Dr. Michael Barber is Professor and Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CvEEN) at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has over 30 years of experience in hydrology and water resources working in academics and in private consulting. His responsibilities include administering the CvEEN Department, teaching water-related classes, advising and supervising undergraduate and graduate students, mentoring and publishing technical papers and reports. Dr. Barber's research has field investigations and numerical modeling studies of water, nutrients, and primary productivity in rivers and lakes with focus on estimating consumptive use requirements, stream¬groundwater interaction, climate change implications, and human adaptation. He is currently working on investigation of climate change and land development impacts on water quantity and quality, using remote sensing techniques to determine crop water requirements at the watershed scale, and improving water security in Pakistan. Michael is very involved in multi-stakeholder projects where consensus building and information transfer are vital components of the research.
Dr. Roshina Babu joined the University of Utah Asia Campus in January 2020 as an Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She has more than eight years of experience teaching undergraduate courses in Engineering Mechanics, Strength of Materials, and Structural Analysis. Her research interests are biomimetic structures, groundwater management in small islands, saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers, and managed aquifer recharge. Her recent research focused on the groundwater resources of Tonga, a Pacific Island country, and the development of its smart groundwater management system. In addition to research interests, Dr. Babu is passionate about teaching undergraduate students and developing classroom pedagogy.
Dr. Bartlett is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Utah and has 25 years of design and construction experience working with Westinghouse, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Utah Department of Transportation Research Division and the University of Utah. Currently, he is an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Utah, but is currently teaching at the University of Utah Asia Campus. His specialty areas are in geotechnical earthquake engineering, light-weight embankment construction (EPS Geofoam), foundation stabilization, geotechnical instrumentation, strong ground motion monitoring and assessment and mapping of liquefaction-induced ground failure. His research interests are in the development, design and long-term performance monitoring of construction technologies for transportation systems and infrastructure with an emphasis on rapid construction techniques, improving seismic resiliency and risk and vulnerability assessments. His teaching interests include computer aided design, soil dynamics and intermediate civil environmental engineering.
Dr. Steve Burian seeks to inspire others to solve the water challenges of the 21st century with his passionate and engaged approach to teaching and research. In teaching, Dr. Burian applies project-based learning to address critical local and global water problems. His research group seeks to improve the resiliency and sustainability of water systems working in partnership with local stakeholders, such as Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities, and supported by national funding agencies. Dr. Burian encourages CVEEN students to “Be positive, make friends, have fun, and visit your professors regularly for help.”
Dr. Edward Cazalas is an Assistant Professor in the Nuclear Engineering Program within the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Utah. His research group (CAZ-RAD) works to understand the physics and engineering of nuclear and radiation interactions, tools, and instruments for radiation detector development, advancement of the field of dosimetry, and investigation of radiation effects. This work goes into application by supporting the fields of nuclear engineering, radiation and nuclear physics, nuclear security, and radiation damage and hardness effects in electronics.
Dr. Jianli Chen is an assistant professor in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department. He is devoted to improving the building and urban sustainability and resilience for the future smart city. Specifically, his research focus on the building energy and airflow modeling, application of Artificial Intelligence and information technology for improved building and infrastructure smartness, building energy efficiency, and occupant behavior, comfort, and health. He works as an interdisciplinary researcher actively collaborating with experts from various fields. He teaches building construction courses within the department.
Dr. Ramesh Goel is an environmental professor in the CVEEN department. His teaching interests are courses that address environmental engineering and science related issues, such as: environmental engineering I, the environmental lab and bio process design. Dr. Goel’s research is focused on the application “omics” the importance of bacteriophages in engineer bioreactors and natural ecosystems, nutrient recovery from urban rest streams, as well as many other topics addressing the environmental and water. He encourages all CVEEN students to “work hard and to respect one another.”
Dr. Andy Hong teaches environmental engineering courses along with engineering economics and statistics. He seeks to apply innovative processes in contaminant issues, particularly for treatment of contaminated water, soil, and sediment, for which 10 US patents have been issued. Dr. Hong is currently working on applications of micro/nanobubbles for harmful algal blooms, bioenergy, and viral disinfection.
Dr. Luis Ibarra came to the U from Southwest Research Institute where he used finite element simulations and experimental tests to evaluate the mechanical response of engineered barriers for high-level radioactive waste. Dr. Ibarra is also registered professional engineer in Texas. His current research includes seismic performance of nuclear storage containers, seismic performance of Buckling Restrained Brace (BRB) frames, implementation of nonlinear dynamic capabilities in MOOSE software, and probabilistic risk assessment of nuclear components. His teaching interests include steel design, advanced topics, and structure loads and analysis.
