The CEE Department is proud to announce and share the stories of its Fall 2015 Ph.D. graduates: Xiong Yang, Xin Jiao, Bahareh Inanloo, Khandker Saqib Ishtiaq, and Sahar Ghasemi.
Xiong Yang obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and decided to take the plunge into the CEE doctoral program. Focusing on Structural Engineering, he specifically explored the use of fiber reinforced polymer composite cable for post-tensioning application. His research concluded that it is feasible to use such material for this purpose. These findings will help the community by eliminating corrosion issues found in bridges and buildings, increasing the life span of infrastructure, and lowering maintenance cost of bridges and buildings tremendously. Yang found that his advisor, Dr. Amir Mirmiran, was his main source of support here at CEE during his four-year journey. Even so, he felt that the most challenging part of his research was running the experimental tests. He hopes to become a project manager in the future.
Xin Jiao attained his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering; and just as his colleague Xiong did, went straight for a Ph.D. Jiao said he has always been interested in research and wanted to obtain the highest degree possible in the profession he loves. He has spent the past four years researching the effect of pavement-vehicle interaction on highway fuel consumption and emission. His research concluded that pavement type and surface material are essential factors that affect vehicle highway fuel economy. He not only discovered, but also confirmed that there is a fuel consumption difference between flexible and rigid pavement. This provided crucial references for roadway engineers and researchers on the role of pavement in the sustainable transportation development. Jiao feels that he would not have been able to acquire his degree with the instruction and help of his advisor, Dr. Michael Bienvenu. In the future, Jiao would like to work in the infrastructure or building industries.
Bahareh Inanloo decided to enroll in the CEE doctoral program about three and a half years ago, already having a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Water Engineering. She decided to enroll to improve her research and independent study skills, and to also be able to pursue a faculty position in the future. Focusing on environmental engineering, she set out to develop a multi-criteria GIS-based route selection tool for hazardous material transport. She had to take into consideration how the tool would affect the environment, traffic congestion, and costs. In the end, she was able to develop a routing tool for hazardous material that met all the criteria. The biggest challenge for her was finding the appropriate methods for evaluations. Her advisor, Dr. Berrin Tansel, and our department chair Dr. Atorod Azizinamini were a huge help throughout her time here. All of her hard work paid off in the end – she is now working as an assistant engineer at Nova Consulting Inc. Ultimately, she would like to have a faculty position at a prestigious university and try to change current curriculum and teaching methods to better match the reality of the engineering working environment.
Khandker Saqib Ishtiaq obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Water Resources Engineering and later earned his Master’s in the same field. Growing up with two professors as parents, Ishtiaq was encouraged by them to obtain the highest degree possible. Which is why, in his mother’s memory, he dedicated his dissertation to her. He feels earning his Ph.D. is one of the most significant achievements of his life. Focusing on water resources and ecological engineering, Ishtiaq’s thesis was about robust modeling and predictions of greenhouse gases fluxes from forest and wetland ecosystems. His research concluded that the factors that drive the terrestrial greenhouse gas fluxes follow a robust pattern. He also used his engineering and computational knowledge in the field of ecology and biological science to come up with a user-friendly, empirical model that can predict the greenhouse gas fluxes and carbon sequestration from coastal wetlands. It is an Excel spreadsheet ecological engineering tool to aid the policy makers and ecosystem managers to maintain and restore coastal wetlands under the current change of climate and sea level rise. Most importantly, his research introduced a new topic in civil engineering – and that is ecological engineering.
Sahar Ghasemi obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Civil/Earthquake Engineering before starting the CEE doctoral program 2-and-a-half years ago. She felt her talents best suited her for Civil Engineering and looked hard for a Ph.D. program that would allow her to perform thorough investigations on the topics she was interested in. FIU’s CEE doctoral program was the perfect choice for her. She focused her research on bridge engineering and to find a viable alternative to open steel grid bridge deck replacements. Her research brought her to work with a new type of concrete, ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC), which made it difficult to hypothesize what would happen in each experiment since there has not been much literature published on it and she was not familiar in how to work with it. In the end, Ghasemi’s study led to the production of a lightweight, low-profile asymmetric waffle deck made with advanced materials like UHPC. This helps tremendously with bridge restoration due to the lightweight material requiring less manpower to manipulate. She would like to thank her dissertation advisor, Dr. Amir Mirmiran for all of his help. Ghasemi believes her research talents would be best applied as a faculty member in academia or as a group member in the R & D department of industrial companies.
Once again, congratulations to all of our Fall 2015 Ph.D. graduates. Those who would like to follow in their footsteps, more information about our doctoral program can be found here.