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Poster Competition Showcases CSEE Research Projects

Jacobo Bielak serves as guest judge; 15 CSEE faculty weigh in to select winners

This year, ten students from the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE) competed for cash prizes in the annual Graduate Student Poster Competition, held on March 22, 2013 at the University at Buffalo (UB). The posters covered a wide range of topics in civil engineering, including computational mechanics (1), earthquake engineering (6), environmental engineering (2), and transportation engineering (1).

Afsoon Nicknam received the first place award for her poster entitled “Experimental Evaluation of Seismic Performance of Propped Rocking Wall Systems.” The poster described the development of a seismic Direct Displacement-Based Design (DDBD) procedure for buildings equipped with propped rocking walls. Andre Filiatrault is her faculty advisor, and the project is funded by MCEER.

2012 USDC Group Photo

From left: Manish Kumar (3rd place), Afsoon Nicknam (1st place), Jacobo Bielak (guest judge) and Manish Kumar (2nd place)

In an interesting coincidence, the second and third place awards went to two students with the same name (Manish Kumar), same advisors (Andrew Whittaker and Michael Constantinou), and same project sponsors (MCEER, and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). The poster entitled “Response Predictions for Sliding Isolation Bearings Considering the Effects on Friction of Axial Pressure, Temperature and Velocity” received the second place award, and “Seismic Isolation of Nuclear Power Plants Using Elastomeric Bearings” received the third place award.

2012 USDC Group Photo

Afsoon Nicknam explains her research project to CSEE faculty member Salvatore Salamone.

Fifteen UB faculty members and guest Jacobo Bielak, Carnegie Mellon University, contributed to the day’s event by serving as judges. Bielak announced the winners following his seminar, entitled “Soil-Structure Interaction Effects of Building Clusters During Earthquakes,” which was delivered as part of the T.T. Soong Student Lecture Series. The grading of the posters was based on the originality of the research, the impact on the field, as well as the quality and clarity of each student’s presentation.

The three winning posters will be displayed in Ketter Hall. Additionally, the first and second place winners will represent the CSEE Department in UB’s annual Engineering Graduate Student Poster Competition to be held later this year.

2012 USDC Group Photo

Siamak Epackachi explains his research project to Jacobo Bielak, guest judge.

Other graduate student presenters were Juan Aleman (advisors: Andrew Whittaker and Gilberto Mosqueda), Siamak Epackachi (advisor: Andrew Whittaker), Pierre Gautreau (advisor: Cemal Basaran), Seyed Mohammad Ghaneeizad (advisor: Joseph Atkinson), M.J. Hashemi (advisor: Gilberto Mosqueda), Mahdi Maghrebi (advisors: Igor Jankovic and Alan Rabideau) and Shuai Tang (advisor: Qian Wang).

The event was organized and sponsored by the CSEE Graduate Student Association (CSEE-GSA), the University at Buffalo Student Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (UB-EERI), MCEER, the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and UB’s CSEE Department. Aikaterini Stefanaki, a doctoral candidate in structural and earthquake engineering and vice president of the CSEE-GSA, coordinated the competition, which is open to all CSEE graduate students.

2012 USDC Group Photo

Manish Kumar (left) and Mahdi Maghrebi (right) discuss their research posters with fellow students.


2013 CSEE Graduate Student Poster Competition – Participants and Poster Titles

Juan Aleman, Performance Based Seismic Assessment of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings in New York City
Siamak Epackachi, Numerical and Experimental Study on the Cyclic Behavior of High Performance Steel-Concrete Composite Shear Walls
Pierre Gautreau, Influence of Hot Phonons on Joule Heating and Wind Forces in Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
Seyed Mohammad Ghaneeizad, Kinematics of Time-mean and Turbulent Flow Associated with Circular Impinging Jets Used to Assess In-situ Soil Erodibility Indices
M.J. Hashemi, Collapse Simulation of Multi-Story Buildings Through Hybrid Testing with Substructuring Techniques
Manish Kumar, Response Predictions for Sliding Isolation Bearings Considering the Effects on Friction of Axial Pressure, Temperature and Velocity
Manish Kumar, Seismic Isolation of Nuclear Power Plants Using Elastomeric Bearings
Mahdi Maghrebi, Novel Geostatistical Characterization of the Borden Aquifer, Canada
Afsoon Nicknam, Experimental Evaluation of Seismic Performance of Propped Rocking Wall Systems
Shuai Tang, A GIS-based Performance Measurement System for Assessing Transportation Sustainability and Community Livability


Participant photos can be viewed individually here.

2013 CSEE Poster Competition Flyer