ESSIE - University of Florida

Graduate Student Advisory Group


  • Mission, Overall goals
    • Create a network for graduate students affiliated with the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment (ESSIE)
    • Promote collaboration while enhancing graduate school experience and professional development at the University of Florida
    • Build relationships with prospective, incoming, and current students through recruitment and other activities.


Structural Engineering Research
  • Advisory Group Membership by Research Area
    • Air ResourcesCoastal and Oceanographic Engineering
      • Ross Beardsley
        • Advisor:
          detailsJang, Myoseon,  Ph.D., Associate Professor | Telephone: (352) 846-1744 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests: Ross Beardsley works on the development of improved air quality models. More specifically, he is developing a secondary organic aerosol model for future application in regional and global models. Secondary organic aerosols are formed from the products of the oxidation volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere.
        • Professional affiliations:
          • Air & Waste Management Association - UF Chapter President
          • American Association of Aerosol Research - Member
        • Involvement:
          • ESSIE Envoy's - Member
          • Graduate Student Advisory Council – Member
        • Funding: Research Assistant
      • Robert Nedbor-Gross
        Robert Nedbor-Gross
        • Advisor: No names found.
        • Research and Interests: Robert uses computer models to study topics related air quality and climate on both regional and global scales. Through the use of computer models, Robert works on air quality and weather forecasting and has developed air quality models for regulatory purposes both in the U.S and other countries including Thailand and Colombia.
        • Professional affiliations:
          • Air & Waste Management Association - student member, vice president of the University of Florida chapter
        • Involvement: Benton Engineering Council - representative
        • Funding: Research Assistant
      • Cruz Ortiz Jr.
        Cruz Ortiz Jr.
        • Advisor:
          detailsWu, Chang-Yu,  Ph.D., Professor | Telephone: (352) 392-0845 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests: Cruz is currently investigating the use of a silica precursor to mitigate toxicity of nano-sized metal particles (fume) created by gas metal arc welding. His research interest also lie within the realm of environmental toxicology and mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation.
        • Professional affiliations:
          • Air and Waste Management Association (A&WMA) - Student Member
          • Society for Advancing Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) - Student Member
        • Involvement: Latino/Hispanic Organization of Graduate Students (LOGRAS) - President
        • Funding: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP)
    • Coastal & Oceanographic EngineeringCoastal and Oceanographic Engineering
      • Jorge Laurel-Castillo
        Jorge Laurel-Castillo
        • Advisor:
          detailsValle-Levinson, Arnoldo,  Ph.D., University Term Professor | Telephone: (352) 294-7765 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests:
          • Computational Fluid Dynamics
          • Numerical Methods for PDE's
          • Estuarine hydrodynamics
          • Free surface flows
          • Breaking waves
        • Professional affiliations:
          • Asociación Mexicana de Infraestructura Portuaria, Marítima y Costera (Member)
        • Involvement:
          • UF COPRI
        • Funding: CONACYT
    • Geosystems EngineeringGeosystems Engineering
      • Max Krause
        • Advisor:
          detailsTownsend, Timothy G.,  Ph.D.,  P.E., Jones, Edmunds & Associates, Inc. Professor | Telephone: (352) 392-0846 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests:Max's research topics include measurement of methane generation from solid waste and designing innovative leachate injection and gas collection systems at New River Regional Landfill in Raiford, FL. In 2009, he established an Engineers Without Borders project in Potosí, Bolivia, to harvest rain water for agricultural uses. In 2011, he worked in Haiti as a field engineer for the USAID WINNER program building anaerobic digesters in rural areas. In 2012, he was awarded a UF Interdisciplinary Research Grant to measure recycling participation and establish operational goals for a new recycling facility in Nosara, Costa Rica. He helped develop a senior design course for undergraduates to design feasible and implementable solid waste management solutions for communities in developing countries.