Dr. Nickolas Jovanovic joined the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department Utah Asia Campus as an Professor (Lecturer) for the Fall 2020 Semester. Dr. Jovanovic has conducted research on various computational and mathematical techniques for solving mechanical and civil engineering problems on parallel supercomputers at Mathematics and Computer Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory and the Carderock Division of Naval Surface Warfare Center. He has also served as a Program Evaluator for ABET since 2010, and he has served in various roles within the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
Dr. Evert Lawton is the CVEEN department’s geotechnical engineering professor. His teaching interests includes: geotechnical engineering I, intro to foundations and soil improvement. Dr. Lawton focuses his time working with his graduate students on their research.
Dr. Joshua Lenart is an Associate Instructor with the Communication, Leadership, Ethics, and Research (CLEAR) Program at the University of Utah where he also received his Ph.D. in Writing and Rhetoric Studies and now teaches technical communication for the College of Engineering. His teaching expertise is in technical and professional communications, specifically: administrative and organizational writing, grant writing, teambuilding, and strategic communications. His research expertise focuses on natural resource management policy as it relates to landscape-scale impacts on wildlife habitat, hydrologic systems, community resilience, adaptation planning, and long-term land use conservation. His advice to CVEEN students is “Don’t view your education as simply training on your way to a job; instead use your time to school to learn and think broadly about your social connections and your place in the natural world. You have the rest of your life to work; take time in college to appreciate and enjoy being in college.”
Dr. Xiaoyue (Cathy) Liu is passionate about programming, computational analysis, and urban informatics. Dr. Liu's teaching and research is focused on sustainable transportation systems including public transit, managed lanes, large-scale transportation system modeling and simulation, GIS-based infrastructure asset management, network complexity of social sciences, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). She encourages all CVEEN students to "Engage in research activities with faculty, especially with the transportation group. There is a lot of research readily available and applied."
Dr. Nikola Markovic is currently working with his students to apply operations research and data science to analyze and improve transportation systems, as well as looking at the value of information in network models. Dr. Markovic's teaching interests include His research includes transportation methods and probability and statistics. His research focus is operations research and data science in transportation. Dr. Markovic encourages CVEEN students to "take as many programming and data science courses as you possibly can."
Dr. Emily Marron’s research and teaching interests are centered around environmental engineering, with a focus on contaminants in urban water systems. In particular, she is interested in evaluating the formation and fate of chemical compounds during drinking water treatment and advanced wastewater treatment for potable water reuse, with the goal of optimizing contaminant removal. Through her research, Dr. Marron aims to protect the health of humans and the environment, and to better manage water resources in the face of climate change.
Dr. Tara Mastren is a nuclear assistant professor in the CVEEN department. Her teaching and research interests are in nuclear medicine, which targets radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer and Alzheimer’s, lanthanide and actinide chemistry, and isotope production. Dr. Mastren tells all of our CVEEN students, “if you want to go into research science, get as much lab experience as possible.”
Prof. McDonald joined Utah in January 2014 as an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Nuclear Engineering Program. McDonald has successfully steered the development of a leading environmental radiochemistry laboratory, mentoring over thirty students, and managing $5 M in research funding. McDonald was also the University Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Summer School in 2017 and 2018. Before joining Utah, McDonald performed a post-doctoral fellowship at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Environmental Radiochemistry and worked as a visiting scientist at the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique in Saclay, France, after completing his Ph.D. at Washington State University in Radiochemistry. He served as the elected Secretary of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology from 2013 – 2016 and was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in Science in 2017. He encourages CVEEN students to, "Get research experience and enroll in and internship."
Dr. McPherson is the USTAR Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Utah. Technical focus areas include groundwater and reservoir simulation, multiphase flow analysis and simulation, rock deformation, and subsurface chemically reactive transport analysis and simulation. McPherson and his research group maintain a high pressure/high temperature laboratory capable of combined multiphase flow and rock mechanical response experimentation and are currently conducting flow tests to quantify potential mechanical, chemical and hydrologic changes to rocks during CO2 sequestration.
