011 Homecoming court. Athena Abate and William Sheehan were both elected to the student court. Enrique Gomez and Paul Lynch were elected to the university court. Voting for the 2011 Homecoming king and queen will take place Oct. 10-14 during Homecoming week.

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October 11, 2011

How well do we predict floods?

When the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped more rain on the already saturated Northeast U.S., the result was the Susquehanna River's worst flooding in nearly 40 years. Given that floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, could we be doing more to predict them and safeguard flood-prone communities?

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October 11, 2011

Michael Gooseff, associate professor of civil engineering, is one of 65 engineering educators selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering's third Frontiers of Engineering Education symposium.

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October 5, 2011

Penn State's student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will host a career fair and mixer on Oct. 10 and 11. The mixer with employers will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 10, at the Days Inn Penn State at 240 S. Pugh St. in State College, Pa. The career fair will be held from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Days Inn Penn State. More information on both events can be found at or via email at

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October 3, 2011

Civil Engineering news makers: Bruce Logan, Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering, is interviewed on WPSU on using wastewater and saltwater to create energy. See the interview from WPSU:
Paul Jovanis, Professor of Civil Engineering, has an article about his major study on driving habits in the Centre Daily Times. Read the full article from the Centre Daily Times:

September 27, 2011

The American Concrete Institute will honor Andrew Scanlon, professor of civil engineering, with a four part symposium and reception at the ACI Fall 2011 Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, in October, 2011.

The Andrew Scanlon Symposium on Serviceability and Safety of Concrete Structures: From Theory to Practice, Parts 1-4, will cover issues related to serviceability and safety of concrete structures from both a theoretical and design perspective. Part one will be held Oct. 16, parts two and three will be held Oct. 17, and part four will be held Oct. 18. Presentations will be delivered by individuals from the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and Korea who have worked closely with Scanlon in his areas of interest. Peer reviewed papers from the symposium will be published in a Special Publication (SP) of the American Concrete Institute.

The Reception in Honor of Andrew Scanlon will take place from 6 - 7 p.m. Oct. 17. The convention will be held at the Millennium Hotel and Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati.

September 14, 2011

Michael Gooseff, associate professor of civil engineering, is the second recipient of the annual Harry West Award for the Advancement of Civil and Environmental Education. Mike is working with the College of Engineering Leonhard Center for Enhancement of Engineering Education to develop, apply and share the use of scaffolding techniques in teaching engineering courses. Scaffolding is a learning technique that supports student learning by providing additional resources to students as they solve problems. The goals of using scaffolding modules are to enhance student learning and indirectly enhance student problem solving skills.

September 13, 2011

Four engineers named part of 2011 homecoming court, including Will Sheehan, civil engineering undergraduate.

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August 23, 2011

Ice and frozen ground at the North and South Poles are affected by climate-change-induced warming, but the consequences of thawing at each pole differ due to the geography and geology, according to a Penn State hydrologist.

"The polar regions, particularly the Arctic, are warming faster than the rest of the world," Michael N. Gooseff, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, told attendees Aug. 11, at the 96th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Austin, Texas. "As a consequence, polar ecosystems respond directly to changes in the earth systems at the poles."

Read the full story on Penn State Live:

August 11, 2011

Dr. Rachel Brennan will receive the prestigious McKee Groundwater Protection, Restoration, or Sustainable Use Award from the Water Environment Federation (WEF), an international not-for-profit technical and educational water quality organization. The award will be presented during a ceremony at the organization's 84th annual technical exhibition and conference this fall in Los Angeles, Calif.

The award recognizes significant contributions to groundwater science or engineering research published in a WEF or WEF member association periodical. Dr. Brennan and her co-authors Hua Cai, Alessia Eramo, Patrick Evans, and Rodney Fricke are being recognized for the article "In Situ Bioremediation of Perchlorate in Vadose Zone Soil Using Gaseous Electron Donors: Microcosm Treatability Study".

