Zapata takes larger role in advising on US transportation challenges

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Zapata takes larger role in advising on US transportation challenges

Zapata Claudia

Claudia Zapata will chair a committee of experts that advises on efforts to meet the nation’s transportation infrastructure needs.

Posted: February 21, 2012

Claudia Zapata, an ASU engineer, will soon begin a three-year term as chair of the national Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Engineering Behavior of Unsaturated Soils.

The committee of about 30 members advises the board on matters important to establishing adequate engineering, construction and environmental-protection standards for transportation infrastructure.

Zapata is an assistant professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Her expertise is in geotechnical engineering, concentrating on the behavior of soils under various climatic conditions and the impacts that construction and operation of transportation facilities have on soil stability.

The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council – a private, nonprofit institution under the National Academies that provides services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The National Research Council is jointly administered by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

Zapata has served on the board’s unsaturated soils committee since 2007 and on the Seasonal Climatic Effects on Transportation Infrastructure committee since 2008. She also has played a leading role in various projects for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.

Zapata’s chair appointment “helps tremendously in maintaining ASU’s place as a leader in the field of unsaturated soil mechanics,” says Sandra Houston, a professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. “She has led research that has brought national and international recognition to ASU’s work and education program in this area.”

By Jeanette Bravo

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Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

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