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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 21, Number 3, Fall 2007

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Volume 21, Number 3, Fall 2007

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student spotlight logoStudent Spotlight:
Gian Paolo Cimellaro

Gian Paolo Cimellaro is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo. Under the supervision of Professor Andrei Reinhorn and MCEER Director Michel Bruneau, Gian Paolo is working on a project entitled “Improving Seismic Resilience of Structures through Control Systems.” His research area is the quantification of seismic resilience, but he is also interested in the seismic retrofit of existing buildings with weakening and damping.

Gian Paolo Cimellaro

Gian Paolo Cimellaro

Gian Paolo’s interest in earthquake engineering began early in his graduate study in Italy at the University of Rome, right after the San Giuliano di Puglia earthquake in southern Italy destroyed an entire school, killing all the students inside.

In 2001, he won a three-year Research scholarship from the Italian Ministry of Education and Research and started to work at the University of Rome. After meeting Jeff Berman and other MCEER students during their Tri-Center Field Mission to Italy in 2003, Gian Paolo decided to continue his research activity at UB. In 2004, he got a scholarship for the “frequency of activity of improvement in a foreign country” from the University of Rome and finished his MS program at UB.

While working at MCEER, Gian Paolo is collaborating with the University of Pavia and the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), where he received a two-year research grant supporting research activities in the ICARUS project1, directed by professor Carlo Rubbia (Nobel Prize Winner in Physics). In 2007, he received a Marie Curie Scholarship for the course “Semi-active Vibration Suppression - The Best from Active and Passive Technologies,” held at CISM (International Center for Mechanical Science), in Udine, Italy.

Gian Paolo has been a member of the MCEER Student Leadership Council since beginning his Ph.D. studies in 2004. After graduating in fall 2007, Gian Paolo hopes to obtain a faculty position in either the U.S. or in his native Italy.

In his free time, Gian Paolo plays tennis and enjoys sailing in Lake Erie during the summer with his friends. He also likes making them his favorite Italian cake: Tiramisu.

1The ICARUS project is a physical experiment proposed in 1985 by Professor Carlo Rubbia and developed in The Gran Sasso physics laboratory. The project investigates proton decay and the physics of the neutrinos using the ICARUS detector.