The research team will be honored during WEFTEC® 2011, the largest annual water quality conference and exhibition in the world. Thousands of the world's leading water quality experts and exhibiting companies are expected at the Los Angeles Convention Center from October 15-19, 2011.

For more information, visit

About WEF
Formed in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. WEF and its Member Associations proudly work to achieve our mission of preserving and enhancing the global water environment.

August 9, 2011

Michael Baker Corporation has appointed G. John Kurgan, P.E., chief operating officer of the company. In this new position, he will be responsible for the day-to-day operations and business development of the Company worldwide.

Read the full story printed in BusinessWire:


July 28, 2011

group photo Mohammadreza Sharafbayani, a Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering advised by Dr. Daniel Linzell, received the John W. Fisher Student Award at the 2011 New York City Bridge Conference in July. The award was for a paper entitled "Web Plumb Influence on Skewed I-Girder, Steel Bridges during Construction" and consisted of a plaque and cash prize. Mohammadreza's Ph.D. research focuses on the influence of horizontal curvature on distortional fatigue susceptibility in plate girder bridges.

Pictured from l to r: Dr. John Fisher, Mohammadreza Sharafbayani and Dr. Linzell


July 19, 2011

Daniel Linzell, Shaw Professor of Civil Engineering, is featured in a Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology Daily Buzz Podcast discussing the use of iPads in an engineering classroom. The podcast can be found at

July 18, 2011

Dan Linzell Daniel Linzell, professor of civil engineering, has been named the inaugural John A. and Harriette K. Shaw Professor of Civil Engineering

The endowment is named in honor of Altoona natives John A. Shaw, a 1929 civil engineering alumnus, and his wife Harriette.

Linzell has been a member of the Penn State faculty for more than 11 years and directs the department's Protective Technology Center. He also oversaw the Thomas D. Larson Transportation Institute's Transportation Infrastructure Program and was an adviser to the Penn State student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Linzell continues to serve as the ASCE student steel bridge team's co-adviser.

His main research centers on bridge engineering and force protection and structural hardening. He has taught courses in the civil engineering and architectural engineering departments focused on engineering mechanics, structural analysis, steel design and building design.

Linzell holds memberships in a number of professional organizations including the ASCE, Structural Stability Research Council (SSRC), Structural Engineering Institute and Transportation Research Board (TRB).

Read the full story on Penn State Engineering News:

July 12, 2011

Construction Management CEO Named BRAVA! Women Business Achievement Award Winner
Janet Cunningham Janet B. Cunningham, P. E. President and founder of the construction management firm, JBC Associates, Inc., has been named a BRAVA! Women Business Achievement Award winner by Philadelphia SmartCEO magazine. The BRAVA! Awards recognize the contributions of 25 female CEO's who not only grow successful companies, but also are actively involved in giving back to the community.

Cunningham started her construction management firm in 1988, as its sole employee, based on her philosophy of doing your professional best and treating others with respect. Today, JBC is one of Pennsylvania's largest and most respected women-owned professional construction management firms. Her philosophy has served her well as the firm has averaged over 20% growth per year for the last 23 years.

A selection committee of area business leaders was tasked with choosing the top 25 CEO's based on their business, personal and philanthropic accomplishments. On July 21, 2011, SmartCEO will recognize the winning CEO's from the Greater Philadelphia area during a private reception held at The Merion, in Cinnaminson, New Jersey.

This year's group of female CEO's boasts $2.6 billion in collective revenues and manages more than 6,300 employees in the Greater Philadelphia area. "These women are impressive and inspiring. I am honored to recognize such dynamic, passionate community leaders for a second year here in Philadelphia," says Craig Burris, Publisher of SmartCEO magazine.

The BRAVA! Award winners are profiled in the July 2011 issue of Philadelphia SmartCEO magazine which is shared with over 15,000 local business leaders in the Philadelphia area. Each winner is also featured in the digital edition of the magazine.

