AUTC 2008 Student of the Year: Duane Davis

September 1, 2009 • Filed under: Student of the Year — billy.connor

For 2009 Student of the Year AUTC honors Duane Davis, a nontraditional student who joined UAF after 20 years in the workforce.

Davis’ early career took him to remote locations all over Alaska, including oil fields on the North Slope, where he took part in many infrastructure construction projects, as well as working in field investigation and laboratory testing.

portrait of Duane Davis

Duane Davis

In 2004, he decided to pursue degrees in both Mechanical and Civil Engineering. Three-and-a-half years later, he completed a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and began work on a Master of Science in Civil Engineering.

During his undergraduate studies, he joined Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. Currently he maintains a 3.83 grade point average, and he hopes to graduate by Fall of 2009.

The prospect of merging fundamental concepts from both Mechanical and Civil Engineering to understand changes in material performance behavior in the Arctic, and using that understanding to provide useful solutions to Arctic engineering problems, interests and excites Davis. He believes that Alaska sorely needs infrastructure development, but that the state is limited by the economic costs of improving existing marginal conditions through traditional engineering solutions. New technology and new methods must replace traditional solutions that are inadequate or too costly.

Laboratory research he performed as an undergraduate student studied strength improvements for marginal soils (such as silty-sand) through the combined use of geofibers and a synthetic fluid additive. His current research examines how seasonal frost depth affects laterally loaded deep foundations.