The Kiewit Center for Infrastructure and Transportation is pleased to announce the selection of the first Kiewit Center Graduate Fellowships. The awardees are Messrs. Thomas Schumacher and Matthew Hallowell from the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. Selection of the Fellowships was based on the recommendations of the faculty and the individuals selected represent the very best ideals of graduate scholarship, leadership, and potential for future professional prominence.
Matthew Hallowell received his B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from Bucknell University in Lewisburg , PA. While a graduate student at Bucknell, Matt worked as a structural engineer and co-founded a company which focuses on design of modular pre-manufactured homes. Combining together his interests in safety, risk, innovation, and structures, Matt has chosen to focus his PhD research at OSU on developing and evaluating a formal model (“Safety Equilibrium Model”) for selecting and implementing risk reduction (safety) elements on construction projects. Current models of risk assessment and management as applied to construction safety have been developed without regard to selective management of safety program elements to optimize safety resource utilization. As a result, it is often the case that a “birdshot” approach is taken to risk reduction irrespective of the severity and magnitude of the potential risk and the capacity to mitigate that risk. Matt's proposed research will utilize a risk management approach to rating hazards with the objective of assessing and comparing the safety “demand” created by a new or innovative process with the “capacity” associated with selected safety program elements. The research brings together structural design concepts (i.e., demand vs. capacity) with risk analysis as it is applied to construction safety. It is expected that the Safety Equilibrium Model will be implemented in practice for evaluating proposed innovative construction processes and planning the appropriate hazard mitigation measures.
Thomas Schumacher received his B.S. from the Burgdorf School of Engineering in Switzerland, and his M.S. from Oregon State University. He has four years of professional design experience as a structural engineer and is currently a PhD student in civil engineering. His research is focused on application of acoustic emission technology for evaluation of reinforced concrete bridges. This nondestructive testing method shows great promise for evaluating and monitoring the health and condition of buildings, mines, and bridges and will aid engineers in assessment of existing infrastructure. Thomas has recently conducted laboratory AE-tests on full-size bridge girders under shear and bending and bridge columns subjected to rebar anchorage pull-out.
Congratulations to both recipients, who will use the fellowship funds to travel to technical meetings, participate in technical committees, develop professional contacts, and present their research findings.