SmartCEO magazine is a regional publication specifically designed to deliver innovative ideas, guiding advice and forward-thinking insight about the challenges of running a "growing company." Each month more than 50,000 readers in the Mid-Atlantic region turn to the pages of SmartCEO for features, case-study advice and trend analysis.

JBC Associates, Inc. is a professional construction management firm headquartered in King of Prussia, PA. The firm provides project management, construction management including CPM scheduling, construction inspection, contract administration, and dispute resolution services to government, institutional, and private sector clients as well as construction and A-E consultant firms.

June 28, 2011

Bruce Logan, Kappe professor of environmental engineering at Penn State, has been named a fellow of the Water Environment Federation.

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June 15, 2011

Rachel Brennan, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, has been awarded a patent for "Mine Influenced Water Remediation using Bioremediation Substrate" (Patent No. US 7,959,806 B2). This patent describes a new and improved method for treating mine influenced water or other environmental contamination using chitin complex-containing materials. Application of these materials modifies the pH and reductive-oxidation potential of the contaminated zone to facilitate metal removal through biological, chemical, and/or physical processes.


June 14, 2011

Maria Lopez, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, has been invited by the National Science Foundation to serve as a member of a Committee of Visitors for the Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE). A Committee of Visitors (COV) provides NSF with an independent review of the integrity of the merit-review system for evaluating proposals, as well as an assessment of program management.

A description of the NSF COV process and copies of recent OISE COV reports and management responses are provided on the following web site: Information on OISE programs and activities can be found here:


June 8, 2011

Douglas Thompson (BSCE, '93) has been recognized by PennDOT by receiving the Star of Excellence Award, their highest honor. He was recognized for his dedication to efficiency, safety and serving as a constant example for other employees.

The complete article is published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

June 3, 2011

Dr. Chris Hendrickson from Carnegie Mellon, an NAE member and renowned expert in Environmental LCA, will present a talk on "Green Design and Environmental Life Cycle Assessment for Sustainable Engineering" on June 24. The talk will provide an overview of green design and environmental life cycle assessment approaches used by the presenter. Examples of power tool remanufacturing, solid state lighting and Marcellus Shale natural gas production will be presented to illustrate the different approaches.

Chris Hendrickson is the Duquesne Light Company Professor of Engineering and Co-Director of the Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. His research, teaching and consulting are in the general area of engineering planning and management, including design for the environment, project management, transportation systems, finance and computer applications. Prof. Hendrickson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineering, an Emeritus Member of the Transportation Research Board and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


June 1, 2011

Dr. Prasenjit Basu has been awarded the Institution of Civil Engineers' (ICE) Telford Premium Award for his paper "Basu, P., Basu, D. and Prezzi, M. (2010). Analysis of PVD-enhanced Consolidation with Soil Disturbance, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Ground Improvement 163, November 2010, Issue GI4, Pages 237–249, doi: 10.1680/grim.2010.163.4.237”. The Telford Premium Award is awarded worldwide by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) to a maximum of the four best papers in all Civil Engineering journals published by ICE. This year, the award ceremony will be held at ICE in London on October 24.


April 27, 2011

Three engineering students, including Civil Engineering junior Kanupriya Samarendra, receive recognition at the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) banquet held April 17, 2011.

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April 21, 2011

Steel Bridge Team


The ASCE Student Chapter's Steel Bridge Team has placed 3rd at Regionals and are headed to the ASCE/AISC National competition at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas on May 20.

Senior Bob Flanagan heads the team and Jeffrey Laman is faculty adviser. To learn more about the competition, visit the AISC's nssbc web site at


April 20, 2011

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in the fields within the NSF's mission. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research.

Three graduate students from Civil & Environmental Engineering were recently named winners of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship; Jessica Grembi, Allison Truhlar and Rachel Urban.

