Pitt | Swanson Engineering

A bachelors in Civil Engineering is one of the top five in-demand bachelor's degrees according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Spring 2008 Salary Survey, with starting salaries almost at the top of that list. Employment growth for civil engineers is expected to move at a pace that is faster than the average for all occupations.

The University of Pittsburgh has a proud tradition in civil engineering education, reinforced by a faculty deeply concerned about their students. Graduates from the Department of Civil Engineering have become leaders in their profession, serving with government, private consulting firms and contractors and in research and academic institutions.

Civil engineers at Pitt have the opportunity to engage in undergraduate and graduate programs in a broad range of topics, including structures, environmental, water resources, green construction, geotechnical engineering and construction management. Other electives include  applied mechanics and mathematics, legal issues, and computer aided design.

The department accomplished faculty, top-notch educational and research facilities and partnerships with industry provide the necessary edge for our graduates to discover satisfying careers meeting the challenges of the 21st century. The emphasis is to provide an education that focuses on engineering and construction for sustainable development, leaving the next generations with a society that continues to offer a high quality of life.


2015 Shale Gas Innovation Contest names CivilE Chair Dr. Radisav Vidic as finalist

Civil & Environmental

STATE COLLEGE, PA - On May 12, 2015, the Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center ( www.sgicc.org ) will announce the four winners of this year's Shale Gas Innovation Contest with each receiving a check for $25,000.  In addition to showcasing the 14 finalists, a session has been added this year that will help innovators learn how to successfully provide new products and services to the shale energy industry. The Finals Event & Innovation Workshop will be held from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe, PA. Attendees at this FREE EVENT will hear from Bill Hall, SGICC Director, followed by Katie Klaber, President of the Klaber Group on how grant funding provided by the PA Department of Community & Economic Development was used to accelerate efforts to commercialize new technologies for the Oil & Gas industry. This overview will be followed by two panels comprised of small companies that have successfully launched products/ services in to the industry or are in the demonstration phase. A free buffet lunch will be included. The afternoon will consist of the 14 finalist presentations and the announcement of the four Innovation Contest winners.  A networking reception will follow immediately with representatives from each of the finalists and panel companies available to highlight their shale gas innovation concepts.  Click on http://www.sgicc.org/2015-shale-gas-innovation-contest.html to register and to see a list of the finalists and exhibitors along with this year's sponsors. This year's Finalists are: 9threeSolutions Inc.  Providing inline security devices connected via a centralized private cloud routing server enabling companies to secure various types of hardware including critical Industrial Control Systems AppalachianDrilling Services, Inc. Spill proof, skid mounted, rig friendly waste storage units specifically built to withstand life on drilling rigs and mitigate the chances of any type of spill EthosGen Offering a system that converts waste heat to electricity through a unique piston-based Organic-Rankine Cycle (ORC) scalable power solution available from 12-250kW FairmontBrine Processing Evaporation and crystallization process that fully treats wastewater, extracting reusable byproducts as well as formulate fracture stimulation fluids specifically to an operating company's completion design FiberInnovation Technologies, LLC Offering a paper mill by-product known as Short Paper Fiber for use as a solidification agent in drilling operations that has superior properties and a lower selling point over the current solidification agents FMWRubber Products, Inc. Offering proven technologies used by the military to provide a portable water storage and distribution system utilizing reusable bladders up to 250,000 gallons each and mobile collapsible pipeline systems H Quest Vanguard Inc. Process that enables manufacturing of a synthetic crude oil through co-processing natural gas with a variety of hydrocarbons and biomass HalenHardy,LLC GritGrab Anti-Slip Surfacing made of fiberglass reinforced plastic provides a surface that helps dramatically improve traction for workers' boots, eliminating costly slips and falls IdentifiedTechnologies Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and docking system that provides high-res optical, infrared, and gas-sniffing data that also autonomously swaps/charges batteries and uploads data to the cloud for access NextGauge, Inc. Truck Driver Communication and Safety System (TDCS) is a web-based portal to extend and enhance safety, communications, and compliance of truck drivers serving shale energy sites NextGeneration Filtration Systems, LP Provides a lubricating fluids purification system that removes particles and volatiles which keeps fluids like new for an almost limitless period of time PixController Inc. Methane gas detection system that integrates a digital methane sensor with temperature and barometric pressure data and provides data access via a low power battery operated wireless monitoring backbone University of Pittsburgh (Radisav Vidic) Controlled mixing of mine drainage and flowback water to deliver desired quality mixture for use in the fracing process by lowering sulfates and salinity WellControl Technologies, Inc. Patented unmanned "Downhole Liquid Level Controller" system that improves proper well de-watering that significantly increasing yields from wells by eliminating fluid build-up This year's contest was co-sponsored by Ben Franklin Technology Partners ( http://www.benfranklin.org ), Aquatech ( www.Aquatech.com ), CONSOL Energy ( www.consolenergy.com ), Chevron ( http://www.chevron.com/ctv/ ), EQT ( www.eqt.com ), First National Bank ( www.fnb-online.com ), GE Oil & Gas ( http://www.ge-energy.com ), INABATA America ( http://us.inabata.com/ ), Little Pine Resources ( http://littlepineresources.com ), the Marcellus Shale Coalition ( http://marcelluscoalition.org ), PPG Industries ( www.ppg.com ) , Praxair ( www.praxair.com ), Range Resources ( www.rangeresources.com ), Shell ( www.shell.us ), Steptoe-Johnson ( www.steptoe-johnson.com ), Williams ( www.williamsinthenortheast.com ), and XTO Energy ( www.xtoenergy.com ). About the SGICC The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center ( www.sgicc.org ) supports and commercializes early-stage technologies that enhance responsible stewardship of the environment while properly utilizing this energy asset.  ###  
Bill Hall, Director, Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center

