HRG Celebration Lunch

We had another amazing year and glad to have celebrated it with the great people in the Head Research Group (HRG). On Wednesday, May 15th, we took some time to smell the roses and gather at Home Grown restaurant for lunch. We are continuing to make strides and contribute to the field!

Monique Head Inducted into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

May 7, 2024

Monique Head of Newark, Delaware, will be initiated on Friday, May 10th at the University of Delaware into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society.

Head is among approximately 25,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 under the leadership of undergraduate student Marcus L. Urann who had a desire to create a different kind of honor society: one that recognized excellence in all academic disciplines. Today, the Society has chapters on more than 325 campuses in the United States, its territories and the Philippines. Its mission is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”

More About Phi Kappa Phi
Since its founding, more than 1.5 million members have been initiated into Phi Kappa Phi. Some of the organization’s notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist John Grisham and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley. Each year, Phi Kappa Phi awards $1.3 million to outstanding students and members through graduate and dissertation fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, funding for post-baccalaureate development, and grants for local, national and international literacy initiatives. For more information about Phi Kappa Phi, visit

Sustainability in action!

On Thursday, May 2, 2024, an undergraduate research project is now a implemented project on our campus (after 2 years in the making) at the University of Delaware! This construction project on The Green in front of DuPont Hall is the first of its kind to test out composite pavers and their response to various weather conditions. The concrete pavers consist of recycled materials that are engineered into a suitable construction material so that we are reducing the amount of sand, which is a dwindling resource.

There are more than 1000 lbs of recycled waste products in these pavers that would otherwise have been placed in landfills! This project was selected and partially funded by the University of Delaware Office of Sustainability (thanks, Chris Williams (formerly Sustainability Council) as a 2022 Green Grant award recipient.  Professors Monique Head (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering) and Suresh Advani (Department of Mechanical Engineering and Center for Composite Materials) have been advising KJ Olsen, EIT and supporting the project efforts. KJ is now pursuing his master’s degree!

These efforts were made possible Gary Wenczel, Structures & Geotechnical Lab Manager, Jack Puleo (Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering Chair), who connected us to Steven Losin, PE, Commercial Project Manager and his team from Interlock Paving, Inc. for installing the pavers with excellence! This is a work-in-progress, which will also include a sign and output from our sensors to compare the weather conditions within the pavers to the natural environment and more! More to come so stay tuned!

Another successful defense!

Congratulations, Shaymaa Obayes, for successfully defending her doctoral dissertation, titled “Vulnerability Assessment of Existing Bridges in the Pacific Northwest Region Under Long-Duration Earthquake Effects.” This research uniquely quantifies the impacts of an anticipated moment magnitude (Mw) 9.0 earthquake event characterized by its long duration for incipient collapse risk of existing bridges in the Pacific Northwest region. Pictured (left to right): Profs. Erin Sparks (College of Agriculture), Monique Head (Committee Chair), Shaymaa Obayes, Tripp Shenton (Committee Member), and Michael Chajes (Committee Member).