News

Dr. Guiling Wang Elected as AMS Fellow

Portraits for UConn CEE department including some graduate students.

We are extremely proud to announce that Dr. Guiling Wang has been elected as Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Wang is one of 22 new Fellows elected for their “outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications during a substantial period of years.” She will be recognized at AMS’ 102nd Annual Meeting and Award Ceremony to be held in Houston, Texas in January 2022.

Dr. Wang said, “I am deeply honored and humbled by this election to Fellow. There are so many deserving individuals in my field. To be recognized by AMS with this distinguished honor is incredibly encouraging. I am grateful for those who nominated me and supported my nomination. I am also very proud of the research conducted by my current and former students, postdocs, and visiting scholars at UConn.”

Guiling Wang is Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Connecticut (UConn), and a faculty member in the Center for Environmental Science and Engineering at UConn’s Institute of the Environment. Wang received her B.E and M.S. degrees from Tsinghua University, and Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Wang’s research aims to understand and quantify the terrestrial hydrological cycle, its variability, changes, and interactions with the rest of the Earth system. Her lab’s work makes use of regional and global climate models, remote sensing and ground observational data, reanalysis data, and machine learning. Recent project topics include precipitation extremes, drought, ecosystem-climate interactions, land use and agriculture in a changing climate.

Beyond research and teaching, Dr. Wang also actively serves her profession in various capacities. She is Associate Editor for Journal of Hydrometeorology and Geophysical Research Letters, co-chairs the Annual Meeting Program for the AMS Conference on Hydrology, and serves as a member of the Hydrological Science Award Committee for the American Geophysical Union. Dr. Wang co-led the Connecticut State Climate Assessment in 2019, and has recently committed to working as a chapter author for the 5th National Climate Assessment.

On top of Wang’s recent Fellow election, other awards and accolades she earned includes being a School of Engineering Centennial Professor, Al Geib Associate Professor, Elected to the Connecticut Academy of Sciences and Engineering (CASE), and CT Council Women of Innovation finalist.

For more information on Dr. Wang and her background, please click here.

Research on Governance of Solar Geoengineering

We are delighted to share that our esteemed colleague, Dr. Prakash Kashwan, was quoted this week in articles published by the New York Times, among other major news sources. Prakash provides valuable insights on a recently released report from the National Academy of Sciences on solar geoengineering governance.

We invite you to look at these press articles on the links below:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/25/climate/geoengineering-sunlight.html (Also republished in Boston Globe)

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/solar-geoengineering-climate-change_n_605c765dc5b67593e055ff9d

https://earther.gizmodo.com/the-u-s-is-one-step-closer-to-establishing-a-research-1846552421

You can learn more about Prakash Kashwan’s work on his website: https://kashwan.net/research/.

ENGR-HR Faculty Awarded American Political Science Association (APSA) Conflict Processes Best Paper Award

The ENGR-HR Initiative is thrilled to announce that a paper authored by our colleague, Michael Rubin, won the American Political Science Association (APSA) Conflict Processes Best Paper award at the association’s 2020 annual meeting in September. The manuscript, entitled “Social Cohesion and Community Displacement in Armed Conflict” (APSA preprints link to the manuscript), explores local-level variation in patterns of conflict-related forced displacement, focusing on the context of the 1948 War in Mandate Palestine.

ENGR-HR Faculty Published Groundbreaking Research in Armed Conflicts and Human Rights

ENGR-HR faculty, Michael Rubin,  published two articles during the Fall 2020 semester on Armed Conflicts and Human rights:

  • “Terrorism and the Varieties of Civil Liberties” in the Journal of Global Security Studies (JoGSS link) explores the relationship between countries’ human rights records on distinct civil liberties dimensions and their exposure to terrorism.
  • “Terrorism in Armed Conflict: New Data Attributing Terrorism to Rebel Organizations” in the journal Conflict Management and Peace Science (CMPS link), which introduces the Terrorism in Armed Conflict (TAC) dataset attributes incidents in START’s Global Terrorism Database to perpetrators in the Uppsala Conflict Data Project sample of rebel organizations. The data covers 409 rebel organizations globally 1970–2013.

The Engineering for Human Rights Initiative Provided Written Comments on Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3)’s Draft Reports

The Connecticut Governor’s Council for Climate Change (GC3)  invited the  Engineering for Human Rights Initiative to provide public comments on a set of draft reports that make recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to climate change impacts in Connecticut. The reports cover seven key areas:

  • Equity and Environmental Justice,
  • Public Health and Safety,
  • Science and Technology,
  • Infrastructure and Land Use Adaptation,
  • Progress on Mitigation Strategies,
  • Financing Adaptation and Resilience, and
  • Working and Natural Lands.