Pitt scores in U.S. News Best Graduate Schools Guidebook

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH NEWS RELEASE PITTSBURGH- In newly released statistics from U.S. News & World Report , a number of University of Pittsburgh schools and programs have excelled in the Best Graduate Schools 2016 guidebook. Pitt's School of Nursing is ranked no. 5 nationwide in an inaugural annual ranking of nursing schools that offer master's or doctorate programs. In nursing specialties, the school is no. 1 in the category of nurse anesthesia; no. 3 in clinical nurse leader; no. 3 in pediatric, primary care (tie); no. 5 in administration (tie); no. 5 in adult / gerontology, acute care (tie); and no. 5 in psychiatric / mental health, across the lifespan. Pitt's School of Medicine ranks no. 16 in the research category and no. 19 (tie) in the primary care category of the Best Medical Schools ranking. In medical specialties, Pitt is no. 4 in women's health. In new Health disciplines rankings, Pitt's master's and doctorate programs in public health in the Graduate School of Public Health are ranked no. 13, and the rehabilitation counseling program within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is no. 18 (tie). Among public universities, Pitt's graduate programs in education, engineering, and business are all ranked in the top 25. The School of Education is ranked no. 17 among public universities and no. 27 overall (tie); the Swanson School of Engineering is no. 24 among public universities and no. 43 overall (tie); and the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business is No. 23 among public universities and No. 48 overall (tie). The School of Law advanced three spots to no. 78 overall (tie). It is ranked no. 42 among public universities. Individual departments within the Swanson School of Engineering ranked as follows: Bioengineering: 7 among publics, 16 overall (tie) Chemical and Petroleum: 24 among publics, 39 overall (tie) Civil Engineering: 35 among publics, 53 overall (tie) Computer Engineering: 30 among publics, 54 overall (tie) Electrical Engineering: 30 among publics, 52 overall (tie) Industrial Engineering: 15 among publics, 22 overall (tie) Materials Science: 35 among publics, 53 overall (tie)   ###  
Cara Masset

Dr. Kyle Bibby and local students explore microorganisms in drinking water, contribute to Carnegie Science Center exhibit

All SSoE News, Civil & Environmental

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH NEWS RELEASE   PITTSBURGH- Water, water everywhere. It makes a person think. The University of Pittsburgh's Kyle Bibby thinks more about it than most, focusing on understanding the presence, ecology, and diversity of microorganisms-such as viruses and bacteria-in an environmental engineering context, like a city's water and sewer system. In addition to his academic work, Bibby is keen on education. To meld these interests, and to find out which microorganisms-almost exclusively safe for human consumption-reside in the city's drinking water, Bibby started the Pittsburgh Water Microbiome Project . Bibby, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, enlisted students from Pittsburgh Public Schools' Pittsburgh Gifted Center. Under the guidance of fifth- and sixth-grade teacher Thomas Nash, students took bacteria testing kits home, collected water from their kitchen taps, and returned it to Bibby, whose undergraduate students processed the samples. The experience didn't end there. As Bibby discovered during the project, the Carnegie Science Center was planning a new permanent exhibit, which opens Feb. 28, called H2Oh! why our rivers matter . It was a natural fit. "(Bibby) called our director of education to ask about taking samples down here," says Dennis Bateman, director of exhibits and theaters at the Carnegie Science Center. "I called back and said, 'We'll take what you have now and help you get your work out to the public.'" The microbiome project is housed in the "Field Station" portion of the exhibit. Visitors can interact with a touchscreen map of all the sampling locations. A tap here reveals which microbes, broken down proportionally, dwell in a particular area's water. A tap there reveals information about a particular bacterium. (Some samples have shown, for example, the presence of Leptospirillum, an iron-eater that, over decades, can eat away at water pipes, making them more likely to rupture.) Bibby says he hopes this "citizen science" project will not only inform but show participants and visitors that science is everywhere and they can do it, too. This, he hopes, will encourage young people to enter the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professions. "Students who have had the opportunity to have real world STEM experience are much more likely to get involved and stay involved in a STEM field," he says. As Bibby and Nash's students continue to collect samples, new data will be periodically added to the exhibit over the course of its five- to seven-year run. Bibby also plans to analyze the data and publish an article in a scientific journal. ###    
Joe Miksch

