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Sustainable Technologies for Infrastructure and the Environment

Primary Institution: University of Oklahoma
City: Norman
State: OK
Job Duration: June-July
Class Requirement: Completed Sophomore Year
Position Type: NSF-REU Fellowship
Discipline(s): Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Environmental Science
Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Environmental Science
Description: Faculty from the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science (CEES) at the University of Oklahoma propose an REU Site for 12 undergraduate students centered on the concept of sustainable technologies for infrastructure and environmental systems. We define "infrastructure and environmental systems" as the large, integrated components of the natural and built environment whose function is to support and sustain our society. We define "sustainable" in a broad sense, meaning technologies that are low cost and easy to maintain and that minimize adverse environmental impacts; we define "technologies" as either processes, products, or organizational strategies that are used to understand, design, and operate the systems. Examples of these types of systems include civil infrastructure, such as bridges and water supplies, along with ecosystem management and environmental policy. Full understanding of such systems requires knowledge of fundamental physical, chemical, and biological sciences, how they are integrated at full-scale, and the application as potential solutions. Such a holistic perspective requires a cross-disciplinary team of environmental scientists, environmental engineers, geotechnical engineers and structural engineers, which is found within CEES. Research topics for this 8-week summer REU range from basic theoretical and laboratory studies of unsaturated zone dynamics to field experiments of chemical fate and risk perception to structural vibration and foundation stability.
Stipend: $3,200
Benefits: Housing
Meal Plan
Travel Reimbursement
Application Deadline: 03/16/2007
Job Website:
Additional Information: Infrastructure Design and Management : Students will gain research skills in a variety of topics related to sustainable infrastructure. Current projects focus on three main areas: 1) earthquake-resistant structural designs in the developing regions by creating simple and cost-effective measures to improve building techniques, 2) investigating material properties, testing methods, interactions with other construction materials, analysis and design protocols, and applications of geosynthetics to infrastructure and environmental systems, and 3) investigating low-cost technologies for the treatment of surface and groundwater for both developed and developing regions.

Hazard Mitigation: Designing effective mitigation strategies for natural and man-made hazards requires a thorough understanding of the underlying processes and the inclusion of them in sophisticated models. Current projects focus on two main areas: 1) surface water modeling, as applied to flood forecasting (inland and coastal) and 2) creation of a disaster resilient society that benefits from critical information and advanced detection of natural hazards, e.g., flooding and drought.

Environmental Restoration and Ecological Engineering: Current projects focus on three main areas: 1) developing passive treatment systems (e.g., ecologically engineered treatment wetlands) to improve water quality, 2) incorporating recycled materials finished products and 3). developing environmentally friendly products and processes by replacing organic solvents with surfactant-based aqueous systems.

Research/Internship Opportunity Contact Information

Primary Contact: Keith Strevett
202 West Boyd
Room 334
Norman, OK 73019
Phone: 405.325.4237
Fax: 405.325.4217
Secondary Contact: Amy Cerato
202 West Boyd
Room 334
Norman, OK 73019
Phone: 405.325.5911
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