Santa Clara University


Spring 2007 Newsletter

Letter from the Chair

As we end this academic year, every one's thoughts turn to graduation
and a new beginning for this year's civil engineering graduates. As another class of SCU civil engineers crosses the stage during commencement exercises, they have much to be happy about. Of those 25 seniors who are not continuing their studies at the next level in the fall, a very good job market awaits them. This graduating class includes recipients of the School of Engineering's Raymond Galantine M. Award for community service (Carolyn Sourek) and the Engineering Humanities Award (Richard Tsai). Next year's entering engineering class is the largest in recent history and should continue the upward enrollment trend in civil engineering that started in 2002.

Our ASCE student chapter co-hosted the ASCE Mid- Pacific Regional Conference and welcomed more than 200 of their colleagues from other civil engineering programs in northern California, Nevada and Ontario (Canada). The conference was a big success and our students learned a lot about fund raising and budgeting, project planning, and teamwork. Enthusiasm is very high as plans are already being made for next year's concrete canoe and steel bridge. It is particularly good to see so much involvement from this year's juniors, sophomores and freshmen. They will form the nucleus of a very active and productive club for the foreseeable future.

Construction projects on campus have continued to provide our students with real-world learning laboratories. The new 100 million dollar Learning Commons and Library complex has been used for multiple tours during the last academic year and the upcoming business school building will take over that role in the near future. The contractor for both projects, Devcon Construction, has been very accommodating in arranging for these
tours for civil engineering students and their guests.Together with the traditional academic program. these tour opportunities provide our students with an effective blend of both the theoretical and practical aspects of engineering.

The Senior Engineering Design Conference was held again May 3 with students once again presenting their capstone design projects to panels of alumni judges.Three Civil engineering sessions were included in the program.Judges evaluated projects using criteria covering technical content and presentational skills. 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.


Daniel Bettencourt, William Vicik, Joshua Kimbrell, Ryan Wood, Cole Grube, Jasdeep Mangat, Scott Johns, Jordan Reed, Kohe Omori, Joseph Soliman, Sean Falvey, Kenji Ohkawa, Anthony Lara, Sean Flaherty, Nathan Holste, Trevor Mallo, Carolyn Sourek, Deborah Peck, Richard Tsai, David Oride, Brendan Grace, Scott Burkland, Carl Bacon, Christopher Castell and Hugo Hernandez

Student News

2007 ASCE San Jose Branch Essay Award Competition

In an era dominated by international political and military jockeying, our political voice on a national level is dwarfed by calls fro defense spending among "more important" national security concerns, but i would contend that infrastructure is indeed essential to the future strategic  interests of our country.....
Trevor Mallo (SCU Civil Engineering, Class of 2007)

This year the annual ASCE San Jose Branch Student Award Banquet was held on May 8, 2007 at the Adobe Lodge, Santa Clara University. The main event at the banquet was the awarding of prizes to students from San Jose State, Santa Clara and Stanford universities who submitted essays on a topic chosen and judged by professional engineers from the Branch. This year's topic required students to submit a one page essay that "briefly discussed some of the existing channels in politics available to civil engineer's and provide a few examples of how the civil engineering community can emulate the successes other professions have had through their political involvement." South Bay civil engineering companies contributed $13,000 in prize money. Of the twenty one (21) awards presented, SCU received eleven (11) awards including the highest award that went to Trevor Mallo (a graduating senior). The other students receiving awards were Kristen jackson, Edward Reyes, Richard Tsai, Michael Wackerman, Steffany Castro,
Scott Johns, Jessica Long, Carolyn Sourek, Nathan Holste, and Alexander Kneefel. Jessica Long, a sophomore, also received one of the top awards.

2007 Senior Design Conference

Twenty-one civil engineering students presented their capstone projects at the 2007 School of Engineering Senior Design Conference. Even though there were several team projects this year, the department still managed to have three sessions at the conference. This year's projects included:


San Luis Obispo Wastewater Treatment Plant and Creek Design: Nathan Holste, Scott Johns, Carolyn Sourek
and Richard Tsai

Phytoremediation: Cole Grube, Joe Soliman and Ryan Wood  * BEST OF SESSION

Extensive Green Roof Design: Sean Flaherty, Josh Kimbrell and Deborah Peck


Nimitz Flyover Design: Chris Castell. Anthony Lara and David Oride

ASCE Steel Bridge: Jordan Reed

Traffic Signal Synchronization Design: Jasdeep Mangat

Habitat for Humanity Design Project: Scott Burkland, Brendan Grace and Kohe Omori  * BEST OF SESSION


Structural Design of the 2007 Solar Decathlon House with the use of Bamboo I-Joists: Trevor Mallo

Determination of Connection Design Strengths for Solid Section Bamboo: Hugo Hernandez

Bamboo as Reinforcement in the Design of Concrete Slabs: William Vicik  * BEST OF SESSION

MEWS- Design of an On-Campus Auditorium Using Bamboo Reinforced Concrete: Sean Falvey, Daniel
Bettencourt and Kenji Ohkawa

2007 ASCE Student Chapter Career Fair

Civil Engineering is often described as "a people serving profession: and this year's ASCE Student Chapter Career Fair is a brilliant example of what this phrase truly means. With an unexpected change in the ASCE student chapter leadership in Winter 2007, William Vicik, Michael Wackerman and the new president Carolyn Sourek, worked tirelessly to bring as many companies as possible to campus for the civil engineering career fair in February. Their efforts paid off with one of the largest career fairs ever hosted by the chapter. The department, along with the student chapter, would like to extended a heartfelt thanks to all the companies who participated in the fair and the student organizers who helped create summer and full-time opportunities
for their fellow students. We are grateful for the trust so many companies have placed in our students and the quality of the SCU program. The new(2007-08) ASCE leadership and the department look forward to another successful career fair in 2008.