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April 12, 2011

Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) has selected Joshua Kollat's dissertation as Best Dissertation in the Natural Science and Engineering Category in the 2011 UCOWR Ph.D. Dissertation Award competition. Josh has been invited to present at the 2011 UCOWR/NIWR Conference in Boulder, Colorado, July 11-14.

April 7, 2011

Professor Emeritus H. Randolph Thomas has recently been elected an ASCE Fellow in recognition of his continued support to ASCE and the civil engineering profession.

April 1, 2011

Andrew Scanlon, Professor of Civil Engineering and Hankin Chair of Residential Building Construction, received the Delmar L. Bloem Distinguished Service Award of the American Concrete Institute (ACI). Dr. Scanlon was recognized for his outstanding leadership of ACI committee 435: Deflection of Concrete Building Structures. The award was announced during the spring 2011 convention of ACI at Tampa, Florida.

March 3, 2011

Registration is now open for the fifth annual Jeremy Herbstritt Memorial 5k Run/Walk, which honors the Penn State engineering alumnus who died at the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007. The race will take place April 20 on Penn State's University Park Campus. Registration is $15 for adults before April 1. After that, registration is $20 for adults and $8 for children ages 10 and under. Participants may register online at

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February 28, 2011

Christa Kelleher, a Ph.D. student in civil engineering, has been awarded a Pathfinder Graduate Student Fellowship by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI). She will use the fellowship to travel to and collaborate with researchers at the Montana State University, combining field work with hydrological modeling to better understand headwater catchment behavior. In her Ph.D., Christa assesses controls on the hydrology of headwater basins across the United States under current and future conditions.

February 28, 2011

Rachel Brennan, assistant professor, has won the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society (PSEAS) Outstanding Teaching Award. The award recognizes and rewards outstanding engineering educators for excellence in teaching and for contributions to the art of teaching. These teaching awards are established to confer honor on individuals whose inspiration and contributions to learning are truly memorable.

February 2, 2011

The Moles Recognize Pair of ARTBA Members. Bob Alger, president and CEO of The Lane Construction Company in Meriden, Conn., was honored January 26 at the annual Moles award dinner for outstanding achievement in construction. Alger currently serves as the vice president of ARTBA’s Contractors Division. Lane Construction is currently a partner on the largest transportation project ever let in the U.S., the $1.35 billion Capital Beltway HOT Lanes project in Northern Virginia. Also honored for outstanding achievement was Peter O. Shea, executive vice president of ARTBA member firm J.F. Shea Co., Inc., based in Walnut, Calif. The heritage of his company stretches back over 100 years and includes participation in the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Interstate Highway System and the Hoover Dam. The Moles is a fraternal organization composed of individuals now or formerly engaged in the construction of tunnel, subway, sewer, foundation, marine, sub-aqueous or other heavy construction.

February 2, 2011

Douglas Call, doctoral candidate in environmental engineering, has been selected as an award recipient for the Alumni Association Dissertation ward for 2010-2011.

February 2, 2011

Fang Zhang, doctoral candidate in environmental engineering, has been selected as a winner of the American Chemical Society's Graduate Student Award for 2011.

January 21, 2011

Corbett Taps Civil Engineering Alum to Head PennDOT
Barry Schoch Newly inaugurated Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has nominated a Penn State civil engineering alumnus to head the state’s Department of Transportation.

Barry Schoch is a vice president at McCormick Taylor Inc., a transportation engineering and planning company. He received his bachelor’s from Penn State in 1982. Schoch, 50, has served as a consultant to PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike for 15 years.

He began his career with the Delaware Department of Transportation and worked with two private-sector firms before joining McCormick Taylor in 1995.

The DuBois native has served as the president of the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association, chair of the American Consulting Engineering Council of Pennsylvania’s transportation committee, transportation chair for the Design Professionals Coalition and a member of the Delaware Transportation Trust Fund Task Force.

He currently resides in Camp Hill.

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