Graig Spolek, Ph.D., Professor, Mechanical and Materials Engineering
One has to look skyward to see the research Professor Graig Spolek and his students are performing. In 2004, they began monitoring two ecoroofs on the Multnomah County Building. Six months later they began monitoring Portland's largest ecoroof located on the Broadway Housing Building on the Portland State University campus. Professor Spolek's research team will soon begin monitoring an ecoroof on the Multnomah County Library.
The research team is able to use the four rooftops to monitor the energy and water performance of ecoroofs. In order to further develop ecoroofs, the team has simulated the outdoor environment in a wind tunnel. Through collaborations with Berry Botanical Gardens (Portland, OR) and the Horticulture Department at Oregon State University, the team is working to identify how much moisture the soil can hold, the type of soil and plants that work best in an ecoroof setting, and the level of irrigation needed.
Professor Spolek's research on ecoroofs provides an opportunity for collaboration between departments. Under the guidance of Professor David Sailor (Maseeh College) graduate students are able to use the data collected for computer modeling, while students working with Professor Dave Ervin (PSU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) use the data for economic modeling.
Graig Spolek, Ph.D., has taught at Portland State University for twenty-seven years. He has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, Washington State University, and a M.S. and B.S. in mechanical engineering, University of Washington. He is a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science.