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2011 Poster Competition Provides Opportunities for Students to Present Research Work

Four students receive awards

Sixteen graduate students from the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE) at the University at Buffalo (UB) participated in the annual CSEE Graduate Student Poster Competition. Coordinated by Maria Koliou, a Ph.D. student in structural and earthquake engineering and president of the CSEE Graduate Student Association (CSEE-GSA), the 2011 competition provided students with the opportunity to present their work to the CSEE faculty and to compete for cash awards.

The event was held from 10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on February 23, 2011, and all CSEE faculty were invited to participate as judges. Dr. Dimitrios G. Lignos, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering & Applied Mechanics at McGill University, served as a guest judge. Students were rated on the technical merits of their poster as well as their ability to clearly and concisely convey their research.

Following the poster presentations, Dr. Lignos gave a seminar on “Collapse Assessment of Steel Structures under Extreme Earthquake Loading: Recent Advancements and Future Directions.” Dr. Lignos obtained his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2008, and a significant part of his experimental studies towards his degree were conducted at the UB-NEES site as part of the NEESCollapse research project.

Petros Sideris (right) receives his first place award from Dimitrios Lignos (left).

Awards were presented at the conclusion of the seminar. Dr. Lignos presented the first place award to Petros Sideris, whose poster profiled his research on “Hybrid Post-tensioned Precast Concrete Segmental Bridges” (Amjad Aref and Andre Filiatrault, advisors). Second place went to Afsoon Nicknam, whose poster was entitled “Direct Displacement-based Seismic Design of Propped Rocking Wall Systems,” (Andre Filiatrault, advisor). Third place was a tie between Kiarash M. Dolatshahi for his research “Three Dimensional Dynamic URM Buildings” (Amjad Aref, advisor) and Stacey Sloan Blersch for “A Modeling Framework for Evaluating Stream Restoration Techniques and Ecosystem Response” (Joseph Atkinson, advisor).

The event was sponsored by the Department of CSEE, CSEE-GSA, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Student Chapter (UB-EERI) and MCEER. Petros Sideris and Afsoon Nicknam will represent CSEE in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) poster competition later this year.

Second place winner Afsoon Nicknam (left) explains her poster to Professor Gilberto Mosqueda (right).

Kiarash Dolatshahi explains his research to Professor Andrew Whittaker. Kiarash was one of two third place winners.

Stacey Sloan Blersch (right) received an award in a tie for third place in the competition. Guest judge Dimitrios Lignos is shown on the left.