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Student Brandon Bortz to Graduate with Unique Honor at KSU

by Aaron Mack

Brandon's thesis involves finite element modeling of geocell.

Brandon and a fellow student working with geocell.

Brandon Bortz is a graduate research assistant in the Department of Civil Engineering at Kansas State University. His primary research focus is on geocellular confinement systems in paved roads.

Brandon will have the unique distinction of being the first engineering student at KSU to earn a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the same program.

An exceptional student and researcher, Brandon has co-authored several published or forthcoming conference papers. He is also an active member of the research community, currently participating in several TRB committees and belonging to the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Concrete Institute. In addition to conducting research, Brandon assists the department in teaching pavement design, materials recitation, and soil and foundation recitation.

Brandon says one of the keys to his success has been the many opportunities he has been given through KSU’s Civil Engineering department and faculty, which have helped him become a well-rounded researcher and educator.

“One of [KSU’s] Civil Engineering department’s strengths is allowing students to have as big of a role that they would like in the department,” he said. “My experience at K-State has been a great opportunity. I have been given the opportunity to do many things including managing labs, teaching, organizing research, conducting research, and managing personnel.”

Currently, with MATC sponsorship, Brandon is working to complete his research on finite element modeling and to write his dissertation on finite element modeling of geocells. He is slated to graduate in May of 2013.