Title: Civil & coastal engineering newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090039/00003
 Material Information
Title: Civil & coastal engineering newsletter
Series Title: Civil & coastal engineering newsletter
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, University of Florida
Publisher: Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Spring 2003
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090039
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Message from the Chair
It is once again my pleasure to update you on new
developments in the Department of Civil and Coastal
Engineering. Let me begin with our move back to Weil
Hall. As much as we love the "SWAMP'" we are happy
to be out ofYon Hall and back to the familiar confines
of the dramatically improved and revitalized Weil Hall.
I extend a warm invitation to all our loyal alumni
and friends to visit us in our old "new" home... its
Civil and Coastal Engineeringfaculty continue
T esco to excel in the research arena. CCE Department
Dr.Joseph W. Tedesco
research expenditures for the 2001-2002 academic
year totaled $16.3 million, a 20% increase over the
previous year. This ranked the Civil and Coastal Engineering Department first in
the College of Engineering, and once again in the top ten nationally for all civil
engineeringprograms. The most impressive aspect of this research total is our diverse
base of research sponsors. Approximately 45% ($73m) of the total expenditures
are attributed to federal research sponsors such as the National Science Foundation,
NASA, the Federal Highway Administration, USDA, USGS, the US. Army, the
Office ofNaval Research, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), and the US.
Department of Energy (DOE). Another 35% ($5.7m) of the total expenditures are
attributed to state agencies such as the Florida Department of Transportation, the
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Community
Affairs and several Water Management Districts around the state. The remaining
20% ($3.3m) of the total is attributed to private business and industry... GO
On the educational front, the University has recently sanctioned a 30hr., courses
only, Masters Degree. The CCE Department is taking advantage of this academic
milestone to satisfy industry demands for premier engineering courses and graduate
degrees. Starting in the Fall 2003 semester, the CCE Department will begin offering
a comprehensive menu of civil and coastal engineering courses through distance
learning, via the Florida Engineering Education Delivery System (FEEDS). I
am proud to be in the position to offer one of the nations finest civil engineering
educational programs to practicing engineers and technical managers throughout
the great State ofFlorida. For more information about this exciting educational
opportunity please visit the FEEDS web site http//loeep.eng. ufl.edu.
In closing, I want to express my sincere appreciation to our many alumni and
friendsfor their generous financial support of our program, especially in this difficult
economic period. And as always, I am so very proud to proclaim...It' great to be a
Florida Gator!

Dr. Joseph W Tedesco

CCE Faculty Activities

Drs. Gary R. Consolazio, Michael McVay,
and G. Benjamin Lehr were nominated for the
K.B. Woods Award at the 2003 Annual TRB
Meeting for Foundations and Other Structures
"Dynamic Finite Element Analysis Of Vessel-Pier-
Soil Interaction During Barge Impact Events."

Dr. Frank Townsend, elected ASCE fellow,
made a keynote presentation at the "II
Panameriacan Conference on the Teaching and
Learning Processes of Geotechnical Engineering"
Nov 28,2002, Guayaquil, Ecuador entitled,
"Challenges for Geotechnical Engineering
Graduate Education"

Dr. Robert Dean has
been notified that his
book "Beach Nourishment:
Theory and Practice" has
been published by WorLd
Scientific. This book is
intended for both the
student and practitioner
of beach nourishment

William M. Sampson,
McTrans Center Director,
was appointed to the
Transportation Research
Board (TRB) Committee
on Highway Capacity and
Quality of Service (HCQS)
and Chair of the User
Liaison Subcommittee.

Dr. Rey Roque was
appointed Associated
Editor of the International
Journal of Road Materials
and Pavement Design.
He was also appointed
to Committee A2D04
on Characteristics of
S Bituminous Mixtures
to Meet Structural Requirements of the
Transportation Research Board, National
Research Council, after having completed 6
years as committee chair.

Dr. Byron Ruth was
awarded the status of
Honorary Member of the
Association of AsphaLt
Paving Technologists. This
is the highest honor that
can be bestowed by the
k Association to one of its

Dr. Gary Long, Associate Professor, received
two "Best Paper" awards at the 82nd Annual
Meeting of the Transportation Research Board

for a paper in the area of traffic signal systems,
and for a paper for Last year's meeting in the
area of operational effects of geometrics.

Dr. Robert Thieke ^ was awarded the 2003
Excellence in Civil Engineering Education
(ExCEEd) Career Award for Excellence in
Teaching. He wiLL be honored at ASCE's 2003
Annual Conference and Exposition held in
Nashville,TN in October.

The Department of Civil
& Coastal Engineering is
pleased to announce the
promotion with tenure
of Dr. Kurt Gurley to
the rank of associate
professor. Dr. Gurtey
is a member of the
department's Structures
Group and is currently
involved in damage mitigation research to
structures caused by hurricanes. Dr. Gurley
received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from
the University of Notre Dame in 1997.

Announcing The Powell
Family Structures Research

This year the College has made an
important breakthrough toward the
construction of a structures and materials
laboratory that will allow our faculty and
students to perform research that is not
presently possible with our limited facilities.
The Department of Civil and Coastal
Engineering is in the process of defining
new areas of research and adding new
faculty members who will bring cutting
edge research to the College of Engineering.
Until recently, our ability to implement
these key programs in the College's strategy
for an increased research program has been
impeded because of inadequate facilities. A
key research laboratory for Civil Engineering
has been contemplated for ten years, but
has not been built due to a lack of funding.
Through the generous gift from
the Robert O. Powell Family, and
the anticipated state matching funds,
the College will be able to fund the
design, construction and equipping
of this important new building. This
commitment, in combination with
anticipated commitments from building
suppliers for at-cost materials, will enable
the College to construct a 6,000 square
foot facility with a 36' crane hook height.
Construction of the new building is
anticipated to begin in the latter part
of 2003. The Department plans to site
the building at the Waldo Road Florida
Department of Transportation and
Materials Research facility, which will be
vacated by the FDOT and transferred to
the University. With the firm commitment
to construct this long-needed research
facility, the Department of Civil
Engineering plans to recruit nationally
known research faculty who will greatly
enhance the research program.
In recognition of the Powell family's
generosity in designating this gift for
the construction of this critical research
laboratory, the University of Florida will
name the new building the Powell Family
Structures Research Laboratory, which
will stand as a permanent tribute to their
support of excellence in academics and
research at the University of Florida.

Recently Awarded Research Contract Highlights

V- l,,.

"Pedestrian Safety Engineering
and Intelligent Transportation
System-Based Countermeasures
Program for Reducing Pedestrian
Fatalities, Injuries, Conflicts and
other Surrogate Measures"

"Hurricane Loss Reduction
Consortium: Wind and
Structural Engineering Initiative"

"Career: Advancing Nearshore
Circulation Modeling"

"State-Wide Coastal Monitoring
Using Airborne Laser Swath

"Napa Valley Channel and Surface
Reconstruction Using Airborne
Laser Swath Mapping"

Federal Highway

Clemson University

National Science

Florida Department
of Environmental

State of California

$785, 000 Ralph Ellis


Kurtis Gurley

$454,068 Donald Stinn


Ramesh Shrestha

$273,942 Ramesh Shrestha

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P i i l I ti t


CCE Faculty Plan for M.I.T.
Several CCE faculty have been actively
involved in the planning and organization
of the Second M.I.T. Conference on
Computational Fluid and Solid Mechanics.
Dr. Joseph Tedesco resides on the Scientific
Advisory Board for the Conference, and
CCE faculty Drs. Bjorn Birgisson, Gary
Consolazio, Ashish Mehta and Peter Sheng
have organized specialty technical sessions.
The objective of the Conference is to
bring together researchers and practitioners
from around the world to assess the latest
frontiers of high performance computing
and to set important directions for further
research and development. The focus of
the conference will be on computational
fluid dynamics, computational solid and
structural mechanics, and in particular on
the interdisciplinary areas of multi-physics
phenomena. The conference will be hosted
on the M.I.T. campus June 17-20, 2003.
For detailed information on the conference
please visit the web site http://www.second

The Department of Civil and Coastal
Engineering held its first Transportation
Research Board Reception at the 2003
TRB Annual Meeting in Washington
DC this lastJanuary. The reception was
deemed a success as transportation
professionals, faculty, students and
department friends stopped by the
reception to get reacquainted and
discuss their research activities.
The department hopes to make the

Roadside Beacons Warn Motorist of Impending Danger

Fog-related pileups such as last year's 71-car
collision in Texas could become a thing of
the past with roadside "smart beacons" that
use the latest wireless technology to sense
wrecks and warn motorists of danger ahead.
So say three University of Florida
engineering researchers who this month
applied for a patent on the concept for the
beacons, which would be placed at regular
intervals on roadside rights-of-way, and flash
red or yellow lights to indicate a hazard
ahead. Projected to be roughly the size and
shape of highway reflectors, the ground-
level smart beacons also could be used to
designate evacuation routes during hurricanes
and other emergencies, urge lane clearing
for oncoming rescue vehicles -- even help
motorists avoid traffic jams by directing them
to less clogged alternative routes.
"The sensors will automatically determine
if a crash has occurred," said Dave
Bloomquist, a UF associate professor of civil
engineering. "They'll then transmit that
information to sensors a mile or two up
the road, warning vehicles that haven't yet
reached the crash site."
Although the researchers have not yet
built a prototype, they say the beacons likely
will draw on the same wireless technology -
ultra-wideband radar and communication -
now being developed for collision-avoidance
systems in cars and trucks.
Ultra-wideband, or UWB, broadcasts
extremely rapid pulses of radio energy. By
measuring the amount of time required for
the pulses to return, the system can be used
as radar, thereby precisely determining the
location of nearby objects as well as their
UWB-based on-board new vehicles now
being built and tested are intended to help
motorists avoid collisions by warning the

Short range Radar functions:
1) Collision warning;
2) Precrash sensing;
3) Firing of restraints, Airbags;
4) Recognition of all Traffic members;
5) Blind spot detection;
6) Parking aid;
7) Pedestrian recognition.

driver of nearby cars or obstacles. Such
systems also sense impending collisions, then
tighten seat belts and deploy airbags at the
proper pressure, thereby reducing injury to
Longer-range radar systems based on a
different technology already are being used
in so-called adaptive cruise-control systems,
which gauge the speed of nearby traffic and
adjust a car's speed to flow with the traffic.
Adaptive cruise control is now available in
some Jaguars, BMWs and other high-end
luxury vehicles.

Bloomquist said adaptive cruise control,
onboard navigation systems, UWB radar and
other technologies are the first components
of an emerging "intelligent" transportation
system expected to make driving far safer and
more efficient.
The smart-beacon system fits into this
trend. Bloomquist, Mike McVay, a professor
of Civil & Coastal Engineering and Erik
Larsson, a UF Assistant Professor of Electrical
& Computer Engineering, say the beacons
will consist of solar cells for electricity;
batteries; green, red and yellow lights; UWB
radar and wireless communication electronics
- all in a self-contained package the size of a
deck of cards.
Placed at 100-foot intervals along a road,
the beacons would monitor traffic flow
continuously. When they sensed stopped or
dramatically slowed vehicles, they would send
that information to beacons down the road,
which would warn motorists of trouble ahead
using flashing colored lights.
The automatic system would require
no human intervention, although law
enforcement and rescue personnel could
control it remotely, or shut it on or off from

Rear crash

long change


the roadside. Officials also could use it to
program evacuation routes during hurricanes
or alternative detour routes around accidents
or traffic jams.
The highway patrol can say, "Look, down
the road there's a toxic spill, so let's change
the color of the lights and re-route the traffic
away from the incident."
It's even possible the beacons could be
used to customize timing of traffic lights.
For example, the beacons would monitor the
number of vehicles stopped in each direction
and adjust the duration of green and red
lights based on the longest lines.
Hoping to acquire funding support for
development and testing of a prototype
beacon and the deployment of a test beacon
system, the researchers are scheduled to
present their idea to Florida Department of
Transportation officials. The technology to
build the sensors is available now, but moving
from the concept to reality will take time.
"The chip sets are already out there,"
McVay said. "What has to be done is to
adapt the technology to this particular
Price depends on production but if made
in large quantities, the beacons probably
would cost around $30 each. It costs about
$20 million to build one mile of interstate
highway, so installation of the reflectors
would represent only a small additional cost.
Nationwide, motor vehicle crashes resulted in
37,795 fatalities and over two million injuries
in 2001, according to the U.S. Department
of Transportation National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration. The agency estimated
the economic cost of crashes at $230.6
billion in 2001.

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Next Generation


Dr. Peter Sheng and his research team,
consisting of eight Ph.D. students and
a postdoctoral associate, are conducting
interdisciplinary studies and developing
mathematical models that can be used to solve
many important problems in Florida and the
nation, e.g., the restoration and management of
estuarine and coastal ecosystems, the production
of more accurate flood insurance maps, as well
as the tracking of the space shuttle Columbia
debris in the Atlantic Ocean. Model simulations
are being conducted on high performance
computers including a 16-cpu SGI Origin3400
system and a 20-cpu Beowulf cluster.
Between 50% to 75% of the nation's
population live near estuaries. The protection
of water quality and habitat in Florida estuaries
and the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico
and the Atlantic is of utmost importance to
the sustainability of Florida's and the nation's
economy. To reverse the damages to estuarine
and coastal ecosystems caused by population
and agricultural growth, environmental
managers (USEPA, FDEP, and Florida
Water Management Districts) are developing
scientifically based loading limits (TMDL,
PLRG, and MFL) to reduce the amount of
pollutants entering into estuaries. These efforts
are now benefiting directly from one of Dr.
Sheng's research areas the development of
integrated modeling system for restoration and
management of estuarine and coastal ecosystems.
Dr. Sheng's research in environmental fluid
dynamics and pollutant transport in aquatic
ecosystems started in the 1970's when he
did his Ph.D. and postdoctoral work at Case
Western Reserve University, and continued
through his tenure at Aeronautical Research
Associates of Princeton, where he conducted
research in turbulence modeling and estuarine
and atmospheric processes, and developed
the CH3D (Curvilinear Grid 3-D) model for
coastal and estuarine circulation. Since joining
UF in 1986, Dr. Sheng and his research team
conducted numerous interdisciplinary research
projects, collaborating with researchers in
Soil and Water Science, Fishery and Aquatic
Science, Statistics, and Computer and
Information Science and Engineering. They
further developed the CH3D model and have
expanded it into an integrated modeling system,
CH3D-IMS, which includes fully integrated

models of circulation,
wave, sediment transport,
water quality dynamics,
light attenuation, and
seagrass dynamics. The
CH3D model is widely
used, and has been
applied to almost every
major estuary and lake
in Florida. It is the cornerstone
of the Chesapeake Bay model.
Dr. Sheng led the 1.8 million
dollar Indian River Lagoon
study and validated the CH3D-
IMS with IRL data. The Indian
River Lagoon Pollutant Load
Reduction (IRLPLR) model,
is now being used by the St.
Johns River Water Management
District to develop pollutant
load reduction goals (PLRG's) of
nutrients and suspended solids
for various IRL watersheds.
To protect the Charlotte
Harbor estuarine system from
irreversible damage caused by
reduced freshwater from rivers,
relying on Dr. Sheng's CH3D
model to develop MFL criterion for the Peace
River and Caloosahatchee River, respectively.
As shown by the distribution of a tracer in the
Charlotte Harbor estuarine system one month
after its initial release inside the Peace and the
Caloosahatchee (Figure 1), there is significant
interaction between the tracers released from
the two rivers, as well as significant interaction
between the estuary and the Gulf of Mexico.
Dr. Sheng's group is also involved in the
development of an integrated storm surge and
coastal flooding model, and its application
to develop flood insurance rate maps for the
largest coastal county in Florida Pinellas
County. Hurricanes are the most devastating
and damaging natural hazard impacting the
United States, and especially Florida. The
damage associated with the direct hit of a single
hurricane like Andrew can easily amount to
$60-$80 billion; comparable to the damage
caused at the World Trade Center disaster.
Insurance industry data show that 65% of all
insured losses from natural hazards in the US

Cwnat m 4% I

U U le?.iT

over the past 50 years are due to hurricanes,
with major damages caused by storm surge
and coastal flooding. Dr. Sheng's group has
developed an integrated modeling system that
combines the CH3D model with two robust
wave models: REF/DIF and SWAN. Nonlinear
interactions among surge, wave, tide, and wind
are being incorporated into the integrated
modeling system. In addition, Dr. Sheng used
the high-resolution topography data of the
Pinellas County obtained by the Airborne Laser
Swath Mapping (ALSM) system of the CCE
Department. The multi-dimensional modeling
approach in combination with the high
resolution ALSM data proved to be much more
accurate and robust that the FEMA method.
Figure 2 shows an example flood map for the
Tarpon Springs area of the Pinellas County,
indicating significant difference between the
FEMA and UF results. Upon final approval by
FEMA, Dr. Sheng's method could become the
foundation of the next generation FEMA storm
surge and coastal flooding model.



Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering
365 Weil Hall/PO Box 116580
Gainesville, FL 32611-6580


CCE Needs Your Support
In this time of receding support from the State Government, we need the help of
our loyal alumni and friends. Any donations you can make to the Department
will help to sustain the vitality and quality of our education programs. Thank
you in advance.
Joseph Tedesco

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Department of Civil &
Coastal Engineering
365 Weil Hall/PO Box 116580
Gainesville, FL 32611-6580

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352-392-3394 (fax)

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