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BSC Graduate Greg Michaelson Wins Prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (w/photo)

  • Created
    Monday, May 02 2011
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu

valedictorian_greg_michaelson(Bluefield)—Greg Michaelson, a doctoral student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at WVU and co-valedictorian of Bluefield State College’s Class of 2009, has recently been awarded the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship.  This is a highly competitive fellowship that helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity.   The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees. Greg was one of only two WVU students to receive this fellowship this year.  His work will have a broad impact on the reliability of the nation’s highway infrastructure.

Kerry Stauffer, Bluefield State College Associate Professor/Civil Engineering Technology, noted, “It is no surprise to me that Greg has excelled in his graduate studies at WVU and that he was awarded this prestigious and competitive scholarship.  Greg was truly an asset to our program here at BSC.  He was a perfect 4.0 student in a rigorous curriculum.  He was the president of our American Society of Civil Engineers’ Student Chapter and tutored nearly every class in our program.  On top of that, he was actively involved with several extracurricular activities around campus.”  During his undergraduate years at Bluefield State College, Greg was a member of the student government and served as a tutor in BSC's Student Support Services Program.

Since the I-35 Bridge collapse in Minneapolis, there has been a growing concern among the public about the safety of highway bridges and steel truss bridges in particular.  His research will address these concerns by directly assessing the redundancy and reliability of these types of structures.  Ultimately this work will develop the necessary tools to allow infrastructure stakeholders to accurately assess levels of safety in their inventory, to develop better bridge inspection programs, and to quantitatively assess repair and replacement needs.

At the conclusion of his doctoral studies at WVU Greg intends to pursue a career in academia.  “I know that he will continue to do great things as an engineer and educator, but I also know that he will never forget his roots at BSC and Bluefield, West Virginia.  I am so proud of Greg and this speaks volumes as to what our graduates are capable of and how they can compete and succeed at any level,” Stauffer added.