        • Professional affiliations:
          • Air & Waste Management Association - student member
          • Solid Waste Association of North America - Student Member
          • Graduate Assistants United - Solid Member
        • Involvement:
          • Air & Waste Management UF Chapter - Treasurer
        • Funding: Research Assistant
      • Vinh Q. Le
        • Advisor:
          detailsChung, Jae Hyeon (Jay),  Ph.D., Associate Director of the Florida Bridge Software Institute | Telephone: (352) 294-7831 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests:
          • 3D Numerical Modeling of Soil Mechanics
          • Coupling discrete and finite element
        • Professional affiliations:
          • American Society of Civil Engineers: Geo-Institute
        • Funding: UF Graduate School Fellowship (GSF)
    • Materials & PavementsMaterials and Pavement
      • Jeremy Magruder
        • Advisor:
          detailsRoque, Reynaldo,  Ph.D.,  P.E., Professor | Telephone: (352) 294-7769 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests:
          • Civil Engineering Materials Characterization
          • X-Ray Computed Tomography
          • Scanning Electron Microscopy
        • Professional affiliations:
          • National Society of Black Engineers
          • Chi Epsilon
        • Involvement:
          • UF NSBE Graduate Student Coordinator
          • Ronald E. McNair scholars Program Advisory Board and Peer Advisor
          • Florida Blue Key
        • Funding: UF Graduate School Fellowship (previously NSF Bridge to the Doctorate Fellow, Defense Threats Reduction Agency Student Research Program II)
    • Structural EngineeringStructural Engineering
      • Pedro L. Fernández Cabán
        Pedro Fernandez Caban
        • Advisor:
          detailsMasters, Forrest,  Ph.D.,  P.E., Professor | Telephone: (352) 294-7792 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests:
          • Structural optimization using meta-heuristic search algorithms
          • Wind-tunnel testing of model scale buildings and other structures
        • Professional affiliations:
          • American Society of Civil Engineers - Affiliate Member
          • College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico (CIAPR)-Member
        • Involvement:
          • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society PR’A - Member
        • Funding: NSF-Bridge to Doctorate Fellowship
      • George Kantrales
        George Kantrales
        • Advisor:
          detailsConsolazio, Gary R.,  Ph.D., Kisinger Campo & Associates Term Professor | Telephone: (352) 294-7796 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests: George conducts research in the structural engineering area. He primarily deals with the application of analytical methods to describe vessel impact behavior for barge-bridge impact events.
        • Professional affiliations:
          • American Society of Civil Engineers - Student Member
          • American Concrete Institute - Student Member
          • American Institute of Steel Construction - Student Member
        • Funding: UF Graduate School Fellowship (GSF)
    • Systems Ecology & Ecological EngineeringSystems Ecology and Ecological Engineering
      • Grant Weinkam, ESSIE ENVOYS Co-chair
        • Advisor:
          detailsBrown, Mark T.,  Ph.D., Professor Emeritus | Telephone: (352) 392-2309 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests: Research on ecological sanitation alternatives to surface water discharge of wastewater effluent. Three main aspects, associated with the release of effluent to the environment, focus on: long term nitrogen and phosphorous loading to surface water systems, water reuse potential, and phosphorous reuse and conservation.
        • Professional affiliations:
          • WateReuse Foundation – Student member
          • American Water Works Association (AWWA) – Student member
          • Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA) – Student member
        • Funding: UF Graduate School Fellowship (GSF)
      • Amy Langston
        • Advisor:
          detailsKaplan, David,  Ph.D., University Term Assistant Professor | Telephone: (352) 392-8439 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests: Amy studies the effects of sea level rise on vegetation shifts in coastal wetlands along the Big Bend region of Florida. She is currently conducting follow-up research on a study that began in 1992 to examine the roles of flooding and salt water intrusion on the decline of hydric hammocks.
        • Professional affiliations:
          • Association for Women in Science-Student Member
          • Society of Wetland Scientists-Student Member
          • Florida Native Plant Society-Member
        • Funding: UF Graduate School Fellowship (GSF)
    • Transportation EngineeringTransportation Engineering
      • Donald Watson
        • Advisor:
          detailsWashburn, Scott S.,  Ph.D.,  P.E., Professor | Telephone: (352) 294-7806 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests: Don's research is focused on understanding traffic operations and using simulation to model traffic environments. Currently, he is working on a National Cooperative Highway Research Project titled "Improved Analysis of Two-Lane Highway Capacity and Operational Performance." His research is centered on understanding and quantifying the impact of heavy vehicles on traffic operations on two-lane highways. A large component of this research is on improving current traffic microsimulation programs and their ability to accurately represent the behavior of trucks. This includes modeling trucks' speeds and accelerations through horizontal and vertical curves as well as how trucks respond to the presence of passing and climbing lanes.
