May 14, 2018

Faculty Advisors

Mark Barnett, PhD

Personal Bio

Mark Barnett is a Professor of Environmental Engineering and Associate Chair in the Department of Civil Engineering at Auburn University, where he has been on the faculty for nineteen years. Dr. Barnett has a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina and over twenty-five years of national and international environmental engineering and science experience in industry, government, and academia. He has been a principal or co-principal investigator on fifteen grants totaling over $7.5 million, and he has published over fifty peer-reviewed journal articles, several book chapters, and a book that collectively have received over two thousand citations.  He is a licensed professional engineer and a board certified member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists and has taught fundamental and applied courses in environmental and aquatic chemistry; drinking water supply, treatment, and distribution; environmental engineering principles and design; and sustainable design and development. His current interests are in environmental policy; sustainable development; and water, sanitation, and health in underserved communities.

EWB Role

Dr. Barnett has been the EWB chapter co-advisor since 2016 and works primarily on the Rwanda project. He hopes to expand the chapter’s activities to underserved communities in Alabama as well.

Christian Brodbeck, P.E.

Personal Bio

Christian Brodbeck is a Research Engineer with the Biosystems Engineering Department at Auburn University. Christian holds a B.S. degree in Biosystems Engineering and a M.S. degree in Civil Engineering, is a registered Professional Engineer and currently working on his Ph.D. He has worked for Auburn University for 12 years focusing his first four years of research on Precision Agriculture. Christian spent the next six years working in the area of bioenergy, in particular conversion technologies of woody biomass and harvesting logistics. During the last year Christian has had the opportunity to shift some of his research focus back to Precision Agriculture and has been working on developing an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) program for the College of Agriculture. He is a Part 107 licensed remote pilot with over 300 recorded flights. His UAS research areas are primarily in the applications of UAS for use as a management tool in agricultural and natural resource systems.

EWB Role

Christian Brodbeck has been active with the Auburn University Chapter of EWB for one year. During the first implementation trip to Rwanda he served as a mentor to the Team assisting with the collection of imagery from unmanned aerial vehicles. Since returning from Rwanda, Christian continues to advise the Rwanda Team as well as serve as the Responsible Engineer in Charge.

Thomas E. (Tom) Burch, PhD, P.E.

Personal Bio

    Dr. Tom Burch received his BSME and MSME degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University and after completion of his PhD from Louisiana State University he returned to Auburn and began his teaching career in 1992. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the department of Mechanical Engineering. He has also been a principal in the Boiler Efficiency Institute (BEI) since 1990. His consulting work in energy conservation and usage has spanned four decades, three continents and eight countries. During this time he has delivered hundreds of workshops and seminars on energy related topics and consulted with numerous industries, institutions, and government agencies. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Alabama. Dr. Burch has been directly involved with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) since 2015 and has served as Faculty Advisor for the Auburn University student chapter since 2016. He has travelled to Bolivia with the EWB student group every year since 2015. Dr. Burch is also the father of three children. You are welcome to ask about the children.

 

Marta Miletic, PhD

Personal Bio

Marta Miletic is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Auburn University. She completed her Ph.D. program in Geotechnical Engineering from Kansas State University in 2016, after which she has been a research associate at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Moreover, Dr. Miletic graduated with a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from University of Zagreb, Croatia in 2011, and 2009, respectively. Dr. Miletic’s work builds on mathematical theories to improve performance of real-world systems. In particular, Marta’s teaching and research interests are mainly focused on experimental and computational modeling of the onset and growth of strain localization in pressure-sensitive materials such as soils, rocks and manmade geo-materials such as cementitious composites. Moreover, the additional overarching goal of her research is the investigation of mechanisms that suppress and delay the inception of strain localization primarily in pressure sensitive materials.

EWB Role

Marta Miletic joined the Auburn University Chapter of EWB in the Fall of 2017. She is currently serving as a part-time mentor to the Rwanda team. Her current main role is to provide the design team with the help from the geotechnical engineering perspective. In addition, she will be helping the Rwanda team with the assessing slope stability and the risk of landslides in Rwanda.

Joseph Ragan, PhD, P.E.

Personal Bio

Joseph (Joe) Ragan is a lecturer in mechanical engineering at Auburn University.   He has taught a wide range of undergraduate engineering courses. Additionally, he is a consulting engineer specializing in boiler safety and energy utilization.  Joe has also designed and built several residential homes. Joe enjoys teaching, designing, and working with his hands.

EWB Role

Joe became active with the Auburn University Chapter of EWB in the fall of 2016. He traveled with the Bolivia team during the summer of 2017.  During this trip, he oversaw the surveying team and helped collect elevation/distance data needed for the irrigation system design. Currently, Joe is assisting with the design and working with students to build survey competence for the upcoming trip to Bolivia.

Dr. Vasconcelos, PhD

Personal Bio

Jose Vasconcelos is an Associate Professor with the Department of Civil Engineering at Auburn University. Jose obtained his B.S. in Civil Engineering and M.Sc. in Environmental Technology and Water Resources at the University of Brasilia, Brazil. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan in 2005. Jose’s working experience includes 6 years in stormwater and drinking water system design, and 14 years of teaching experience His teaching/research interests are in the context of Urban Water Systems, and unsteady conditions in pipe/channel flows. While at Auburn, Jose has been the chair of 10 graduate student committees, and currently advises 4 graduate students. Among his service to the engineering community, he serves as the chair of the Hydraulics Structures Committee at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and is one of the associate editors for the  Journal of Hydraulic Engineering (ASCE).

EWB Role

Jose Vasconcelos has been active with the Auburn University Chapter of EWB since the Fall of 2016. He has served as a mentor to the Rwanda team, and participated in the January 2017 assessment trip, as well in the August 2017 implementation trip. His main role is to help the design team to develop designs for the proposed water systems, as well to help in the assessment of existing water systems in the Kabaya Sector, Rwanda. He continues to develop these roles, as the Rwanda team plans future trips to improve water accessibility in Rwanda.