CEE Affiliates Meeting Addresses Innovations in Water Infrastructure

ASCE student chapter plaque

Nearly 60 people turned out for breakfast and to hear about innovations in water infrastructure at the fall quarterly meeting of the UC Irvine Samueli School’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Affiliates. The CEE Affiliates is a group of industry professionals who provide support and guidance to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and who serve as an interface between the professional engineering community and the academic and research community.

Dean Gregory Washington welcomed the group and praised them for their involvement with the Samueli School. “Our connection to industry through this group strengthens our program, it’s what makes us unique,” said Washington.

At the meeting, the Orange County branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) presented Brett Sanders, CEE professor and department chair, with a special ASCE UCI student chapter plaque, in honor of the 150 anniversary of the ASCE. And Michelle Schuetz, a district representative from Assemblyman Travis Allen’s office, presented the school with a certificate of recognition for its contributions to the civil and environmental engineering field.

”This plaque signifies ASCE’s long standing commitment to student programs” said Saunders. “Professional development begins right here on campus.”

Sanders also awarded three students with $1,000 scholarships from the CEE Affiliates. Each scholarship is named in honor of an emeritus faculty member. CEE Affiliates Scholarship winnersHugo Cesar Rodriguez Jr., a second year civil engineering student, won the Jan Scherfig Scholarship; Bridget Eckhardt, a third year environmental engineering student, earned the Gary Guymon Scholarship; and Adalberto Cuellar Franco, a senior environmental engineering student, received the Robin Shepherd Scholarship.

The meeting then turned to the featured topic. David Feldman, professor and chair of the Department of Planning, Policy and Design in the School of Social Ecology, moderated the discussion. Adel Hagekhalil, assistant director of the Los Angeles City Bureau of Sanitation, discussed the challenges and opportunities in managing storm water in Los Angeles. He shared some of the many green infrastructure projects for storm runoff in neighborhoods throughout the city. And Stanley Grant, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, discussed low-energy options for making water from wastewater. He shared what he’s learned from his NSF-funded project, UCI Water-Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE), which is a collaboration between Australian and a trio of Southern California universities to study the technologies and policies implemented during Australia’s Millennium Drought and its aftermath.