        • Professional affiliations:
          • Institute of Transportation Engineers - Student Member
          • Women's Transportation Seminar - Student Member
          • American Society of Civil Engineers - Student Member
        • Involvement:
          • Institute of Transportation Engineers - Vice President
          • Women's Transportation Seminar - Member
          • Epsilon Lambda Chi (Engineering Leadership Circle) - Member
          • Tau Beta Pi - Member
          • Chi Epsilon - Member
        • Funding: UF Graduate School Fellowship (GSF)
      • Miguel Lugo, ESSIE ENVOYS Co-chair
        Miguel Lugo
        • Advisor:
          detailsSrinivasan, Siva,  Ph.D., Associate Professor | Telephone: (352) 294-7807 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests: Active transportation and health; spatial correlations of land-use and transportation; long-term transportation planning/modeling; regional policy implications of Automated, Autonomous and Connected Vehicle technology; MUTCD standards; travel behavior of cyclists, pedestrians and transit users; operation of pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Project assistant of the Florida Minority Task Force on Occupant Protection (seat-belts and child restraints).
        • Professional affiliations:
          • Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors of Puerto Rico (CIAPR) - Member
          • American Society of Civil Engineers - Associate Member
          • Institute of Transportation Engineers - Member
        • Involvement:
          • ITE (in various roles)
          • Mayors' Council (UF Graduate and Family Housing residents association)
          • City Member of the Alachua/Gainesville Bike/Ped Advisory Board
        • Funding:
          • UF Graduate School Fellowship (GSF)
          • STIPDIG (DOT program)
    • Water SystemsWater Systems
      • Stephanie Ishii
        Stephanie Ishii
        • Advisor: No names found.
        • Research and Interests: Stephanie's PhD research focuses on quantifying the life cycle impacts of water treatment to better understand the implications of conservation, as well as alternative wastewater systems with urine source separation for improved nutrient recovery. She also investigates public acceptance of new W/WW systems.
        • Professional affiliations:
          • American Water Works Association - Member, Young Professionals Chair for Region XI, Florida Section American Water Works Association
          • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors - Student Member
        • Involvement:
          • Peer reviewer for NSF Graduate Research Fellowship applicants at UF
          • STEM volunteer at local middle school
        • Funding: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP)
      • Erin White
        Erin White
        • Advisor:
          detailsAnnable, Michael D.,  Ph.D.,  P.E., University Term Professor | Telephone: (352) 392-3294 | Email:  VIVO Online Profile
        • Research and Interests:Erin White joined the PhD program in 2012 after receiving her B.S. from the University of Florida where she collaborated with the School of Design Construction and Planning and a multidisciplinary team of students on the design and construction of an award-winning solar powered home for the Solar Decathlon design competition in Madrid, Spain. Her primary focus was on the project’s water conservation program and grey water system design. Her current research interests include the evaluation of groundwater flow and solute transport from point sources to aquifer and watershed scales, as well as interactions between landscapes and groundwater systems. She applies tracer-based techniques for measuring mass fluxes and reaction rates in complex hydrogeological systems, including fractured and karst aquifers. Current projects include a field-scale assessment of the effectiveness and sustainability of bioaugmentation for the treatment of DNAPL sources in fractured rock aquifers and an assessment of solute fluxes in the springsheds of the Floridan aquifer.
        • Professional affiliations:
          • American Geophysical Union - Student Member
          • American Society of Civil Engineers - Student Member
          • American Water Resources Association - Student Member
        • Involvement:
          • Hydrologic Sciences Academic Cluster - Member
          • Graduate Hall Director in the Department of Housing and Residence Education
        • Funding: UF Graduate School Fellowship (GSF)
      • Yue Hu
        Yue Hu
        • Advisor: No names found.
        • Research and Interests: Yue Hu wishes to improve small public water systems in the areas of sustainability, reliability and overall finished water quality.
        • Professional affiliations:
          • American Water Works Association - student member
          • American Water Works Association - Inorganic Committee Volunteer
        • Involvement: Graduate Student Council- Department representative of Travel Grant
        • Funding: UF Graduate School Fellowship (GSF)