Swanson School announces 2015 roster of Distinguished Alumni

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (January 26, 2015) … Seven alumni who have made an impact across public, private and government sectors will be recognized by the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering with the 51 st Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards. The award honors those Pitt alumni who have made a positive contribution within their respective fields across the School's six engineering departments. In addition, one individual who was previously selected as a department awardee will be recognized as the overall Swanson School awardee. The awards will be presented at the Swanson School's Distinguished Alumni Banquet on Thursday, March 26 at Pitt's Alumni Hall. "On behalf of the Swanson School we're proud to recognize these seven individuals who have excelled within their discipline and are exemplary ambassadors of Pitt engineering," noted Gerald D. Holder, PhD, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. "I look forward to welcoming them back to campus and celebrating their achievements." This year's recipients are: Swanson School of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Leonard K. Peters, BsChE '62, MSChE '69, PhD '71 Secretary of Energy and Environmental Cabinet, Commonwealth of Kentucky Bioengineering Fernando Aguel BSBioE '00, MSBioE '04 Branch Chief of the Circulatory Support Devices Branch, United States Food and Drug Administration  Civil and Environmental Engineering John D. Bossler, PhD, BSCE '59 Retired, Professor and Director of the Center for Mapping, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Studies, Ohio State University Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Michael J. Fetkovich, DSc, BSPet '54 Phillips Fellow Emeritus, Phillips Petroleum Co. Sr. Principal Reservoir Engineer Member of the National Academy of Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering Jeffrey M. Platt, BSEE '79  President and CEO, Tidewater, Inc. Industrial Engineering David M. Dunahay, BSIE '78 Founding president (retired), FAW-GM Light Duty Commercial Vehicle Co. in Changchun, China; and Adjunct Professor of International Business, Georgetown University Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Albert J. Neupaver, MSME '79, MBA '82 Executive Chairman, Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation   ###  


Pitt faculty edit, contribute findings to special issue of Energy Technology

All SSoE News, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental

PITTSBURGH- University of Pittsburgh researchers have shared their findings from three studies related to shale gas in a recent special issue of the journal Energy Technology , edited by Götz Veser , the Nickolas A. DeCecco Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering. In the special issue focusing on shale gas, Pitt faculty authors look at "smart wells" that use wireless communication, wastewater management, and information gaps between legislators, regulators, industry representatives, researchers, and the public on the health and environmental impacts of shale gas drilling. The issue also includes contributions from experts from across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Veser, who is on the journal's editorial board, says, "I saw an opportunity to create visibility for the journal by issuing a special issue on this topic, which has garnered much attention worldwide, and at the same time highlight some of the world-class expertise in this area on our campus as well." Pitt faculty members contributed three papers to the issue. Smart WellsAndrew Bunger and his co-authors propose the development of a series of sensors sunk into wells that will allow drilling companies to pull data from the deep and use that information to optimize sections of productive wells, ramp up or shut down unproductive sections, and find pockets of gas or oil that have been overlooked. Bunger, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, along with Ervin Sejdić , assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, Nicholas Franconi, a PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering, and Marlin Mickle, professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering, believe academics and industry are poised to improve extraction through wireless communication. Bunger likens this nascent technology to cell phone communication, with the signal being passed from tower to tower on a call from, say, Pittsburgh to Los Angeles rather than beamed directly over great distance. The stepwise process is necessary, he says, because of the difficulty of sending data long distances through rock and other geological media. Wastewater Management Pitt's Radisav Vidic investigates methods to safely reuse drilling wastewater and ways of removing potentially harmful substances, including naturally occurring radioactive materials, from the wastewater. Vidic, the William Kepler Whiteford Professor and Chair in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a nationally recognized expert in water issues related to fracking, reviews the management of wastewater produced during fracking in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale reserve. In this paper, he is joined by co-authors Can He, Tieyuan Zhang, Xuan Zheng, and Yang Li, all of Pitt's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Information GapsShanti Gamper-Rabindran examines the gaps in the collection of information-and access to that information-which prevents the public, researchers, regulators, and investors from fully understanding the health and environmental impacts from the shale industry. Resolving these information gaps would enable further innovations in risk-management strategies and, thus, benefit the industry and society. She is an associate professor in Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the Department of Economics within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. "Informed public debate in the lifecycle of unconventional shale gas development is critical because of the uncertainties in its benefits and risks, the unequal distribution of these benefits and risks in society, and the need to make evidence-based trade-offs between the benefits and costs of risk-mitigation strategies," Gamper-Rabindran writes. ###
Joe Miksch

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