FIU in D.C.: Accelerated bridge construction findings presented

Last week, while FIU joined the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Innovation: An American Imperative (#InnovationImperative) initiative to encourage Congress to support more STEM research, the College of Engineering & Computing’s Atorod Azizinamini also presented on Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) at the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. Plus, a very special Panther alumna joined D.C. area alumni in fundraising for the survivors of the Orlando PULSE shooting.

Dr. Azizinamini discusses transportation solutions with leaders on Capitol Hill

Azizinamini (left) discusses transportation solutions with leaders on Capitol Hill

Transportation innovation is chief among FIU’s list of federal priorities, and Atorod Azizinamini stands at the forefront of the university’s Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) research. Thurs., June 23, Azizinamini presented recent findings before the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. The goals: 1) Encourage the department to place greater emphasis on ABC, which reduces the impacts of on-site construction;  and 2) produce safer, more environmentally friendly bridges that last longer.

Of the nation’s approximately 600,000 publicly owned vehicular bridges, approximately one quarter are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. ABC focuses primarily on bridge replacements that solve the urgent need to replace substandard structures while maintaining the flows of traffic. The mission is to reduce the societal costs of bridge construction by reducing the duration of work zones; focusing special attention on preservation, service life, construction costs, education of the profession; and developing a next-generation workforce fully equipped with ABC knowledge.

Following his presentation at the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Azizinamini headed to Capitol Hill to meet with Congressional offices, including those of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

FIU alumni unite to fundraise for survivors of PULSE shooting in Orlando

FIU alumni unite to fundraise for survivors of PULSE shooting in Orlando

That evening, the D.C. Panther network gathered at Hawthorne on U Street to raise support for the survivors of the Orlando PULSE shooting. Among the attendees was the event’s speaker of honor, FIU Alumna Evelyn Sanguinetti ’93, current lieutenant governor of Illinois. Sanguinetti, who graduated from FIU with a bachelor’s in piano performance, is the first FIU graduate to be elected to state-wide office. Her visit to D.C. also included attendance at the NALEO Educational Fund’s 33rd Annual Conference. NALEO Educational Fund is “the nation’s leading non-profit organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.”

Professionals on The Prowl:

FIU alumnus Christofer Horta

FIU alumnus Christofer Horta

FIU in D.C. is excited to congratulate alumnus and previous student intern Christofer Horta on his new appointment as staff assistant for Chairman Xavier Becerra at the House Democratic Caucus. Prior to this new post, Christofer served as an intern for Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.

Interested in learning more about jobs and internships in D.C. or interning in the city and connecting with our D.C. Panther network? Contact FIU in D.C.’s Career Success Manager Ethan Starkey at

Panthers Spotted:

  • Keith Fernandez — legal counsel and director of communications for Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen at the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Jairo Ledesma — assistant director of FIU Online Education and Career Management Services at the College of Business
  • El pagnier K. Hudson — assistant vice president of the FIU Division of Human Resources
  • Frinee Berrios, Carlos Amaya — College of Business students and employees

To learn more about FIU in D.C., please visit; call (202) 558-3481; or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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