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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 20, Number 2, Summer 2006

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Volume 20, Number 2, Summer 2006

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Student Spotlight: Ramiro Vargas

Ramiro in front of bridge sign

Ramiro visited the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco while attending the 8NCEE Conference, where he presented a paper on his research

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Ramiro Vargas completed his Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Analytical and Experimental Investigation of the Structural Fuse Concept” in February 2006 in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo, under the supervision of MCEER director and UB professor Michel Bruneau. He officially graduates in June 2006.

Ramiro first became interested in earthquake engineering as a freshman at the Technological University of Panama, when an earthquake struck his native country, damaging many schools and hospitals. “As a young student, I was very impressed by that earthquake, and became interested in earthquake engineering, particularly in seismic protective technologies,” he explains.

“I am a very curious person, and I like to be involved in research projects focused on developing new alternatives to enhance the seismic performance of structural systems. In the future as an academician in my home country, my plan is to apply the knowledge I gained in Buffalo and continue doing research,” he adds, when asked what he likes about his research and how he will use it in his career. Ramiro has already begun working as a faculty professor in the Civil Engineering department of the Technological University of Panama.

Ramiro won this year’s best student article competition for his contribution to the Student Research Accomplishments Volume: 2004-2005, “Seismic Response of Hybrid Systems with Metallic and Viscous Dampers.” The award will be presented at this year’s MCEER Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. In 2004, he received the Dr. Sophokles E. Logiadis Prize for demonstrating high scholastic ability and substantial contribution to the advancement of the technologies of seismic energy dissipation. He was also listed in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities in 2003. The Student Research Accomplishments Volume: 2004-2005 and Best Article Contest are available from the MCEER website.

In his free time, Ramiro enjoys playing the guitar, and likes to study new scores and arrange musical pieces. He also likes to read and travel with his wife, Jeleny Rodriguez.