Civil Engineering Students Receive National Fellowships

Joseph Daniels (left), Bryan Casillas (right) and Michael Deschenes (not pictured) received Eisenhower Fellowships in recognition of their work in the field of transportation research.
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Joseph Daniels (left), Bryan Casillas (right) and Michael Deschenes (not pictured) received Eisenhower Fellowships in recognition of their work in the field of transportation research.

Joseph Daniels, Bryan Casillas, and Michael Deschenes have received the prestigious 2016 Dwight David Eisenhower Graduate Fellowships.

The objective of the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program is to attract qualified students to the field of transportation and research, and advance transportation workforce development.  The program awards fellowships to students pursuing degrees in transportation-related disciplines, and it advances the transportation workforce by attracting the brightest minds to the field through education, research, and workforce development.

Daniels is working on a doctoral degree in engineering. He is studying the use of heated pavement systems for airfield runways with Ernie Heymesfield, associate professor of civil engineering. Daniels explained that by heating runways by circulating either hot water or electricity through the concrete, airports can keep snow from accumulating and causing flight delays.

"It is truly a great honor to have my Ph.D. student, Joseph Daniels, awarded a Federal Highway 2016 Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship," said Heymesfield. "The fellowship is a reward for Joseph's hard work and recognizes the quality of his research work on developing an anti-icing airfield runway surface."

Casillas is pursuing a Master of Science in Civil Engineering. His research focuses on reducing the amount of cement used in concrete pavement. Working with Micah Hale, head of the Department of Civil Engineering and holder of the Twenty-First Century Endowed Leadership Chair in Civil Engineering, Casillas is investigating alternatives to cement that would increase the durability and sustainability of concrete and reduce the cost.

"I am very thankful for the support that Bryan has received through his Eisenhower Fellowship," said Hale. "He is an outstanding student and definitely worthy of this recognition.  The outcomes of his research project will help us extend the life of our concrete bridges."

Deschenes is also working on a Master of Science degree in civil engineering. He is working with Clinton Wood, assistant professor of civil engineering, on research in the area of geotechnical earthquake engineering.  His research focuses on reducing the cost of bridge foundations along the Mississippi River. By characterizing the soil in the region and evaluating it for ground motion response in an earthquake, Deschenes can provide information to revise current regulations and save costs.

"Mike is an excellent hardworking student and very deserving of the fellowship," said Wood. "His research into the seismic demand for bridges in Northeast Arkansas will make an impact in future bridge design in the area."

With support from the fellowships, all three students plan to attend the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board to present their research. "We're excited that Dwight D. Eisenhower gave us a platform to continue to do this and be funded," said Daniels.

 

Contacts

Camilla Shumaker, Director of Communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, camillas@uark.edu


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