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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 25, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2011

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Volume 25, Number 1, 2011

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Student Spotlight: Apostolos Sarlis

Student Spotlight

Apostolos A. Sarlis, a Ph.D. Candidate in University at Buffalo’s (UB) Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE), likes being involved in research because it continually challenges him to change his way of thinking.

“It helps you develop a more open mind and broaden your horizons when it comes to engineering in general. I believe this will help me tremendously in my career,” he says.

Apostolos Sarlis

Apostolos Sarlis

Sarlis is working on Adaptive Protective Systems under the direction of his primary advisor, Professor Michael Constantinou, and secondary advisor, Professor Andrei Reinhorn. He is investigating the development of analytical framework and experimental testing of a prototype novel Negative Stiffness Device (NSD), developed by Professors Constantinou and Reinhorn, Douglas Taylor, Taylor Devices and Professor S. Nagarajaiah, Rice University. The NSD, when combined with viscous dampers, reduces the base shear, drifts and accelerations in structures. Experiments completed at UB have successfully demonstrated the applicability of this device in structures as well as its advantageous effects on the structure’s response.

“It was very appealing to me as well as challenging, the fact that the Negative Stiffness Device was something completely new in the field of earthquake engineering without any previous experience related to its behavior,” Sarlis says.

He is also working on a related research project involving shake table testing of a structure isolated with Triple Friction Pendulum Isolators (TFP) under extreme conditions, as well as the detailed modeling of TFP under these conditions.

Sarlis is a graduate of the University of Patras Greece (BS Civil Eng, 2007) where he received the first award for his GPA ranking in his class during two academic years from the State Scholarship Foundation of Greece. He received his Masters at the University at Buffalo (2008), and has served as Vice-President in CSEE-GSA in 2009-2010 and President in UB-EERI-SC (Student Chapter of Earthquake Engineering Research Institute at UB) in 2010-2011. As the President of UB-EERI-SC and under the academic advisement of Prof. Reinhorn and Prof. Whittaker, he organized more than ten lectures in conjunction with CSEE-GSA, MCEER and CSEE; served as a teaching assistant in 2008-2009 and as a senior lecturer/assistant in the graduate course CIE 616 Experimental Mechanics for fall 2010 and fall 2011. In his free time, he enjoys water and mountain skiing and DJing.