Karthik Gowda

UALR student wins award for research into environmentally friendly concrete mixture

A civil engineer who traveled from India to study at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is researching a way to lower the cost of concrete and to save the environment from the harmful effects of quarry dust and fly ash.

Continue reading “UALR student wins award for research into environmentally friendly concrete mixture”

UALR students won second place in the Heavy Civil Division at the Associated Schools of Construction Student Competition in Dallas. From left to right are Joseph Eggburn, Austin Anderson, William Duncanson, Coach Larry Blackmon, Drew Potter, Ryan Hix, and Dylan Singleton.

UALR students take 2nd place in Dallas competition

University of Arkansas at Little Rock students took second place in the Associated Schools of Construction Student Competition held Feb. 13-15 in Dallas. Continue reading “UALR students take 2nd place in Dallas competition”

Students present

Design project captures national engineering award

A team of six UALR civil and construction engineering students, five industry sponsors, and two faculty members has won a national award for a senior design project submitted for the American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas. Continue reading “Design project captures national engineering award”

One and done: Six seniors pass national constructor exam on first try

All six members of the senior class in UALR’s civil and construction engineering program have passed the American Institute of Constructor’s (AIC) Associate Constructor (AC) exam on the first try.

This marks the first time every senior in the civil and construction engineering program passed the exam on the first attempt.

The eight-hour exam is administered nationwide only twice per year.

With 378 students out of 788 passing nationwide, the national pass rate on the March 2015 administration was 48 percent, according to Associate Professor Nickolas Jovanovic of the Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering.

Sarah Brown is one of six seniors who recently passed the Associate Constructor Exam on first attempt.

“This achievement suggests that the construction courses at UALR are preparing students to meet and exceed national standards,” said Jovanovic.

“It demonstrates that the entire senior class of civil and construction engineering students is very well prepared to make the transition from college to the workplace or graduate school,” he said.

The names of the six members of the senior class, along with their internship employers, are:

• Sarah Brown, McCarthy Building Companies

• Joshua Hendricks, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

• Angela Matika, Prospect Steel

• Whitney Montague, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

• Esteban Rodriguez, Crossland Construction, and CDI Contractors

• Essie Whitmore, Entergy Arkansas Nuclear One, and CDI Contractors

In addition, these six seniors have been working with structural engineers at Cromwell Architects Engineers and CDI Contractors every other week since last August on their senior design project, “Seismic Retrofit Feasibility Study for the American Red Cross Facility in Little Rock, Arkansas.”

Upon graduation, the students will be eligible to apply for AIC’s Associate Constructor certification, which will identify them as professionally competent because of verifiable skills and knowledge levels, according to the AIC website.

The civil and construction engineering program, housed in the Department of Construction Management & Civil and Construction Engineering within UALR’s Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology, is the only program of its kind in the U.S.

It prepares students to be both civil engineers and construction engineers in a single degree program, said Jovanovic.

In addition to completing a rigorous 128-hour curriculum, students in the civil and construction engineering program must also complete three professional requirements in order to graduate:

  • Pass the Associate Constructor (AC) nationwide exam
  • Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) nationwide exam
  • Obtain at least 800 hours of engineering or construction-related work experience

Hydraulic fracturing conference scheduled April 20-21

UALR will be the host site this month for a conference on hydraulic fracturing and environmental pollution designed for leaders in academia, industry, and government.

The conference will be held April 20 to 21. Conference organizers say it is the first of its size and scope for UALR.
The National Science Foundation awarded UALR a $35,773 grant to host the event.

Hydraulic_Fracturing_2015According to the grant’s principal investigator, Dr. Lashun K. Thomas, the conference was created to bring together experts from all sectors to promote ideas, address fracturing efficiency, and discuss ways to mitigate the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing.

Thomas said she hopes the conference will provide a platform to present current research findings and exchange ideas for future directions.

Hydraulic fracturing is a commonly used technology for well stimulation to increase oil and gas production.

There is an urgent need for the development of improved fracturing fluids and methods to achieve better fracturing efficiency as well as minimize potential environmental impact, according to Thomas.Lashun King Thomas

“This technology brings tremendous benefits to people in many states, including Arkansas,” she acknowledged.

“However, pollution is a major concern for residents, especially the potential for water contamination for residents living in regions of the Marcellus Shale in New York and Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas.”

Thomas, an assistant professor in UALR’s Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering who is administering UALR’s new environmental engineering program, is joined by co-investigator, Dr. Hansong Tang, an associate professor of civil engineering at the City University of New York.

The grant is effective Dec. 1, 2014, through Nov. 30, 2015.

The project title is “Reducing the Impact of Hydraulic Shale Fracturing and Natural Gas Drilling on Environments: Development of Green Fracturing Fluids and Sustainable Remediation and Containment Technologies.”