SURF 2017

Engineering Solutions for Resilience, Safety, and Infrastructure Renewal 

June 19 to August 11, 2017

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program will award approximately 15 to 20 fellowships of $4,500 to undergraduate students to support hands-on research in the areas of community resilience, safety, and infrastructure renewal. During the eight-week program, students will work with a faculty mentor and graduate student on a specific project and will develop research skills to increase graduate school opportunities. Current research topics, eligibility, expectations, application information, and example projects from 2016 are listed below.

The application period has closed.


  • Stipend: $4,500
  • Research project with a faculty mentor
  • Field trips for site-specific field work
  • Weekly seminars from noted speakers 
  • Informal lunch meetings to discuss graduate school
  • Final symposium August 11, 2017 to highlight student work

2017 Research Topics (details)


  • "Integrated Design of Adaptation Pathways for Food, Energy, and Water Sectors Susceptible to Sudden and Chronic Perturbations" | Mentor: Meghna Babbar-Sebens
  • "Probabilistic Seismic and Tsunami Damage Assessment (PSTDA) along the Cascadia Subduction Zone" | Mentors: Andre Barbosa and Daniel Cox
  • "Experimental Testing of High-Strength Reinforcing Steel and Shear Friction to Improve Resilience and Safety of Bridge Structures | Mentor: Andre Barbosa
  • "Hurricane Wave Forces on Elevated Coastal Structures" | Mentor: Daniel Cox
  • "Use of Data Analytics for Post Natural Disaster Transportation Resilience Planning: Application to Ground Freight Movements" | Mentor: Sal Hernandez
  • "Slippin’ and Sliding – Landslide Monitoring and Mapping" | Mentor: Ben Leshchinsky and Michael Olsen
  • "Effect of Specimen Preparation Techniques on Static and Seismic Response of Silts" | Mentor: Armin Stuedlein
  • "Agent-based Modeling for Tsunami Evacuation: Evidence-Based Retrofit Strategies to Increase Life Safety and Community Resilience" | Mentor: Haizhong Wang
  • "Tsunami Effects in Riverine Estuaries" | Mentor: Harry Yeh


  • "Development of an Inventory of Construction Equipment Emissions in Oregon" | Mentor: Ingrid Arocho
  • "Application of Mobile LiDAR in Roadway Work Zones" | Mentor: John Gambatese
  • "Quantifying the Performance of Low-Noise Rumble Strips" | Mentor: David Hurwitz
  • "Location Tracking of Construction Crew with UWB to Detect Imminent Safety Hazard Conditions on Construction Sites" | Mentor: Joseph Louis
  • "MINERS: Multiple Inlet and Estuary Remote Sensing" | Mentor: Merrick Haller
  • "Building Information Modeling (BIM) Based Fall Hazard Identification and Prevention in Construction Safety Planning" | Mentor: Yelda Turkan

Infrastructure Renewal

  • "A Performance Specification for Concrete: A Rapid Test That Uses Formation Factor as Determined from Electrical Resistivity" | Mentor: Jason Ideker and Jason Weiss
  • "Effect of Steel Corrosion on the Resilience of Reinforced Concrete Structures in Marine Environments" | Mentor: Burkan Isgor
  • "Evaluation of Pin and Hanger Assemblies in Existing Bridges"| Mentor: Judy Liu and Chris Higgins
  • "Applied Video Gaming: Infrastructure Asset Management with Mobile Lidar" | Mentor: Michael Olsen
  • "Using Neutron Radiography to Study Fluid Transport in Concrete" | Mentor: Jason Weiss


  • OSU engineering students and non-OSU students are welcome to apply
  • Minimum GPA 3.3 out of 4.0
  • Students entering junior or senior year in Fall 2017 are preferred. Some exceptions will be made for students entering their sophomore year and graduating seniors.
  • Students enrolled in summer courses are not eligible


  • Conduct work in Corvallis for program dates June 19 to August 11, 2017
  • Complete 40 hour work week(s)
  • Possess strong analytical skills, curiousity, and independent thinking
  • Possess ability to work in small teams (professor/mentor and other graduate and undergraduate students)
  • Attend group activities, field trips, guest lectures, and research meetings
  • Present final research project on August 11, 2017


  • Gain research experience
  • Obtain better understanding of graduate school
  • Learn engineering solutions for resilience, safety, and infrastructure renewal 
  • Receive $4,500 stipend (50% paid July, 2017, 50% paid August, 2017)


To apply, submit the following information to

  • Name
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • 250-word statement of research interests and interest in SURF program
  • Top three selections among the projects listed. 

More information:

SURF 2017 students

2017 Research Topics:

  • Nolen Austin, “Distributed Generation in the Complex Load Model” 
  • Hector Colon De La Cruz, “Physical and Numerical Modeling of Tsunami Propagation and Inundation”
  • Tim Flowerday, “Probabilistic Tsunami Damage Assessment (PTDA) and Risk Estimation with Application to Seaside, Oregon”
  • Glen  Galant, “Tsunami Structure Loading due to the Effects of Shielding”  
  • Nicholas Giles, “Integrated Adaptation Pathways for Food, Energy, and Water Sectors”  
  • Kangni Jiang, “Ability Comparison of Human and Technology in Work Zone Evaluation”
  • Nicholas Kolstad, “Elemental Cylclic Resopnse of Transitional Silts”
  • Natalie Marshall, “Evaluate the Use of a Multitouch Exhibit for Informal Tsunami Hazard Literacy Education” 
  • Andres Matos, “Developing a Standard Operation Procedure to Measure Concrete Relative Humidity in the Field”
  • Reilly McClung, “Generalized Slope Stability Analysis to Evaluate Progressive Landslide Movements considering Toe Erosion Processes” 
  • Jaxom Moore, “Cyber-Physical Systems Employing Low-Cost Sensors for Remote and Real-Time Monitoring of Temporary Structures”
  • Christopher Norman, “Microbial Induced Concrete Corrosion”  
  • Aleah Olsen, “Use of Data Analytics for Transportation Resilience Planning: Applications to Ground Freight Roadway Safety”  
  • Pavan Patel, “Evaluation of Pin and Hanger Assemblies on Existing Bridges”
  • Peter Rivera, “Optical Measurements for Tsunami Run-up”
  • Amy Salisbury, “Agent-Based Tsunami Evacuation Modeling:  Population Distribution Risk Assessment for South Beach State Park”   
  • Logan Scott-Deeter, “Driver Distraction Due to Drones” 
  • Katherine Shafer, “Applied Video Games: Infrastructure Asset Management with Mobile Lidar”
  • Nathalene Then, “Chloride Binding in Cement Pastes Exposed to NaCl and CaCl2 Solutions” 
  • Anna Tsai, “Experimental Observations of Debris Impact and Damming Loads on Elevated Structures Subject to Transient Waves” 
  • Julia Waters, “A Social Science Perspective on Interdisciplinary Tsunami Evacuation Research”


SURF 2016

2016 Research Topics: