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The 34th Annual Alexander Graham Christie Lecture
May 4 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The 34th Annual Alexander Graham Christie Lecture @ 210 Hodson Hall

The Department of Mechanical Engineering hosts Maria Oden, director of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen at Rice University, for the 34th Annual Alexander Graham Christie Lecture. Oden will present a lecture titled “Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen at Rice University: Lessons learned in the early years.”


Maria Oden will present the short seven-year history of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, at Rice University, where students are exposed to unique hands-on design experiences and opportunities to test and carry ideas to their intended point of application. An overview of the facility itself and how it fosters design, prototyping, and technology evaluation will be provided. This presentation will also provide a review of the goals and longer term impact of the program.

The OEDK has truly shifted the culture of engineering design at Rice, bringing together students with various perspectives to collaborate on multidisciplinary teams. Undergraduates using the OEDK represent the eight different engineering disciplines, as well as architecture, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Since its inception in 2009, use of OEDK has increased from about 250 to over 1200 undergraduate students annually. Examples of real-world design challenges and their solutions, from the energy industry to medical technologies, will be presented. Specific examples and demonstrations from projects in the past several years will be used to illustrate major points in the presentation. Data demonstrating the growth and impact of this new education paradigm will also be shared.

The 35th Annual Alexander Graham Christie Lecture
May 3 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The 35th Annual Alexander Graham Christie Lecture @ 210 Hodson Hall

Heidi Nepf, the Donald and Martha Harleman Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will deliver the 35th Annual Alexander Graham Christie Lecture.

The lecture will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, in 210 Hodson Hall.


How vegetation alters waves and current, and the feedbacks to environmental system function

Vegetation provides a wide range of ecosystem services valued at over 4 trillion dollars per year. Seagrasses, salt marshes, and mangroves, damp storm surge and waves, mitigate anthropogenic nutrient loads, and provide important habitat and blue carbon reservoirs. The conservation and restoration of these landscapes has become the center-point of nature-based solutions for coastal protection and carbon mitigation. This seminar will summarize basic concepts in vegetation hydrodynamics, focusing on flexible meadows of seagrass, for which the bending of plants in response to fluid motion (called reconfiguration) plays an important role in setting the drag. Scaling laws are developed to describe the damping of currents, turbulence and waves as a function of plant morphology, flexibility, and shoot density. The feedbacks from plant-flow interaction to sediment transport and carbon sequestration are also discussed.

Sponsored by the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the JHU Student Section and the Baltimore Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

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