Santa Clara University


The CIVIL Engineer

Message from the Chair

Dr. Mark Aschhiem

The 2010-2011 academic year is rapidly coming to a close and it is once again time to congratulate another class of Bronco civil engineers.  This year’s class faces an improving job market; they have been resolute in their determination to finish their degrees and look forward to both the promises and challenges that await them. With about 50 seniors graduating this fall and a freshman class of about 68, we have seen substantial increases in our undergraduate enrollments. Graduate enrollments continue to increase, with approximately 20 students currently enrolled in our M.S. program.

This year we have been fortunate to find exceptional faculty to help us fulfill our mission. Dr. Hisham Said will join us as an Assistant Professor in the 2011/12 academic year and will considerably strengthen our offerings in Construction Management. We also welcome two new full-time lecturers: Dr. Sikandar Khatri brings particular expertise is waves and water resources, and Dr. Tonya Nilsson is an expert in structural engineering and engineering pedagogy.

We have begun making substantial changes to our structural engineering laboratories. Through a partnership with the California Expanded Metals Company we are establishing an off-site structural testing lab capable of testing structures up to 8 m high. Closer to home, we are beginning construction of an addition to Bannan Engineering to house an interim high-bay structural test frame. These laboratories will dramatically strengthen our capabilities in experimental structural and earthquake engineering.
We had the largest number of senior design projects of all Departments in the School of Engineering, with a considerable number involving projects focused on improving conditions in under-developed portions of the world. On behalf of the department, I would like to thank all of judges who take time from their busy schedules to help make this event a success and great learning experience for our students. We are also grateful for technical support and guidance provided by alumni/ae and friends.

Senior Recognition

Senior Design Best In Session Winners

Civil Engineering Session 1

EBNet Haiti Bamboo Connections
Jake Echeverria, Chris Sampson
Advisors: Mark Aschheim, Tonya Nilsson

Civil Engineering Session 2

Sustainable Design of an Outdoor Classroom
Anne Drinkward, Jeanine Ruffoni
Advisor: Mark Aschheim

Civil Engineering Session 3

Low-Tech Coconut Shell Activated Carbon Filter
Ami Cobb, Mikell Warms
Advisors: Steven Chiesa, Edwin Maurer

Civil Engineering Session 4

Residential Hill-Top Design:  Phase Two
Jonathan Perez
Advisors: Reynaud Serrette, Sukhmander Singh

Civil Engineering Session 5

Traffic Control and Pedestrian Bridge Design
Leanna Elserougi, Gabriela Mercado
Advisors: Rachel He, Reynaud Serrette

Class of 2011- Congrats Seniors!

  • Ernesto Araica
  • Christopher Bartunek
  • Christopher Bedell
  • Joseph Bernardi
  • Johnette Besseling
  • Maria Campbell
  • Ami Cobb
  • Maura Cyrus
  • Nicolas de Cesare
  • Anne Drinkward
  • Sonia Duenas
  • Jake Echeverria
  • Leanna Elserougi
  • Peter Fritz
  • Andrew Kellen
  • Colin Kodama

  • David Kojima
  • Alvaro Lacayo
  • Robin Landis
  • Daniel Lawrie
  • Andrea LaGare
  • Enli Li
  • Danielle Locklar
  • Jared Lum
  • Gabriela Mercado
  • Jonathan Okada
  • Luis Orea
  • Kelli Oura
  • Matt Paolercio
  • Rojil Peralta
  • Jonathan Perez
  • Vincent Postillion
  • Jessica Powell
  • Marian Price
  • Paul Ramsell
  • Lauren Reinnoldt
  • Jake Roths
  • Jeanine Ruffoni
  • Chris Sampson
  • William Sommer
  • Jake Taylor
  • Alexandra Thorpe
  • Chelsea Unemori
  • Juan Vargas
  • Mikell Warms
  • Laura Webb

Student Awards and Scholarships

Wil A. Vick Memorial Endowed Scholarship

 This award is given to a junior declared in civil engineering showing the most promise for a successful career as a civil engineer, as determined by the faculty with preference based on merit.
Quinn Peck

