Graduate Blog

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

July 5, 2016

Students planning to deposit theses or dissertations for August 2016 graduation are reminded of the following deadlines:

  • July 15: Last day to complete a doctoral dissertation deposit
  • July 22: Last day to complete a master’s thesis deposit

Because deposit deadlines are firm, students are strongly encouraged to submit the thesis or dissertation to the Graduate College at least one week before the deadline in order to allow sufficient time to make and re-submit all requested corrections. For August graduation, any corrections requested by the Graduate College and all required deposit materials must be submitted to the Thesis Office no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day of the deposit deadline.

Visit our website for further information about the deposit process and links to downloadable deposit checklists.

June 29, 2016

Are you planning to apply for an academic position? The Graduate Society of Women Engineers is offering its program to help engineers and scientists prepare faculty position application materials. During the the fall semester, participants learn about the application process including the cover letter, letters of recommendation, and the teaching statement; whereas the spring semester will be devoted to the research statement. Both semesters will consist of seminars and peer review sessions. The program is open to all PhD candidates in STEM as well as postdocs. Graduate women in engineering with advanced standing in their program and postdocs are especially encouraged to apply. To learn more about iFEAT and the schedule for the upcoming academic year, click here. The deadline to apply is Monday, 25 July 2016 by 5:00 pm CT. Contact: 

June 28, 2016

Sandia National Laboratories is beginning its ad campaign to attract qualified candidates for its President Harry S. Truman Fellowship in National Security Science and Engineering. The deadline for proposal submission is November 1, 2016.  

Sandia National Laboratories is seeking candidates for the President Harry S. Truman Fellowship in National Security Science and Engineering, a three-year appointment allowing recipients to pursue independent research that supports Sandia's national security mission.  We ask that you encourage your top PhD students in science or engineering to apply.  Please share this information with those top PhD students, deans, department chairs, faculty, research center directors, graduate studies offices, fellowship offices, and professional societies.  We are proud to have selected Truman Fellows from Caltech, Georgia Tech, Stanford, University of Colorado-Boulder, and University of Texas-Austin, among others. 


Truman Fellowship candidates are expected to have solved a major scientific or engineering problem in their thesis work or will have provided a new approach or insight to a major problem, as evidenced by a recognized impact in their field. Fellows may work at either principal location, Albuquerque, NM or Livermore, CA.  The salary is $111,200. Candidates must be able to obtain a security clearance and be seeking their first national laboratory appointment. They must have been awarded a PhD (with strong academic standing) within three years at the time of application or will have completed all PhD requirements by commencement of the appointment. Applications are due November 1, 2016.  


For questions on the application process, please contact Carmen Hagin at 505.845.8255 or For research mentor or technical questions, contact Yolanda Moreno at 505.284.2106 or Complete application information is available at:


June 27, 2016


FALL 2016

Description of physical, biological, and chemical characteristics in streams and rivers including an integrated treatment of the environmental factors affecting the composition and distribution of biota; emphasizes the application of ecological engineering principles in aquatic ecosystem protection and management. 


Course:                      CEE 432 – Stream Ecology

Department:               Civil and Environmental Engineering

Meeting time:            Mondays & Wednesdays, 11:00-12:20

Meeting location:      1518 Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory

Credits:                      3 Undergraduate hours, 4 Graduate hours

Prerequisites:            consent of instructor



Instructor:                  Rafael O. Tinoco, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

205 N. Mathews Ave

2514 Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory

Urbana, IL 61801

Office phone number: (217) 265-6931


Office hours:             Thursday, 3:00-4:30pm, 2514 Hydro, or by appointment

Contact:                     Email strongly preferred, I’ll get back to you by the end of the day at the

                                    latest (8:00 - 17:00).



The course will introduce students to critical issues in stream and watershed ecology with an emphasis on the physical and chemical mechanisms affecting the organism distribution and success in stream ecosystems. Fundamentals of fluid mechanics, morphodynamics, ecology and modern community ecology will be reviewed and applied to running water environments. The students will focus on habitat studies, at both macro- and micro-scale, from a physical-chemical perspective, leveraging their understanding of watershed quantification and channel description to discuss water chemistry and quality, to identify factors affecting fate and transport of organisms in stream ecosystems. Basic ecological theory will be used to study community organization, production, the role of biota as ecosystem engineers, as well as organic matter and mineral cycling. The students will apply the physical, chemical and biological tools and understanding developed throughout the course in the context of watershed protection approaches, modern management and regulation, with an emphasis on watershed classification and landscape ecology issues, as well as recent advances in the use of ecologically based analysis approaches in stream management. The course includes hands-on laboratory sessions at the Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory and field experiments on local natural waters.



Upon completion of the course the students will:

Identify critical issues for management, protection and restoration of natural running waters.

Identify and characterize the physical, chemical and biological processes affecting organism success and distribution in stream ecosystems.

Develop the skills to represent such processes analytically and using simple numerical methods.

Apply and integrate basic ecological theory to assess the impact of biota as ecosystem engineers.

Design, conduct and evaluate laboratory experimental studies and field campaigns using state-of-the-art measurement and surveying equipment and techniques.

Apply their understanding of the fundamental processes and their interactions to stream restoration and naturalization projects.




Information will be disseminated primarily via the website. Announcements will also be made during lectures, but it is the students’ responsibility to check it often.

< >:  An extensive set of notes will be posted online prior to each class. < >: One mid-term and one final exam will be conducted. They will be comprised of an in-class quiz (30minutes) to evaluate basic understanding of the concepts and a take home component to synthesize, integrate, and apply the knowledge developed throughout the course.< >: Six problem sets will be assigned during the course. You are encouraged to work with fellow students but the final write-up must be individual and show your own work. All assignments are due at the beginning of the class. No late assignments will be accepted unless for a justifiable family/medical emergency. If you will be traveling or have any conflicts with the schedule, please let me know well before the deadline.< >:  We will conduct experiments during class, at the Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory, and in local natural waters. Participation is mandatory and data from those experiments will be used in your homework assignments. An individual, brief and concise report is required for each experiment. Specific guidelines will be provided on the website.

Final Project (For Graduate students, 4-hour option): You will work on teams on an independent project due at the end of the semester. Specific guidelines will be provided separately. You will need to incorporate parts of the analysis conducted during your HW assignments, so make sure you write any computer code from the HWs on a way that will make it easier for you to reuse / modify it for your final project.

Attendance and participation: Students are expected to attend and actively participate during class discussions. As engineers and scientists you should be able to communicate and express your ideas in both technical and layman terms, and class participation is a unique way to practice such skills.










June 23, 2016

New York University Aby Dhabi will be recruiting up to 4 new faculty in CEE in 2016-17, in Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering and Materials.  More information available at or email