The GC3 was established in 2015, and it was expanded by Governor Ned Lamont in 2019 (see Executive Order No. 3) with the goals of implementing greenhouse gas emissions reductions strategies, preparing and adapting our state for the impacts of climate change, and ensuring strategies are equitable and protect the most vulnerable communities. The comments can be seen below.

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Research on COVID-19: Collaboration at the Nexus of Engineering, Human Rights, and Interdisciplinary Scholarship

The ENG-HR initiative organized the event: “Research on COVID-19: Collaboration at the Nexus of Engineering, Human Rights, and Interdisciplinary Scholarship” on Thursday, September 24.

During this event, researchers and affiliates had the opportunity to meet faculty involved in innovative research and initiatives to understand and tackle the effects of the COVID -19 outbreak in our society. The list of the presentations is below. For additional information on the event or recorded presentations, please contact Davis Chacon-Hurtado at davis.chacon-hurtado@uconn.edu.

  • ‘Applying Chemical Engineering to Address Critical Shortages in the COVID-19 Pandemic’ by Jeffrey McCutcheon
  • ‘Pandemic Journaling Project’ by Sarah Willen
  • ‘Mathematically Modeling COVID-19 Replication’ by Ranjan Srivastava
  • ‘The Ethical and Human Rights Implications of Using Digital Contact Tracing Tools to Respond to the Covid-19 Pandemic’ by Audrey Chapman
  • ‘COVID-19 pandemic in the flood season’ by Xinyi Shen and Manos Anagnostou
  • ‘Vulnerability and the Limits of Choice – Homecare Workers’ Views on Risk and COVID-19′ by Kathy Libal
  • ‘Safety Assessment of New England Roadways during the Covid-19 Pandemic’ by John Ivan
  • ‘Community Planning and Resilience for a Climate-Changed World: Insights  from Urban India’ by Prakash Kashwan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engineering for Human Rights

What do an engineer and a humanitarian have in common?

This question is at the core of the University of Connecticut’s Engineering for Human Rights Initiative.

Engineering is often thought of exclusively as a technological endeavor, but it has many societal implications and applications. Engineering can help bring clean water to people in the remotest corners of the world or protect democratic elections and freedom of speech by securing online platforms, just to name a few examples.

UConn’s Engineering for Human Rights Initiative aims to bridge the gap between STEM students and the good their work can do for people. The program is a collaboration between several organizations within UConn, including the Human Rights Institute and the School of Engineering.

The aim of the initiative is to allow future engineers to think about the ethical implications of their work. “We teach students to manage risk, enhance access to technology, and develop remedies for potential harms generated by their work as engineers,” says Shareen Hertel, associate professor of political science and human rights. Hertel, an expert on labor rights in global supply chains, has helped spearhead the initiative, which draws social scientists like herself into collaborative teaching and research with engineers.

Global issues like climate change have a real human cost, especially in places like poorer island nations that are susceptible to increasingly violent extreme weather events and often lack the resources to rebuild after them. Additionally, changing seasons are making fresh food scarcer for those who rely on farming for their food and/or livelihood.

Read More @ UConn Today

Class: Human Rights and the Supply Chain

The work of the HRI’s own Shareen Hertel has been highlighted by UConn Today! Together with Professor Allison MacKay from Ohio State University, they have developed an interdisciplinary class, Assessment for Human Rights & Sustainability. In that class, students have investigated how companies assess their global supply chain to ensure that they promote positive social and economic development, while minimizing environmental impact.

Read the story and accompanying Podcast here!

 

 

All-Women Engineering Team Fights Cerebral Palsy

A team of four Biomedical Engineering students from UConn are breaking new ground in the fight against Spastic Cerebral Palsy. They’re all women, which is unusual, but that’s not what makes them ground-breaking – rather, it’s how they’re trying to fight the disease that sets them apart. They’re building a new approach from the ground-up.

“We’re creating a cerebral palsy hand rehabilitation device,” said UConn Senior Katie Bradley, “we have four motors that are going to be on our device. Each one of them is targeting the four muscles that we’re looking at.”

“We want to improve their quality of life, alleviate their pain,” said Senior Brittany Morgan.

Read more @ Fox61

Improving the Water Supply in a Drought-Stricken Village

Three UConn engineering students are working in partnership with a village in Ethiopia to help improve the water supply.

During winter break, the three students, who are all members of the UConn chapter of Engineers Without Borders, traveled to the village to begin surveying for a project to improve the community’s water infrastructure.

The village, called the Woreta Zuria Administrative Kebele, has an extensive dry season, lasting nine months of the year. The residents depend on agricultural production for their livelihood, and this year is particularly difficult for them, because of the drought that Ethiopia is experiencing.

“The community we’re working in is entirely relying on agriculture for sustenance,” says Kristin Burnham ’19 (ENG, CLAS), a double major in environmental engineering and molecular and cell biology.

Read more @ UConn Today