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September & October 2010

Michelle Scherer was selected to receive the 2010 Malcolm Pirnie/AEESP Frontier in Research Award October 4 at the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Meet and Greet event in New Orleans, Louisiana.   The award honors individuals who have advanced the environmental engineering and science field through recognized research leadership and pioneering efforts in new and innovative research areas. There is a $4,000 financial award included. AEESP is made up of professors in academic programs throughout the world who provide education in the sciences and technologies of environmental protection.

New LACMRERS BrochureWe have a great new LACMRERS brochure! You can check out the cool new electronic interactive  version at:
Lucille A. Carver Mississippi Riverside Environmental Research Station on Big Ten Network

The Lucille A. Carver Mississippi Riverside Environmental Research Station (LACMRERS) is the subject of a new feature on Iowa Magazine, telecast on the Big Ten Network.
To watch the video segment, go to

IIHR Research Team Head to Gulf Coast to Study Effects of BP Oil Spill

Thanos Papanicolaou and two other research staff members joined researchers from two other universities for a 10-day trip to the Gulf Coast, where they searched for oil and other hydrocarbons.
Researchers hope that by studying these hydrocarbons, they may be able to find out what negative effects the British Petrolium oil spill earlier this year may have had on the ecosystem.

Papanicolaou and his team hope to bring samples of rock fragments called “bed sediment” back to the UI for further research. Data from the trip will be used to apply for a grant from the Department of Energy, as well as for future research projects. Papanicolaou said the project will be instrumental in improving conditions for the ecosystem, local fishermen, and tourism.

The 2010 Simon W. Freese Environmental Engineering Award and Lecture was presented to Jerald Schnoor, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, NAE for pioneering research and philosophy in global air pollution issues, the linkage to surface water acidification and quality, and for advancing the theory and practice of hydrologic sciences, including watershed and reservoir modeling.

The award was presented May 19 during the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010 held in Providence, R.I. The invited lecture on Environmental Grand Challenges, including water sustainability, was presented at the annual EWRI meeting.

Faculty Appointments:

Thanos Papanicolaou was named the Donald E. Bently Faculty Fellow of Engineering. A member of the college’s Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy, Donald E. Bently is an internationally recognized authority on rotor dynamics, vibration monitoring, and diagnostics. Born in Pleasant Prairie, Iowa, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Iowa in 1949 and 1950, respectively. He is currently the owner, chairman of the board, and chief executive officer of Bently Pressurized Bearing Company, a manufacturer of bearings that control stability in rotating machinery. He also owns Bently Agrodynamics, an agricultural firm, and Bently Biofuels Company, a producer of low sulfur biodiesel fuel from waste vegetable and virgin seed oils.

Michelle Scherer has been appointed the Robert and Virginia Wheeler Faculty Fellow of Engineering.  The Robert and Virginia Wheeler Faculty Fellowship in Engineering was established in 2003 through a gift to the UI Foundation from the estate of Robert Wheeler and his wife, Virginia. Born in New York in 1922, Wheeler earned a bachelor’s degree in 1948, a master’s degree in 1949, and a doctorate in 1958, all in civil engineering from the UI College of Engineering. He was a UI instructor in civil engineering from 1953 to 1958 and served as assistant professor from 1958-1961. He later taught at Macalester College, Michigan Technical University, and the University of Akron, before retiring from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Funding Awards and Renewals:

Witek Krajewski was awarded a new NSF grant for $705,320 for his project titled, “On the Quest for Power Laws in Floods: Developing Numerical and Analytical Tools.”  It is a joint project with faculty in the mathematic department.
For a full press release, see:

Larry Weber, Nate Young, and Jesse Piotrowski were awarded a contract with Jacob’s Engineering for $38,158 for “Influence of River Training Structures on Flood Stages in the Unimpounded Reach of the Upper Mississippi River — Supplemental Numerical Simulations.”

Bill Eichinger was awarded a $40,000 contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for “Analysis of Lidar and Meteorological Data from Around Animal Confinement Buildings.”

Doug Schnoebelen, Larry Weber, and Nate Young were awarded a $146,805 contract with HDR Engineering (prime funder:  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) for  “Depicting River and Floodplain Habitat Features Using GIS Landscape Data and Hydrodynamic Modeling.”

Larry Weber was awarded a contract for $5,402 with Stanley Consultants (prime funder: Iowa DOT) for an independent technical review of modeling for the Cedar River Bypass in Waverly, Iowa.

Craig Just (lead PI) and collaborators from the UI College of Education were awarded a grant for $873,318 from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education program for “Campus Living-Learning Communities for the Sustainable Citizen: Construct, Content, Assessment, and Dissemination.”  For more information about this project, go to:

Pablo Carrica was awarded a grant for $28,750 from the U.S. Department of Defense for “Bubble-Wall Interaction on Full-Scale Boundary Layers.”

Charles Stanier received $80,000 for “Iowa’s multiscale carbon and nitrogen studies (IMCANS): Combining remote and in-situ approaches in agricultural landscapes.”

Douglas Schnoebelen received $33,000 for “Arsenic in Cerro Gordo County Wells: Determining the distribution of groundwater.”

Alumni News:

John Loperfido, who completed a PhD in 2009 under Jerry Schnoor, was selected to receive the Graduate Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award for 2010. The title of his thesis was, “High-frequency sensing of clear creek water quality: Mechanisms of dissolved oxygen and turbidity dynamics, and nutrient transport.”  The award is recognizes exceptionally meritorious scholarship.

Last modified on January 12th, 2012
Posted on May 5th, 2011

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