Student Awards

2006/2007 Civil Engineering Department Awards

Eight students received departmental awards for high scholastic achievement, outstanding wok in the humanities, demonstrated commitment to SCU's Jesuit ideals and outstanding senior design projects. The faculty wishes each of the students continued success.

Edmund C. Flynn Award: Given to junior students with the highest scholastic average--Chiaming Chi and Raymon lam

Edmund C. Flynn Award for Design Presentation : Given to the graduating student presenting the most technically
outstanding senior design project--William Vicik

Harold M, Tapay Award: Given to a sophomore or junior student who demonstrated a high level of "hands-on"
technical knowledge and commonsense--Daniel Ruffoni

Regan Memorial Award: Given to outstanding juniors as determined by the faculty--Chiaming Chi, Raymond Lam,
Carla Villarreal Montes and Kimberly Hoo

Raymond M. Galantine Award : Given to an outstanding engineering student who has demonstrated a commitment to
putting into practice the catholic and Jesuit ideal of people in the service of others.--Carolyn Sourek

Engineering Humanities Award: Given to a student who has been nominated by members of the humanities faculty for outstanding work in the humanities while maintaining a strong record in engineering--Richard Tsai

Outstanding Senior Civil Engineer Award: Awarded to a senior student based on excellent academic standing,
contribution to the department and school, and quality senior design project--Carolyn Sourek

Faculty News

The department was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Salameh Nsour in March 2007. Dr. Nsour joined the SCU community in Winter 1993 as a professor in Transportation Engineering. In addition to courses in transportation engineering, Dr. Nsour also taught course in surveying, municipal engineering and construction
engineering. He was deeply committed to student learning and growth. He was a model citizen  who faced challenges with courage and worked passionately to make the world a better place. Dr Nsour was one of the founders of the Islamic Society of the East Bay School, Granada Islamic School and a committed supporter of several noble initiatives in the Bay Area. He also dabbled in poetry. Dr. Nsour efforts went beyond the Bay Area. He helped many disabled children in war zones and with his wife Miriam, raised five outstanding children--the youngest currently attends SCU.

For the second consecutive year, Melanie Massie, administrative assistant for Civil Engineering, Applied Mathematics and Engineering Management, worked with the Structural Engineering Association of Northern California to bring one of their continuing education mini-seminars to SCU. The years seminar, "Guidelines for Review of Welding Procedure Specifications" brought over twenty-five engineers to SCU. The department also wishes to congratulate Melanie on her recent past award as staff member of the year in the School of Engineering.

Three by three. Gary Smith, Lab Manager for Civil Engineering, became a proud grandfather this year--three times. Each of Gary's three daughters, had a daughter. Congratulations Gary, enjoy your new rank!

Dr. Mark Aschheim was elevated to the rank of Fellow of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) at the institutes Fall 2006 Convention in Denver, CO. According to ACI, Dr. Aschheim's recognition is based in his "outstanding contributions to the production or use of concrete materials, products and structures in the areas of education,
research, development, design, construction, or management."

Dr. Edwin Maure was appointed to the Climate Change Technical Advisory Group of the California Department of Water Resources. Through this appointment, he will participate in incorporating statewide water planning implications of global warming in the next biennial report of the Governor's Climate Action Team, due in 2008.

Dr. Sukhmander Singh heads back to Cambridge University, England, to continue his work on the application of centrifuge testing to evaluate the response of landfill barriers/liners to seismic loading. Dr. Singh is part of a team comprising experts from the US and England.

Dr. Steve Chiesa taught our advanced construction engineering elective course this spring. This year, the course focused on the development of an understanding of current LEED guidelines for sustainable design and construction of residential, commercial and institutional buildings from an architectural and engineering perspective. As part of the
course, students were required to rate the Commons building at the Kennedy Mall on campus. The Commons building was designed and built with several innovative systems but did not go through the LEED certification process.

ASCE Student Chapter

The 2006-2007 school year turned out to be one of the busiest and most exciting school years for the ASCE Santa Clara student chapter. The monthly meetings,civil engineering career fair, and ASCE along with YMF sponsored dinners gave the students something to look forward to throughout the entire school year.      

Perhaps the largest activity held by ASCE this school year was the MidPac regional conference hosted by Santa Clara University along with San Jose State. Despite the responsibilities of being the host school, SCU was able to participate in every event including concrete bowling, concrete canoe, steel bridge, tug-of-war, and volleyball where SCU placed 2nd overall. The events took place over two days starting with the concrete canoe competition at sunny Lake Cunningham on Friday April 27th and the steel bridge competition, which was held in the Leavey Center parking lot on Saturday. The closing of the competition was followed by a lovely dinner at the Biltmore Hotel in Sanat Clara where the awards and recognitions were given out. Thanks to all of the volunteers, especially the professors who gave a helping hand in cooking and directing traffic, this vent was a huge success. Since SCU will not be hosting next year's conference, the students are expected to have more time time to focus on the concrete canoe and steel bridge competitions, and will hopefully place higher in the competitions. ASCE concluded the school year with a BBQ at a nearby park for all of the students and faculty. ASCE newly elected officers have already started drafting for an exciting 2007-08.
The new officers include:

Bryant Troung--President

Kristen Jackson--Vice President

Alec Kneefel--Secretary

Patrick Gogan--Treasurer

Brian Reeves and Jack Corrigan--Activities Directors

John Beadle and Brand Schlesinger--Concrete Canoe Chairs

Raymond Lam and Mike Wackerman-- Steel Bridge Chairs

Eddie Reyes-- Publicity Director

For additional information about ASCE and  forthcoming activities, check out our website: