4:55 p.m., March 3, 2011----Two faculty members in the University of Delaware's College of Engineering have been recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for exceptional career contributions to their fields.
James T. Kirby Jr., Edward C. Davis Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is a world renowned expert in ocean wave mechanics and near shore hydrodynamics. His research has led to the development of computational wave models that are used around the world to study coastal processes.
Using theoretical and numerical computer models to calculate wave propagation on the surface of the ocean, he has created several open-source model codes, one of which is currently used in tsunami research.
This work has led Kirby, who also holds a dual appointment in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, to be awarded the 2011 John G. Moffatt-Frank E. Nichol Harbor and Coastal Engineering Award.
The award recognizes Kirby's impact on the understanding of coastal processes and the optimal design, construction and maintenance of marine infrastructure.
A previous recipient of the ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, Kirby is widely published with three book chapters and more than 170 refereed journal papers and conference proceedings. His research has been supported by the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, Delaware Sea Grant and the Army Research Office. He has previously served as editor in chief of the ASCE Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering and the American Geophysical Union's Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans.
Sue McNeil, professor in civil and environmental engineering, has been awarded the ASCE Transportation and Development Institute's 2011 Harland Bartholomew Award for pioneering contributions to the redevelopment of brownfield sites and for infrastructure management education and research.
Brownfield sites are abandoned or undeveloped properties located within existing communities that show potential for redevelopment. They are often former industrial or commercial properties with real or perceived environmental complications or contamination.
In 1996, she co-founded the Brownfields Center at Carnegie Mellon University to redevelop sites with complex development hurdles. Today the center also provides access to research, educational programs for professional practitioners and academics, and site-specific workshops to explore comprehensive development initiatives for municipalities and small business owners.
McNeil, who is also a professor in UD's School of Public Policy and Administration, has also spent more than 25 years researching ways to improve infrastructure management.
She is currently working with the Delaware Department of Transportation to develop asset management as a strategic decision-making tool, and with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to create an infrastructure index.
A dedicated educator, she pioneered the first graduate transportation infrastructure systems course in 1988. Known at UD as CIEG655 Civil Infrastructure Systems, the course has been adapted by many academic institutions nationwide. In 2010, she piloted an advance infrastructure management “bootcamp” at UD to engage young engineers as responsible stewards of our physical infrastructure. The course involved instructors from five universities and 17 students from eight universities for two weeks of intensive course and project work.
McNeil is the author of many papers and conference presentations. She is editor-in-chief of the ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems, which she co-founded in 1994. She has also served as chair of ASCE's Civil Infrastructure Systems and Transportation Research Board Asset Management committees.
“I am delighted to see Jim and Sue honored by the ASCE. These prestigious awards are a true testament of the lifetime contributions they have made to their professions and to the education of future engineers," said Harry W. "Tripp" Shenton III, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Article by Katie Galgano