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GDOT and FHWA Fund Traffic Safety Research at Georgia Southern

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently funded two research projects led by Junan Shen, Ph.D., professor of civil engineering and construction. The research team consists of Dr. Shen and Xiaoming Yang, Ph.D., assistant professor of civil engineering and construction, both from Georgia Southern, and Youngguk Seo, Ph.D., and Tien Yee, Ph.D., from Kennesaw State University.

The team’s first project, “Optimizing Winter Roadway Treatments for George Pavement” will seek to enhance traffic safety by identifying the most effective anti-icing/de-icing solution for Georgia’s roadways, while minimizing the negative effects of the solution on pavement durability.

For the second project, the team is joined by Weinan Gao, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Yunfeng Chen, Ph.D., who just this year moved from Georgia Southern to Purdue University. “Cognitive Attention and its Application in Countermeasures on a Curve Section” will evaluate real-time eye movements of drivers responding to different safety countermeasures in driving simulations to evaluate traffic designs and enhance safety.

Georgia Engineering Foundation Scholarships

The Georgia Engineering Foundation awarded three Georgia Southern students in the Mechanical Engineering program scholarships this year.

Sierra Houang received the Trooper and Jami Smith Scholarship; Marcela Montoya, the Dan Duwell Memorial Scholarship; and Camille Phillips, the David L. Smith Memorial Scholarship.

For more than 47 years, the Georgia Engineering Foundation has sponsored a program that awards college scholarships to worthy Georgia students who are preparing for a career in engineering or engineering technology. Since 1985, over 900 students have been awarded scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $6,000. In 2019, 42 awards were made and a total of $76,500 was given to students pursuing a field in either engineering or engineering technology.

All scholarships are competitively awarded based on the student’s demonstrated competence in academics, interest in developing a career in engineering, financial need, and school and community involvement. Look for the next application period to open again in Summer 2020 at

SPARK Innovation Competition 2019

On October 22-23, 2019, 18 Paulson College of Engineering and Computing students competed in the first-ever SPARK Southeast INNOVATION Competition on the Georgia Southern University Statesboro campus. The 24-hr shark tank-type competition was sponsored by Ramboll, a leading engineering, design and consultancy company founded in Denmark in 1945.  Students were divided into teams and charged with solving a sustainability problem that involved manufacturing, technology and achieving zero-waste-to-landfill operations.

The competition is part of the focus on experiential learning for Paulson College students and helps develop problem solving, collaboration and presentation skills while providing an opportunity to network with industry experts.

The first place winners were: Everrick Wright, Coby Wissing, Maria Isabel Gonzalez Bocanegra,  Emily Bailey, Brennan Drake, and Kelton King.  They received a cash prize and have been invited to present their winning solution at the Fall 2019 College Corporate Advisory Committee meeting.  With special thanks to industry sponsors,  Mr. Samuel Vedder from Grifols and Mr. Mike Hall from Ramboll.

SPARK Innovation Competition

Today and tomorrow (Tues. – Wed., Oct. 22-23), 19 PCEC students will participate in the SPARK Southeast Innovation Competition on the GS Statesboro campus. The 24-hour shark tank style competition is sponsored by OBG/Ramboll.

Students are divided into teams to solve a sustainability problem that typically involves manufacturing engineering, construction/civil engineering, technology and the environment. This year’s challenge problem will involve achieving zero waste-to-landfill operations.

The event begins today at 5pm in the IT Building, and concludes tomorrow at 4pm when the teams present their solutions to the judges in Nessmith-Lane room 1909. All winners receive cash prizes — the 1st place winners will give their presentation to the PCEC’s Corporate Advisory Committee in November.

Started in 2013, SPARK has since been scaled to competitions held across the US, comprised of multiple universities and Fortune 50 companies. As part of each competition, diverse, cross-discipline student teams are provided problem statements and given just under 24 hours to come up with a solution. Guided by subject matter experts from Ramboll and industry partners, the teams ideate, develop concepts and pitch their solutions to a panel of academic and private sector judges to win a cash prize.

MechE Student Wins Prize for Presentation

Cesar Carapia, BS MechE, presented at ASME’s Internal Combustion Engine Division Undergraduate Student Presentation Competition. His award-winning presentation is titled: “RCCI with N-butanol for the Reduction of NOX and Soot Emissions.” Cesar will present his research at the Internal Combustion Engine Fall (ICEF) Conference in Chicago.

Cesar currently conducts research in the laboratory of Dr. Valentin Soloiu, professor and Allen E. Paulson Distinguished Chair of Renewable Energy, in the department of Mechanical Engineering.