Dr. Juan Medina is a research assistant professor for the CVEEN department. Dr. Medina currently manages and works with our graduate students in our department transportation lab. His research is focused on application of data-driven and computing-based techniques to integrate and analyze large and heterogeneous datasets with the objective of improving transportation operations and safety, deployment and harvesting of web-based resources through online applications and services, and exploration of innovative datasets and data collection techniques to enhance our understanding of traffic operations and safety issues. Dr. Medina’s current research projects are working on leading the Crash Data Initiative, a long-term effort to operate a management system that hosts, maintains, and provide online services and analytics related to Utah’s crash data, conducting research to identify and develop alternative methods for roadway safety analysis using surrogate measures, and quantifying the effects of events in transportation facilities (e.g. crashes) by integrating high-resolution traffic data from crashes, traffic sensors, and video feeds. Dr. Medina encourages CVEEN students to “Be consistent and spend time building your very own set of skills looking forward to your ideal career path. In all cases, improve your computer programming skills in a language of your choice.”
Dr. Kami Mohammadi is an Assistant Professor of Geotechnical Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research interests include the interface of computational geomechanics and dynamics, engineering seismology, and geo-data analytics. He applies his research in hazard assessment and mitigation, analysis and design of major infrastructure, non-invasive subsurface characterization, and large-scale monitoring of geo-structures. Kami teaches courses in mechanics and dynamics of geo-materials, computational geomechanics, and wave propagation in heterogeneous media.
Dr. Carlos Oroza's research is focused on applications of cyberinfrastructure in Civil and Environmental engineering, specifically how embedded sensor networks, remote sensing, robotics, and machine learning, can be used to improve the management and scientific understanding of constrained resources, particularly water resources. Carlos’s teaching interests involve integrating cyberinfrastructure concepts throughout the Civil Engineering curriculum and researching how new cyber-enabled tools can be deployed in the classroom to improve student understanding and engagement. Examples of Carlos’s research include designing and deploying an autonomous Lagrangian-sensor network for adaptive real-time flow monitoring in deltas and estuaries and deploying wireless-sensor networks across the Sierra Nevada mountains in California to improve real-time monitoring of the montane hydrologic cycle.
Dr. Ge (Gaby) Ou’s teaching interests include structural dynamics, computer-aided design, and computer structural analysis. Her research interest is to integrate heterogeneous data sources in civil infrastructure and systems performance assessment under multi-hazards. Her group is actively exploring the solutions of using real world information retrieved from the embedded sensor system in the infrastructure, or from mobile sensors such as UAVs and cell phones for structural health monitoring. These data can be in the form of engineering measurement (acceleration, strain gauges, temperature, or humidity) or digital image and video. Algorithms for image processing, system identification, and machine learning are expected to be integrated to understand individual structure performance and regional infrastructure system resilience under extreme events. Dr. Ou’s advice to the CVEEN students is to “be BOLD. Don’t set limits!”
Dr. Chris Pantelides is a structural professor in the CVEEN department. His teaching interests are structural earthquake engineering. He spends a lot of time with his graduate students working on research in the structure’s lab. Dr. Pantelides research interests include: seismic retrofit using conventional systems and FRP composites, supplemental damping systems, seismic resilience of buildings and bridges, mass timber buildings and shake table testing.
Dr. Christine Pomeroy teaching interests are hydraulics, open channel flow, stormwater management and design, water distribution system analysis, and urban watershed management. She has more than 15 years of academic and consulting experience in stormwater management, watershed management, permitting and compliance, modeling, GIS applications in water resources, hydraulics and hydrology. Dr. Pomeroy's expertise and research are focused on urban water engineering & sustainability, stormwater management, watershed management, permitting and compliance, modeling, GIS applications in water resources, hydraulic and hydrology. Dr. Pomeroy encourages CVEEN students to "focus on learning, the grades will be what they grades will be" and "find classmates to study with--it'll enhance your understanding of the material."
Abbas Rashidi, PhD, CPC, is Assistant Professor of Construction Engineering at the University of Utah. His educational background includes MS and PhD degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering (Tehran Polytechnic, 2004; and Georgia Tech, 2014) and an MS degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Georgia Tech, 2013). His dual background in civil engineering, as well as electrical and computer engineering, has enabled him to conduct multidisciplinary research and to implement electrical engineering tools and computational techniques to solve complex civil engineering problems. In particular, he is interested in applying audio/image/video processing techniques to analyze and model complex civil engineering systems. He currently serves as a member of several professional committees including the Signal Processing in Acoustics Committee of the Acoustical Society of America, and the Data Sensing and Analysis (DSA) Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In addition, he is the associate editor and a member of the editorial board of two ASCE journals: ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management and ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities.
