Five Eminent Civil Engineers to Receive the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prizes

May 1, 2014

Alexandre M. Bayen, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE; Larry A. Fahnestock, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE; William J. Likos, Ph.D., M.ASCE; Jerome P. Lynch, Ph.D., M.ASCE; and Enrique R. Vivoni, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, are the recipients of the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prizes.

Bayen is honored for pioneering design and deployment of mobile sensing and measurement to the design and management of civil engineering systems, and path-breaking research on algorithm design and implementation in the control and optimization of transportation networks. Associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California Berkeley, Bayen has pioneered the field of crowdsourcing GPS information for traffic information systems and is in the process of using this work to change the way traffic management will be done in the next decade around the world. His most visible contribution in the field of transportation has been the Mobile Millennium project, which started in 2008 and was the first traffic app launched in North America on smartphones to crowdsource traffic information using GPS-enabled smartphones. In partnership with Nokia, NAVTEQ, and the California and U.S. Departments of Transportation, Mobile Millennium was the first system and service of its kind and has since been replicated by many in the public and private sector. Today, Bayen is managing Connected Corridors, an outgrowth of the Mobile Millennium project, whose mission is to create a decision support tool to be used by the City of Los Angeles to manage its busiest corridors. The goal of this project is to create a new system for the Traffic Management Centers, capable of actuating at the same time traffic lights, metering lights, changeable message signs, and information sent to mobile apps, and to suggest playbook strategies to operators of the network. Making considerable progress toward this goal, Bayen’s team is well underway for a 2015 launch in Los Angeles.

Fahnestock is recognized for pioneering research contributions in the field of seismic behavior and design of steel wall and braced-frame systems, combining large-scale experimental testing with nonlinear analysis to develop practical guidance for implementation. Associate professor and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Excellence Faculty Fellow at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Fahnestock’s technical achievement is in seismic behavior and the design of steel wall and braced-frame systems, areas that are highly regarded by both practitioners and researchers. His unique ability to combine large-scale experimental testing with nonlinear analysis has served to develop pioneering practical guidance for implementation that has significantly influenced the codes. At Illinois, he was one of only 2 associate professors campus-wide to be awarded the 2013 Campus Distinguished Promotion Award for “stellar achievements.” A recipient of ASCE’s Student Chapter Outstanding Instructor Award in 2007, the Engineering Council’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, and the 2013 CEE Faculty Advising Award, Fahnestock has been cited on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students in each semester he has taught. In addition, he received the 2013 Structural Engineering Magazine award as a Rising Star in Structural Engineering.

Likos, WilliamLikos is honored for contributions to geotechnical engineering research and practice, including novel solutions to the measurement of unsaturated soil behavior and the advancement of unsaturated soil mechanics theory and practice. Associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geological Engineering Program, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Likos’ research interests are in basic and applied unsaturated soil mechanics, including expansive soil behavior, capillary-induced stress and strain, and fluid and heat transport in near-surface geotechnical applications. Recipient of ASCE’s Arthur Casagrande Award and Norman Medal, he has been actively involved in hydraulic performance of barrier systems, geothermal heat exchange systems, and the beneficial use of recycled materials and industrial byproducts. Co-author of the textbook Unsaturated Soil Mechanics, Likos currently serves as associate editor for the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering and co-editor of the ASTM Geotechnical Testing Journal.

Lynch is recognized for extraordinary leadership in the advancement of structural health monitoring technology in civil engineering through academic research in sensing technology, damage detection algorithms, and decision support systems. Associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan, Lynch is a leading expert and researcher in the areas of development of robust wireless sensing networks and applications in Structural Health Monitoring, application of nanotechnology to damage detection (sensing skins or nanoskins), and distributed computing across wireless sensor networks (embedded algorithms). A crowning achievement of his research portfolio has been the NIST-funded research center that he established and is currently leading as principal investigator. The center is a consortium of industrial partners and government agencies with the University of Michigan focused on research aimed at creating a powerful cyber-infrastructure platform that provides asset managers with critical decision-making tools that optimally allocate inspection and maintenance resources based on analytical and statistical processing of sensor data collected from a monitored bridge. Lynch is widely recognized as the preeminent international leader of the structural health monitoring field. His research program has been recognized with The White House’s 2009 PECASE Award, the National Science Foundation’s 2009 CAREER Award, the Office of Naval Research 2005 Young Investigator Award, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Shah Family Innovation Prize, and the University of Michigan’s Henry Russel Award. 

Vivoni, EnriqueVivoni is honored for contributions to the understanding of ecohydrologic processes in semi-arid areas, including the moderating role of vegetation and interactions among water, energy, and carbon cycling, and to the development of high-resolution hydrologic models, including the use of parallel computing systems. Associate Professor at Arizona State University, Vivoni has since 2003 taught courses in water resources and geological sciences at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In his research activities, Vivoni has published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed publications and given over 300 presentations. His research group focuses on studying hydrological processes and developing engineering solutions within natural and urban environments and their interactions with social, ecological, atmospheric and geomorphic phenomenon. A winner of numerous major awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, and a Kavli Fellow, Vivoni is internationally recognized in the fields of distributed hydrologic modeling, ecohydrology of semiarid regions, North American monsoon studies, and integration of engineering tools for advancing hydrologic science.

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