Graduate Blog

To submit an item for the graduate blog, email Joan Christian.

May 22, 2018

Hello Illinois CEE grad students – I want to call your attention to a national civil engineering student event that we are hosting right here in the department later on this week.

On Friday & Saturday (May 25th & 26th) we will be hosting the annual AISC / ASCE National Student Steel Bridge Competition (  That’s FRIDAY, FRIDAY, FRIDAY and SATURDAY, SATURDAY, SATURDAY!!!  The competition will welcome 43 undergraduate student teams from all across the country, with more than 550 attendees in total, and so it is a fairly big deal for us to be able to host this event.

Preparing to host the NSSBC has primarily been a student-run undertaking, under the capable leadership of our two Illinois CEE undergraduate student co-directors, Jacob Cross & Barkin Kurumoglu, also assisted by Nicholas Wipperfurth and a handful of Structures grad students who have recently stepped up to help out down the stretch.  They have received excellent Illinois CEE staff support from Megan Everette, Catherine Somers & Tim Prunkard.  As faculty advisor to our hosting team, I’m trying to help them out a bit in order to make sure and spread the word about the event.  All the main competition activities are free and open to the public, as summarized here below.

On Friday (5/25) afternoon, all of the participating teams will be setting up their bridges & related materials for display out on the Bardeen Quad – however, no actual superconductivity will be involved.  The teams will have from roughly 11a until 2:30p to arrive, register, and get set up, and then from 3p-5p is the so-called Display Judging portion of the competition, which is a great opportunity to get to see all the different bridges assembled at one time in one place!  Each 18 ft long bridge represents roughly a 1/10th-scale version of an actual 180 ft bridge.

Then on Saturday (5/26) over at the Armory will be the main competition, where each team gets to build their bridge under timed construction, weigh it, and load-test it both laterally and then also vertically (subjected to 2500 lbs).  They are judged in categories related to construction speed, bridge lightness, and bridge stiffness, as well as overall construction economy & structural efficiency.  The action is fast & furious and gets started right at 8a on Saturday, running until at least mid-afternoon or so by the time all 43 bridges have had the chance to compete.

So, if you like the county fair and/or the rodeo, only without all those pesky animals, then this could be the event for you!  We hope to see some of you in attendance.  Thanks for your consideration – take care, and have a great Memorial Day weekend.

Prof. LaFave


May 21, 2018

PhD Final Defense – Roberto Fernández
Laboratory Experiments on Alluvial Cover in Mixed Bedrock-Alluvial Meandering Channels and on the Formation and Evolution of Supraglacial Meltwater Streams
Advisor: Professor Gary Parker
Date: Thursday May 31st, 09:00 a.m.
Location: Hydrosystems Laboratory Room 1518


May 21, 2018

Summer Session SF (12 week) Upcoming Registration Deadlines

May 25: Deadline to submit forms to audit a course May 25: Deadline to add a course via Student Self-Service

Summer (All Sessions) Upcoming Registration Deadlines

May 25: Deadline to elect “in absentia” registration

Auditors: Auditors are listeners in classes and not class participants. Graduate College policy states that students should take the Auditor’s Permit form to the first class meeting and ask the instructor to sign the form indicating approval. These forms must be received in the Graduate College by the 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 18.

In Absentia Registration: This registration option is for students studying or doing research at least 50 miles away from campus. In Absentia registration is not permitted for students enrolled in courses meeting on campus. Please review our policy on In Absentia Registration for additional information. This form must be received in the Graduate College by the 10th day of classes, 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 25.

It is important to remember that there are many different summer deadlines (cancellation, withdrawal, credit/no credit, add/drop classes, etc.) because students may attend different sessions of the summer term. If you are considering making changes to your summer registration, please check the registration deadlines for the parts of term in which you are registered. For academic and registration deadlines for Summer 2018, visit the following websites:

Summer 2018 Refund Schedule
Summer 2018 Withdrawal Schedule
Summer 2018 Academic Calendar

May 18, 2018

A Ph.D. scholarship on Road and Traffic is available at Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy

This scholarship is reserved for students who got/are getting the master from outside Italy.

For more information, please contact

Prof. Francesca Dezi

+39 338 21 89 772

May 18, 2018

This summer, the Graduate College Career Development Office will hold workshops on a range of topics, all specifically addressing the needs of graduate students at Illinois. The Summer 2018 workshop series includes:

Faculty Job Search Retreat Talking About Your Research Strategies for Managing Difficult Projects Explaining Your Graduate-Level Experience in Resumes & Cover Letters Nonacademic Interview Strategies for Grad Students Staying Organized during a Job Search as a Busy Grad Student Career Exploration Group

See the full schedule and learn more online.