Director’s Lecture Series

All times shown are MST (US Arizona), unless noted otherwise.

Fall 2021

Area Date Speaker and Title Description and Link
Construction Engineering 8/31/2021 Chris Kmetty (Dowl) – Alternative project delivery and value engineering: How they are changing the relationship between contractors and engineers This is an introduction to both APDM and Value Engineering with discussion about the importance of communication and the different perspectives that owners, engineers and contractors have during design and construction of public works projects.
Construction Management 9/1/2021 Dr. Wylie Bearup (ASU) – Talk on career pathway and leadership The multiple pathways of a career and important leadership qualities that matter.
Environmental 9/7/2021 Lauria LaPat-Polasko (Matrix New World Engineering) – From Shark Bite to Jacques Cousteau to Bug Lady Cleaning Up Our Planet. Dr. LaPat-Polasko will highlight how her various experiences from handfeeding the marine life in the coral reef tank at the Shedd Aquarium to studying water pollution in the Mediterranean Sea with Jacques Cousteau led her to a career focused on cleaning up contamination in soil, surface water and groundwater around the world.  Some people may know what they want to do with their life when they are only 10 years old or so; however, for Laurie it took many different pathways before she discovered the unique and diverse capabilities of microorganisms. For the past 20 years or so Laurie has been a microbe hunter, seeking out microbes from unusual environments to uncover exceptional enzymes that may be able to biodegrade harmful compounds. She even has a microbe named after her.  Laurie will also discuss the power of the pen and how it opened up amazing opportunities for Laurie to study Humpback whales in Glacier Bay Alaska for 3 months and in many other places around the world.
Geotechnical 9/9/2021 Kimberly Martin (Keller N.A.) – “Foundations for the Leading Role” Building and infrastructure foundations are often considered as merely supporting cast members for the real stars of the show: the beautiful structures that go on top of them. As we more broadly adopt low-impact, low-carbon design, can foundations move into a starring role?
Hydrosystems 9/13/2021 Margaret Garcia (ASU) – Integrating Novel Data Sources and High-Resolution Modeling for Urban Flood Prediction. Flooding is one of the most common and damaging natural hazards and the majority of flood risks are concentrated in cities. Flood risk varies at small spatial scales in cities where topography and land use are highly heterogeneous. Predicting flooding at this scale is challenged by the lack of hydrological observations in urban areas. This lack of data limits real time sensing of flooding as it occurs and limits the utility of models, as they are typically uncalibrated. In this collaborative project, we have deployed a series of flood cameras and coordinated with transportation agencies to use existing traffic cameras to sense flooding in fixed locations and collected citizen science contributions to sense flooding opportunistically. Water depth estimates are then applied to calibrate a physically based hydrologic-hydraulic model. This model can then be used to estimate flooding in near real time, beyond our monitoring locations.
Structures 9/15/2021 Chidambaram Gnanasambanthan (Olsson) – “Leveraging Structural Engineering to Establish a Premier Consulting Establishment in Arizona”. Description: The presenter became an owner of a successful local engineering consulting firm through the unique opportunities provided by his structural engineering background
Sustainability 9/21/2021 Tom Seager (ASU) – “Resilient Infrastructure Engineering: Moving up Maslow’s Pyramid”. Civil engineering infrastructure has historically provided for human needs at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy, including shelter, safety, and security.  However, recent research examining the role of higher motivations, such as a sense of belonging, self-esteem, community, and meaning, have shown that disruptions at the bottom Maslow’s pyramid are better weathered when needs further near the top are attended to.  The result is a new concept for infrastructure engineering that moves beyond traditional measures of risk, and instead emphasizes the adaptive and innovative capacity of communities to respond to surprising stressors.  Example of this new approach, called resilience engineering, related to civil engineering infrastructure abound, and have profound implications for what we understand as sustainable engineering.
Transportation 9/27/2021 Ryan Stevens & Rubben Lolly (City of Phx, Street Transp Dept) – Pavement Preservation Innovation – Cool Pavement and Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement The City of Phoenix uses a Pavement Management System methodology to maintain its 5,000-mile roadway network. While seeking to preserve and rehabilitate its roads, Phoenix is also seeking to be innovative. By studying and evaluating Cool Pavement Coatings and Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement, Phoenix is enhancing its pavement maintenance programs to become more sustainable and resilient.

Fall 2020

Area Date Speaker Title and Recording
Environmental 9/1/2020 Kirk Craig – Geosyntec What It Takes To Be An Environmental…Then and Now
Construction Management 9/3/2020 Tuyet Jacobson – McCarthy Options are Limitless, Grab the Opportunity!
Hydrosystems 9/8/2020 Enrique Vivoni – ASU Urban Parks as Oases during Heat Waves
Construction Engineering 9/9/2020 Lee O’Connell – McCarthy Doing What You’ve Done is the Easy Button
Geotechnical 9/14/2020 Randy Post – Golder Associates

Forgive Me if I Drone On (Application of Drones for Geotechnical Reconnaissance)
Structures 9/17/2020 Chetan Date – ITT and Honeywell Aerospace
Structural Engineers Do It… All
Sustainable Engineering 9/22/2020 Mikhail Chester – ASU
Infrastructure and the Anthropocene: Sustainable Engineering Leadership
Transportation 9/29/2020 Imad Al-Qadi – UIUC The Future of Transportation Engineering