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Cynthia Finley, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia, will give a presentation, “Investigation Design and Model Calibration for Contaminated Groundwater,” noon Tuesday in Acopian Engineering Center room 327.

The talk is sponsored by the civil and environmental engineering department. Lunch is provided.

Finley specializes in the application of probability and statistics to engineering problems, focusing on how to use available data in the decision-making process and how to make decisions about the amount and type of information that should be collected for different engineering analyses. She is working on a project to develop procedures for designing slopes and retaining walls, and has submitted proposals to analyze monitoring data and use analysis of it in the decision-making process for leaking petroleum storage tank sites and for a bioreactor landfill.

She also is interested in educational research and has published several engineering education conference papers.

Finley, who has taught within her department’s geotechnical group since January 2004, earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in May. For her dissertation, she developed a method for designing test programs and applied it to the investigation and monitoring of a Superfund site with contaminated groundwater.

She earned her master’s at University of Washington, evaluating the field performance of two municipal solid waste landfill covers by sampling the soils and geosynthetics in the covers, performing lab tests on the samples, and modeling settlements in the covers with a finite difference program.

Finley received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education for a four-year project to establish a U.S.-Brazil student education fund for undergraduate geology and engineering students.

She also is developing analysis procedures for earth slopes, and specific load and resistance factors for these procedures, for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Finley served one summer as a visiting scholar at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and spent two summers as a program assistant for Careers in Engineering for Women, leading and supervising activities during a summer camp to teach female middle school students about engineering. She has professional experience with Geotech Consultants Inc., Bellevue, Wash.; Clark Johnson Consulting Engineers, Bellevue; and Structural Design Associates, Lynnwood, Wash.

She has received several honors, including a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a Teaching Fellowship from the United Engineering Foundation, and the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

She served as director of Austin Hound Rescue from 1999-2003 and was a volunteer with Columbia Second Chance last year.

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