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Holistic Engineering Project Experience

Our presentation will cover the implementation structure and outcomes of holistic engineering course offerings to engineering students. We offeredholistic engineering courses to civil engineering students in two semesters (i.e., Spring 2020, Fall 2020), where engineering students collaborated withsocial science students on a complex, open-ended contemporary transportation engineering problem. The offered courses were based on a researchproject funded by National Science Foundation (NSF). This presentation session will help students and faculty to understand the benefits ofmultidisciplinary course offering. Online participants can ask questions on the course offerings, course outcomes, implementation challenges etc. Facultyfrom other disciplines can explore the potential of multidisciplinary course in their respective disciplines.

Kakan Dey Profile Picture

Kakan Dey

Assistant Professor

Kakan Dey is an assistant professor in the civil and environmental engineering department at West Virginia University. He is the lead of the Connected and Automated Transportation Systems Lab at WVU. Dey received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Clemson University in South Carolina in 2014, and earned his M.Sc. degree in civil engineering from Wayne State University in 2010. He is the recipient of the Clemson University 2016 Distinguished Postdoctoral Award. Dr. Dey served as the deputy director of the Complex Data Analytics and Visualization Institute at Clemson University. He is a standing committee member of the Transportation Research Board Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Computing Applications (ABD50) and a member of ASCE TDI Committee on Freight and Logistics. He is the editor of Elsevier textbook on “Data Analytics for Intelligent Transportation Systems.” He is also an associate editor of IET Intelligent Transportation Systems Journal.

Dimitra Pyrialakou Profile Picture

V Dimitra Pyrialakou

Assistant Professor

Dr. Pyrialakou’s expertise lies in the area of sustainable planning and evaluation of transportation systems. Her long-term career goal is to understand and influence changes in transportation supply and demand and ultimately improve equitable access to basic needs and opportunities for people and communities. To achieve this goal, Dr. Pyrialakou (1) integrates qualitative and quantitative research methods to study and influence both the supply and demand aspects of the transportation environment, with a focus on transport disadvantaged populations, and (2) provides future civil engineers with the knowledge, analytical tools, and mindset to address issues of infrastructure and transportation equity when they enter the workforce.

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David Martinelli


Dr. David Martinelli is a Professor of Civil Engineering at West Virginia University. He is a Pittsburgh native who earned his BS and MS degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and his PhD from the University of Maryland, all in Civil Engineering.

During his tenure at WVU, he conducted research and taught courses in the areas of transportation engineering and transportation economics, earning the honors of WV Young Civil Engineer of the Year and the ASCE Collingwood Prize. He also co-founded the Northern WV and Eastern Panhandle branches of ASCE and served as the WV Section President.

Dr. Martinelli served as Chairman of WVU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 1996 through 2007, presiding over growth in its many academic programs. In this period he emerged as a national leader in transforming Civil Engineering education through his service on board-level committees of ASCE and as Chairman of the National CE Department Heads Council. He is a pioneer of Holistic Engineering, a whole-systems approach to engineering education.

He is married to Dr. Diana Lee Martinelli and has four children: Sarah, Lydia, Deborah, and David.

Julia Daisy Fraustino Profile Picture

Julia Daisy Fraustino

assistant professor of strategic communication

Julia Daisy Fraustino, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of strategic communication at the WVU Reed College of Media. She is founding director of the Public Interest Communication Research Lab (PIC Lab) in the WVU Media Innovation Center.

Specializing in risk, emergency, crisis, and disaster communication science with emphasis on community resilience and ethics, Fraustino often focuses her research on public interest areas related to natural disasters, public health, and science communication. She has authored more than 75 journal articles, book chapters, peer-reviewed conference proceedings and presentations, and government reports.

She has worked on grants and contracts with funding from entities such as the AAP, CDC, DARPA, DHS, and NSF. She currently leads several funded public health and public interest research projects focusing on data-driven strategic communication to enhance positive social and behavioral change. Related to a few of those projects, she has served on the state’s Joint Interagency Task Force on COVID-19 since 2020, contributing to evidence-based messaging for pandemic response. The latter efforts led to Fraustino being decorated with the U.S. Army Civilian Commendation Medal for her exceptional service to the state and nation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, work for which she was also named a 2021 West Virginia Woman Making History by the WV Immunization Network and was honored with an MVP Research Award from the WVU Office of the Provost.

Fraustino’s work has been recognized nationally and internationally. For a few examples, she has earned several top research paper awards from AEJMC, ICA and NCA. She was named a national 2017-2018 AEJMC Emerging Scholar. She also was awarded the 2018 Doug Newsom Award for Research in Global Ethics and Diversity from the AEJMC PR Division; was the 2017 Reed College of Media Faculty Research Award recipient; and earned a 2016 national Frank Prize in Public Interest Communication for her research on the CDC’s zombie apocalypse preparedness campaign. In 2015, she received the national Most Promising Professor Award from the AEJMC Mass Communication and Society Division as well as the Charles Richardson Award for the most outstanding Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland. She was a START/DHS 2014-2015 Terrorism Research Award Fellow.

Fraustino teaches several courses at undergraduate and graduate levels, often using a service-learning approach to enable students to put their work to good use for organizations and causes in Appalachian communities. She is a Sam Walton Fellow as faculty advisor for Enactus West Virginia University and is faculty advisor for A Moment of Magic WVU. She practiced professional strategic communication for clients in for-profit, non-profit, and government realms—experiences she brings to her teaching, research, and mentorship activities.

She earned a B.A. with a double major in public relations and philosophy from the University of Scranton, an M.A. in media studies with a concentration in strategic communication from Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in communication with emphasis in crisis and risk communication from the University of Maryland.

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John Deskins

Director - Bureau of Business & Economic Research
Assistant Dean for Outreach and Engagement, Dean's Office
Associate Professor, Economics

John Deskins serves as Assistant Dean for Outreach and Engagement, Director of the Bureau of Business & Economic Research, and as Associate Professor of Economics in the College of Business & Economics at West Virginia University. He leads the Bureau’s efforts to serve the state by providing rigorous economic analysis and macroeconomic forecasting to business leaders and policymakers across the state. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Tennessee.

Deskins’ academic research has focused on economic development, small business economics, labor force participation, rural economic development, West Virginia economy, and government tax and expenditure policy, primarily at the US state level. His work has appeared in outlets such as Contemporary Economic Policy, Public Finance Review, Economic Development Quarterly, Small Business Economics, Public Budgeting and Finance, Regional Studies, Annals of Regional Science, Tax Notes, and State Tax Notes, as well as in books published by Cambridge University Press and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. He has delivered more than 100 speeches to business, government, and community groups and his quotes have appeared in numerous media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, CNBC, National Public Radio, and PBS. He has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on more than $1 million in funded research.

Md Tawhidur Rahman Profile Picture

Md Tawhidur Rahman

Graduate Research Assistant

Rahman is an engineer, experienced in transportation and traffic engineering related research projects including corridors and intersections safety and mobility improvement and traffic signal design and analysis (4+ years). He is experienced in planning and designing ITS applications, different industry standard software. He participated in grant applications leading to more than $500,000 award and collaborated with individuals at different universities for research projects.