Ali Rejaie explains his research to a fellow student at the EERI annual meeting earlier this year.
Ali Rejaie is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California. His advisor is Professor Masanobu Shinozuka, Fred Champion Chair in Civil Engineering and Director of the International Institute of Innovative Risk Reduction Research on Civil Infrastructure Systems. Ali's research focuses on extracting information about major structural damage by comparing images acquired from the same area but before and after a strong earthquake. The main emphasis is to report structural damage in an unsupervised and near real-time fashion. He defended his thesis in September 2001 and is currently working to finalize his dissertation, which is titled "Unsupervised Change Detection in Remotely Sensed Images." He anticipates graduating at the end of this year.
Ali became interested in earthquake engineering because of its multidisciplinary nature. According to Ali, "In order to have a broad vision in earthquake engineering, some knowledge of geotechnical engineering, structural mechanics, stochastic analysis, etc. is required and depending on the interest of a researcher, he can focus on any of these aspects. Earthquake engineering is mathematically appealing and also any practical contribution potentially serves a large number of people living in high-risk zones, which is another beauty of this field." He added, "I have been interested in earthquake engineering since I was a college junior."
When asked about his future plans, Ali said, "My main interest is to get involved in research activities in major consulting firms after graduation. Some of the existing R&D centers affiliated with either universities or private firms would be a nice fit with my interests, I believe. I am also interested in improving my skills in object-oriented programming (software engineering) and would like to prepare commercial software as an extension to what I have implemented for my Ph.D. dissertation. I think this software can serve as a practical and advanced tool for near real-time monitoring and earthquake hazard mitigation."
In his spare time, Ali enjoys indoor and outdoor sports. He has been playing volleyball for his school team throughout his undergraduate and graduate studies. He also enjoys snow skiing, water skiing, tennis and racquetball. In addition to sports, Ali enjoys going to museums, movies and hanging out with friends.