Harold M. Tapay Award

 Established in 1989, this award is given to a sophomore or junior declared civil engineering student that has demonstrated a high level of “hand-on” technical knowledge and has exhibited persistence and fortitude when faced with personal and academic challenges. One civil engineering major is selected by the department chair annually.
Elizabeth Mercado

Regan Memorial Awards

Established in 1977 in memory of Patrick W. Regan of the class of 1947, this award is given to outstanding juniors in the civil engineering department as determined by the faculty in the department based on academic record, extracurricular activities, and service to the Department/University.
Nathan Rogers, Jessica Song, and Alison Nojima

Edmund C. Flynn Memorial Awards

Established in 1981 by Mrs. Edmund C. Flynn in memory of her husband, these awards are given to the two junior civil engineering students with the highest scholastic average as determined by the faculty.
John Duncan and Quinn Peck

Civil Engineering Design Presentation Award

This award is given to the civil engineering student (or students) giving the best presentation at the annual Senior Design Conference as determined by the judges’ scoring with input from the faculty.
Ami Cobb and Mikell Warms

Edmund C. Flynn Award for Best Capstone Design Project

 Established in 1981 by Mrs. Edmund C. Flynn in memory of her husband, these awards are given to the graduating civil engineering student(s) completing the best thesis (capstone project) as determined by the faculty.
Danielle Locklar, Kelli Oura, and Lauren Reinnoldt

Outstanding Civil Engineering Senior Award

Awarded to a senior by the faculty of Civil engineering Department based on excellent academic standing, contribution to the department and school, and quality senior design project.
Kelli Oura

Student Spotlight

Bamboo Frames:

Chris Sampson and Jake Echeverria
As part of their senior project, which will now extend into summer research and a master’s thesis, Chris Sampson and Jake Echeverria have studied the behavior of a bamboo frame with an innovative seismically resistant base connection. To control the behavior during a high wind or seismic event, the bamboo frame utilizes a simple concept--the yielding of a short rebar dowel--to provide lateral strength and ductility, while also limiting the forces developed in frame joints.  The rebar dowel connection also holds the bamboo frame base a short distance above a block wall; protecting the bamboo from moisture conveyed by the block. The top of a soda bottle is used to protect the rebar from moisture. This work received a CSTS grante.

Structural Engineering:

Quinn Peck and Nathan Rogers
DSC08019Under advising from Dr. Serrette, Quinn Peck (’12) and Nathan Rogers (’12) spend the year studying the in-plane shear behavior of cold-formed steel framed gypsum walls, a common construction in light-frame steel structures. Current design standards provide several options for the construction of light-frame wood gypsum shear walls to resist lateral loading.  In contrast, the available options for cold-formed steel construction are relatively limited and the performance of these walls is not well described in the existing literature.  Their project introduced three new design options and discussed the performance of cold-formed steel gypsum walls under monotonic and reversed cyclic loading.  After constructing, testing, and analyzing nearly 50 full-scale cold-formed steel framed gypsum shear walls, they found that current standards were conservative.  They also observed that gypsum panel orientation and spacing of the fasteners connecting the gypsum panels to the cold-formed steel frame directly influenced a wall’s peak strength and post-peak toughness.  The findings were reported in an article that was submitted to the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Ed Maurer

Last Fall, Dr. Ed Maurer published a paper entitled “Contrasting lumped and distributed hydrology models for estimating climate change impacts on California watersheds” in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association. Additionally, He was successful in obtaining $37,160 in funding from the World Bank, through The Nature Conservancy. This will fund research on projected changes in extreme events (for example flooding and heat waves), especially for North Africa and the Middle East. Finally, He was awarded a Fulbright scholar fellowship to travel to Chile for a portion of the 2011-2012 academic year and work with colleagues at the Catholic University in Santiago on climate change impacts and adaptation there.

