Academic Awards and Honors - 2018

Wilfried Brutsaert
Cambridge University Press has published a translated version of Brutsaert’s classic textbook, “Introduction to Hydrology,” into Chinese. Because of Brutsaert’s contribution to evaporation research, he was hailed as “Mr. Evaporation.” The book is a culmination of more than 40 years of hydrology teaching and research.

Christopher Earls
Professor Earls partnered with two Cornell architecture professors for the winning project in the 2018 City of Dreams Pavilion Design Competition, which will be built on Governors Island in New York. Selected from five finalists, the winning project, dubbed “Oculi,” features a series of elevated circular structures made of deconstructed metal grain bins, a structure that is widely found abandoned in the rural landscape of the northeastern U.S. Each structure offers a wide oculus to the sky and each opening “tracks the path of the sun, producing a range of shadow patterns augmented by color and sound,” according to a media release. The interior walls will be painted to resemble the colors of the daytime sky.

Damian Helbling
Helbling received an NSF CAREER Award for his project: “A meta-omics approach to discover the determinants of micropollutant biotransformations performed by wastewater microbial communities.” Helbling will study the biochemical mechanisms by which man-made organic chemicals break down during wastewater treatment. Helbling will also lead an education and outreach initiative in collaboration with the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom, Cornell Diversity Programs in Engineering, and AguaClara. The $500,000 award will fund research and educational activities through 2023.

Philip Liu
Class of 1912 Professor of Engineering Emeritus Philip Liu was given the Hamaguchi Award for Enhancement of Tsunami/Coastal Disaster Resilience from the Port and Airport Research Institute (PARI) in Japan. Commemorating World Tsunami Awareness Day of November 5, the “Hamaguchi Award” for individuals and/or organizations that have made significant scientific or pragmatic contributions to the enhancement of coastal resilience against tsunami, storm surge and other coastal disasters, to raise people’s awareness of disaster resilience. The award is named after Mr. Hamaguchi Goryo who protected and saved a village from a tsunami about 150 years ago.

Robert Newman
Newman joins CEE full-time as a senior lecturer in engineering management with 25 years of management experience in technology-driven enterprises. This includes seven years as a successful CEO and various other high-level leadership roles across five industries working within multinational companies ranging in size from three to 13,000 employees.

Thomas O’Rourke
At a ceremony in Mexico City, Mexico, on September 28, 2017, Professor O’Rourke was inducted into the Academia de Ingenierίa México, or Mexican Academy of Engineering. The Academia is the equivalent in Mexico to the National Academy of Engineering in the U.S. It is an honorific academy whose members also provide advice for government. Each year, a small number of foreign members are elected. O’Rourke gave his inaugural lecture on “Ground Deformation Effects on Subsurface Pipelines and Infrastructure Systems,” and in his presentation advocated for greater collaboration between U.S. and Mexican engineers on earthquakes and hurricanes, both of which transcend borders and have devastating effects on the infrastructure of both countries.

Monroe Weber-Shirk
This past year, Weber-Shirk was promoted to senior lecturer and senior research associate in the School of Civil and Environmental.