SEAoT-TAMU kicked off the spring semester by hosting Texas A&M University’s newest structural engineering faculty member, Dr. Amirali Najafi. Dr. Najafi spoke about exploring cyber-physical approaches in civil engineering. Large-scale experimental mockups can take up absorbent amounts of time, space, and money to construct and test. Further, there are facility limitations to what structural behavior can be replicated in a lab, such as accelerated ground motion or marine wave conditions. In contrast, numerical models can be run thousands of times at relatively low cost, but often many simplifying assumptions must be made to create them. Dr. Najafi has done work to utilize the positive aspects of both experimental methods at once. One example described by Dr. Najafi was the analysis of a bridge under an earthquake load. A numerical model of the bridge’s substructure was created, and then subject to a simulated accelerated ground motion. The numerical output was sent to a physical setup of the bridge deck that was fitted with many sensors and actuators. The loop was then closed between the two models when the sensors sent information about the bridge deck’s restoring forces back to the numerical model.
In addition to learning the basics of cyber-physical experimentation, the students in attendance were able to take part in an interactive activity. During this activity, students were guided on how to select which components of an experiment could be physical, what needed to be numerically simulated, and how the two would interface together to represent an entire structural system. This was a great opportunity for the members to be formally introduced to Dr. Najafi and the type of work he is interested in.
SEAoT-TAMU has a great lineup of presenters for the spring semester with the speakers ranging from industry leaders to international researchers. The schedule for the presentations is listed below.
Spring 2024 SEAoT-TAMU Schedule
Tuesday, 1/30/24 – Dr. Amirali Najafi (Texas A&M University)
Thursday, 2/15/24 – Dr. Thomas Kang (Seoul National University)
Tuesday, 2/27/24 – L.A. Fuess Partners
Tuesday, 3/19/24 – SCA Engineers
Tuesday, 4/02/24 – JQ now IMEG
Tuesday, 4/16/24 – Paragon Structural Engineering