Steven Skerlos is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Mechanical Engineering and a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is the director of the U-M program in Sustainable Engineering and co-director of the Engineering Sustainable Systems Program. His research focus is on the design of technology systems to reduce environmental impact while advancing economic and societal objectives. His group works on environmental and sustainable technology systems, life cycle product design optimization and sustainable water and wastewater systems, among other topics. From designing humanitarian technologies to purifying water using anaerobic membrane reactors, Prof. Skerlos research addresses challenges in the fields of systems design, technology selection, manufacturing, and water.
His research targets spatially-explicit interactions and feedbacks among components of environmental systems and builds on the development of and experimentation with physics/process-oriented models of water, energy, and element cycles at the plant, hillslope, catchment, and larger scales and the integration of observational data and models. Specific topics include high-resolution flood forecasting using coupled hydrologic-hydrodynamic modeling; assessment of climate impacts on watershed systems; simulation-based studies of ecohydrology of vegetation life-cycle processes and land-surface feedbacks; plant-scale modeling of water uptake and transpiration processes; and modeling of erosion and sediment transport.
Carol C. Menassa is an Associate Professor and Tishman Faculty Scholar with the Intelligent and Sustainable Civil Infrastructure Systems Laboratory (ISciS Lab) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Current research in Intelligent and Sustainable Civil Infrastructure Systems Laboratory (ISciS Lab) focuses on understanding and modeling the impact of occupants on energy use in buildings, and developing decision frameworks to assist in building operations and management; as well as, sustainable retrofit decisions. The research team used several tools such as energy simulation, complex adaptive systems modeling, high-level architecture and informatics.
Ann Jeffers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research seeks to use computational methods to study structural performance under fire hazards. Jeffers’ work has particularly focused on coupling a high-resolution CFD fire model to a low resolution structural model to study structural performance under natural fire effects. The coupled fire-structure simulation has necessitated the formulation of novel finite elements and algorithms to bridge the disparities between the fire and structural domains. She has also conducted research using probabilistic methods (i.e., Monte Carlo simulation and analytical reliability methods) to study the propagation of uncertainty and evaluate the reliability of structural systems threatened by fire.
Current research in the Laboratory for Interactive Visualization in Engineering (LIVE) is focused on perceptual robotics, and its applications in the construction, operation, and maintenance of civil infrastructure systems. We are also conducting research in real-time visualization and its applications in engineering process monitoring and control. Distributed interactive simulation of coupled civil infrastructure processes is also an active research area pursued in LIVE.
Dr. Lee is interested in designing and developing mechanisms, models, and systems that support diverse decision-making processes to manage the dynamics in large-scale civil infrastructure development and maintenance. His current research interest, in particular, is distributed, interoperable, and multi-paradigm simulation and its integration with sensors. Application examples include human-centered construction operations analysis, post-disaster planning and management, and building energy simulation.
Prof. El-Tawil’s general research interest lies in computational modeling, analysis, and testing of structural materials and systems. He is especially interested in how buildings and bridges behave under the extreme loading conditions generated by manmade and natural hazards such as seismic excitation, collision by heavy objects, and blast. The focus of his research effort is to investigate how to utilize new materials, concepts and technologies to create innovative structural systems that mitigate the potentially catastrophic effects of extreme loading.
- Much of his research is directed towards the computational and theoretical aspects of structural engineering, with particular emphasis on computational simulation, constitutive modeling, multiscale techniques, macro-plasticity formulations, nonlinear solution strategies and visualization methods. Prof. El-Tawil also has a strong and long-sustained interest in multi-disciplinary research. He has conducted research in human decision making and social interactions during extreme events and the use of agent based models for egress simulations. He is also interested in visualization and has developed new techniques for applying virtual reality in the field of finite element simulations and the use of augmented reality for rapid assessment of infrastructure damage in the wake of disasters.