Dr. Pedro Romero teaching interests include construction materials, pavement design and pavement maintenance, but also feels comfortable in the structures, geotechnical and transportation areas. His research expertise and interests deal with the use of materials in civil engineering applications (asphalt, concrete, composites); specifically he is interested in how the material properties affect the durability of structures. His research projects deal with mechanical testing, mechanics of materials including visco-elasticity and plasticity, design and construction of pavements using mechanistic methods, and maintenance and rehabilitation of infrastructure systems. He is a recognized expert in the area of asphalt materials and mechanical testing. Dr. Romero encourages CVEEN students to "find balance in your life" while going to school.
Dr. Shahrzad Roshankhah is an Assistant Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research interests include the evolution in the physical properties of natural and engineered porous materials upon heat and mass exchange, particularly, under extreme conditions (e.g., high stress, high fluid pressure, and high temperature). Shahrzad studies the involved multi-physics and multi-scale phenomena through laboratory experimental and numerical modeling, where she utilizes state-of-the-art laboratory monitoring and numerical simulation techniques. Her objective is to design sustainable geo-energy and geo-environmental infrastructure, such as enhanced geothermal energy, unconventional fossil energy, and thermal energy geo-storage systems. Shahrzad recommends her students to follow their hearts in their journey of making the world a better place to live in!
Dr. Douglas Schmucker is a Professor/Lecturer for the CVEEN department. Dr. Schmucker has over 20 years of experience combining consulting, teaching, research and development, specializing in structures. Not only does Dr. Schmucker teach full time, he is also a private structural consultant. His teaching interests include statics, strength of materials, professional practice and design, structural analysis and structure loads and analysis.
Dr. Glenn Sjoden’s outlook is “If an engineering system can be modeled, we can perform the research & development to solve, design, and optimize it!” He is excited to apply his over three decades of combined experience as a military officer, professor, consultant, and chief scientist as the new College of Engineering Energy Solutions Presidential Endowed Chair. Dr. Sjoden’s teaching interests are numerical methods and nuclear physics. As an expert in radiation transport and nuclear reactor physics, “understanding where and how radiation interacts” in any engineering application is key. In addition, Glenn also pursues development and application of numerical algorithms for modeling novel applications, integrated engineering design, and physics-based optimization employing his proficiency in High Performance Computing (HPC). He encourages CVEEN students to "map out your degree plan as soon as you can. Once you do that, take the electives you’re most interested in."
Dr. Weidhaas’ research and teaching interests include environmental engineering with a particular emphasis on biological processes and the fate and transport of contaminants and microorganisms in the environment. Her recent projects include evaluation of emerging contaminants in environmental systems, industrial wastewater treatment, waterborne pathogen detection and wastewater reuse. She also conducts research in the area of environmental microbiology including microbial source tracking, development of massively parallel pathogen detection methods, and evaluation of microorganism fate in environmental systems.
Dr. Yang is an Assistant Professor (Transportation Engineering) in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Utah. Dr. Yang received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Tsinghua University. Dr. Yang's current research areas include machine learning for transportation modeling, traffic operations with connected automated vehicles, traffic safety, transportation equity, transportation planning, and operations research. His research is sponsored by multiple agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). He is the recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER award in 2021. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed research articles in journals and conferences. He is currently the Associate Editor of ASCE Journal of Urban Planning and Development and IEEE OJ- Intelligent Transportation Systems, and the Handling Editor of TRB Transportation Research Record. He is also the Vice-Chair of INFORMS JST ITS committee and the Secretary of the ASCE Artificial Intelligence committee. He is the appointed member of two TRB standing committees. He serves as the panelist of NSF, NCHRP, and multiple USDOT University Transportation Centers. Dr. Yang would advise all CVEEN students to “get involved in activities—engineering is cool!”
Dr. Xuan (Peter) Zhu is an assistant professor in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department. He is currently teaching courses Advanced Topics 6920 and 7920. Dr. Zhu’s research is focused on weather conditions and how that affects transportation. He is currently working on finding the internal defects of railroad tracks, stress levels of tracks and the most effective and efficient way to manage tracks. Dr. Zhu encourages all CVEEN students to “speak with your professors and become their friends”.