Splash at Northwestern: Winter Splash February 26th, 2023


NU Splash Biography

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CONSTANCE MIHALACHE, NU Graduate Student in Civil Engineering




College: Northwestern

Major: Civil Engineering

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Constance Mihalache

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Hey everyone,

I'm a graduate student in civil engineering at Northwestern, and I love spending time in magnificent Chicago. There's nothing better for a civil engineer, than to be surrounded by tall-story, sky-scraping, towers... especially after knowing how much civil engineering it takes to build them, bottom-up.

I'm very excited to teach at Splash again this year. Engineering is everywhere, and NUSplash gives you a snapshot of what engineering really is. Who knows, you may think of becoming a civil engineer one day?

Hope to see you in class,
~ Constance



Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)


E220: Geo-engineering Failures! From quicksand, to landslides, to a tower in Pisa in Splash 2013 (Apr. 06, 2013)
Pretty much, whenever anything goes wrong in engineering – we call it a failure. Sure, buildings and bridges are interesting, but what’s going on beneath them? Do you know that some buildings sink over time? And quicksand… it’s not just a sci-fi movie stunt! This course will look at different types of geotechnical engineering failure. Some of them are dynamic, fast – and frightening! Others occur more slowly, but can also lead to serious problems. Come to see these failures caught in action! Learn what causes these types of failures, and see what engineers (past and present) have done to help prevent them. Together we will discuss, analyze – and even apply our knowledge of these failures, hands-on!


E221: To (Civil) Engineer in Splash 2013 (Apr. 06, 2013)
Are you wondering what to do next, after high school? Maybe you’re thinking about college, and choosing a major. Maybe you’re wondering how math and science actually gets applied to the real world. So what is civil engineering, anyway? Is it designing things that we $$ \textit{really} $$ couldn’t live without? Is it protecting nature from humans? Is it protecting humans from nature? Is it organizing, planning, and applying large-scale? Civil engineering can be skyscrapers, bridges or construction management; it can be protecting the environment, clean drinking water or avoiding damage from natural disasters; it can be building roads, setting foundations, or investigating existing structures. Oftentimes, it’s a combination of these things. Civil engineering is almost everywhere and can do almost everything. In this class, we will talk about what it is “to civil engineer”: how it is being an engineering student, what civil engineering work is really all about, and the accomplishments of famous civil engineers. There will be a bit of lecture to guide the way, but we will mostly talk and discuss!


E95: Engineering Failures! Part 1: Structural Engineering in Splash 2011 (Apr. 02, 2011)
Pretty much, whenever anything cracks, fractures, deforms, sinks, shatters, or comes apart, we call it a "failure". In this activity-based course, we will look at a couple of structural engineering examples. Why will they fail? Where will they fail? And (most importantly) how can we build them so that they don't fail! Be ready to see engineering theory in action!!


E96: Engineering Failures! Part 2: Geotechnical Engineering in Splash 2011 (Apr. 02, 2011)
Pretty much, whenever anything cracks, fractures, deforms, sinks, shatters, or comes apart, we call it a “failure”. Sure, buildings and bridges are interesting, but what's going on beneath them? Do you know that some buildings sink over time? And quicksand... it's not just a sci-fi movie stunt! This activity-based course will focus on some of the more dynamic types of geotechnical engineering failure. Be ready to see engineering theory in action!!


E7: Taking a look at Geotechnical Engineering in Splash 2010 (Apr. 03, 2010)
Want to know what is under your very feet? Want to know why that leaning tower in Pisa tilts? What is our world built on, anyway? Soil is one of the most critical media in Civil Engineering, and yet one of the most difficult to predict. And engineering is all about analyzing, discussing and applying to the real world. Get ready to take a peek at the complex, fascinating world of "Geo" engineering! (a Civil Engineering specilaization) Hands-on Activity/Demo planned. <A HREF="http://nusplash.learningu.org/learn/Splash/Splash_2010/Classes/E7/index.html">Class Website</A>