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Seyed Ali Ashrafi, known as Ali, is studying to obtain his Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology. His advisor is Professor M. Ala Saadeghvaziri. His research thesis is on the analytical study of rehabilitation of critical electric power system components with an emphasis on using friction pendulum systems to mitigate the seismic risk. He has performed finite element modeling of friction pendulum systems and has used the results to study the effects of earthquakes on bushing-transformer system and their interaction with other interconnecting elements in a substation. He plans to graduate in spring 2003.
When asked how he became interested in earthquake hazard mitigation, Ali said, “High seismic risk in Iran was the initial thing that started my interest in earthquake engineering. During my undergraduate studies, I was involved in a comprehensive study on seismic risks threatening Tehran (Iran’s capital) and the ways to mitigate that seismic risk. The study gave me a very wide perspective both of the diversity and severity of the threats and different approaches to handle the problem. Since then, I realized my intense interest in earthquake engineering and focused my energy on it through the courses I took and the research projects in which I engaged.”
After graduation, Ali plans to start a Ph.D program, and is in the process of applying for that now. After he obtains his Ph.D., he will decide whether to go into an academic or professional career.
When not focusing on earthquake hazard mitigation, Ali said he has a “deep interest in politics and philosophy.” Much of his free time is spent on reading in these areas. He also spends time with friends during the weekends.