Dr. Sukhi Singh

This past year Dr. Singh had the opportunity as the keynote speaker at an international symposium on Forensic Approach to Analysis of GeoHazard Problems. His talk was entitled “Investigation of a Complex Slide in An Earthdam Embankment.” Additionally, Dr. Singh continues his ongoing collaborative research with Cambridge University on a new generation miniature Seismic Con Penetromenter (SCPT) that can be used for soil characterization. These miniature SCPTs will be tested to measure soil stiffness in a layered stratigraphy around a model monopole foundation system used for large (1-5 MW) offshore wind turbines.

Dr. Tonya Nilsson

During her first year at Santa Clara University, Dr. Tonya Nilsson became the faculty adviser of the Society of Women Engineers and a faculty mentor for Engineers without Borders.  She oversaw one graduate level independent study, one undergraduate independent study, and three senior design projects, one of which won “Best Presentation” for their session.  With Dr. Mark Aschheim, Dr. Nilsson received the CSTS Jeff and Karen Miller Faculty Fellowship in Frugal Innovation for work on “Sustainable Bamboo Disaster Resistant Buildings”  and their abstract was accepted at the 13th International Conference on Non-Conventional Materials and Technologies.  Dr. Nilsson is also a member of the 4 person, School of Engineering, NSF “Engage” team.          

Dr. Sikander Khatri

Dr. Sinkander Katri has been teaching Civil Engineering courses and classes to prepare for the EIT examination. He has participated in SEEDS activities which provided visiting students an overview of Civil Engineering Department and its community related concept and contribution to the sustainability mission. Additionally, two of his papers have been accepted for presentations at two conferences in China and San Diego. These papers are entitled: “The role of the input spectrum in the development of wave prediction models” and “Numerical modeling of wind-waves and its effect on sediment transport – An investigation of spectral terms”.

ASCE- Student Chapter

A Year In Review

This year Santa Clara University’s ASCE chapter has been busy under their president Lauren Reinnoldt.  Social and networking events were held through out the year with high attendance from members of all years.Social event included bowling, ice-skating, laser-tag. While, at  networking events companies such as Turner Construction and Whiting Turner came to speak about their company and job opportunities.

In the fall, the annual ASCE Career Fair was held with attendance from undergraduate and graduates students in hope of finding an internship or full time position from dozens of companies that were there.  

Additionally, students raised $122 from a bake sale in Benson in which all proceeds were donated to HomeSafe, a shelter for battered women.  The money was matched by Dean Mungal.  

146Another big event for ASCE was the annual Mid-Pacific Conference, which was held at CSU Sacramento. Seniors, Johnette Besseling and Chris Bartunek, were project managers of the Steel Bridge Design with help from juniors Quinn Peck and Nathan Rogers.  Besseling was also one of the project managers of concrete canoe, along with senior Nick de Cesare.  For the first time in many years, Santa Clara University participated in the water treatment competition with junior Ashley Ciglar as their representative. There was a great turnout of students at the conference who showed much support for all of the teams participating, making it overall a successful and fun event.

Congrats New Officers!

IMG_7203 (1)President -- Nathan Rogers
Vice President -- Quinn Peck
Secretary -- Silvia Garcia
Treasurer -- Satej Desai
Activities Coordinators -- Alison Nojima and Alex Nicholas
Publicity -- Chad Cachero
Webmaster -- Jon Satterfield
YMF Coordinator -- Stephany Contreas



Events Calendar

    June 10, 2011, 1-2 p.m. - Engineering School Senior Awards and Honors
    June 10, 2011 - Graduate Commencement Ceremony
    June 11, 2011 - Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony
    July 8, 2011 - Final Postmark Date for Filing for Fall Special Civil State Specific Examinations
    August 12, 2011 - Final Postmark Date for Filing for Fall EIT/FE test
    September 19, 2011 - Fall Classes Begin
    October 28 and 29, 2011 - EIT/FE and Special Civil State-specific Examination Days
    November 21-25, 2011 - Thanksgiving Break
    December 2, 2011 - Classes End
    December 5-9, 2011 - Fall Quarter Final Exams