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Clarkson University Doctoral Student Wins Scholarship for Smart Structures Technology Research

A Clarkson University doctoral student has won a $2,000 scholarship to attend the Asia-Pacific Summer School (APSS) on Smart Structures Technology for her hybrid simulation research.

 Bahareh ForouzanBahareh Forouzan, a doctoral student in civil & environmental engineering from Iran, is working with Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Narutoshi Nakata on how to improve the method of numerical modeling structures.

Her research involves a hybrid simulation technique to investigate how structures respond to natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis and strong winds. The hybrid simulation technique combines experimental and numerical methods to test the structures.

During the test, the structure is divided into a physical component and a numerical model. The dynamic response of the structure is calculated numerically on a computer, and the calculated displacements are then applied to the test specimen using actuators. The forces required to produce these displacements are measured and fed back to the computer to calculate the displacements corresponding to the next step.

The combination of physical testing with numerical simulation using hybrid testing allows for accurate and efficient testing of large and complex structural systems. Forouzan is developing a new force base that can be used in civil and mechanical engineering to conduct tests on only the critical components.

"We model most of the structure numerically, and experiment on just the critical part in the lab," she said. "Knowing the results of the critical part we test, we then put all the information back in the computer."

By better understanding how structures respond to natural disasters, Forouzan said, researchers can help reduce structural damage and human suffering.

The three-week APSS on Smart Structures Technology will be held from July 26 to Aug. 14 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Through a program of coursework, lectures, labs and site visits, graduate students from around the world will learn about the hardware, software, data informatics and applications of smart structures technology.

Forouzan said she believes the program will be a good experience, and she looks forward to sharing what she learns with other civil and environmental engineering students.

"I think I can acquire hands-on experience and learn the challenges of applying the current knowledge to the construction project, which is a unique opportunity provided by this training," she said.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University doctoral student of civil & environmental engineering Bahareh Forouzan stands with a model of a structure used for earthquake experiments. She won a $2,000 scholarship to attend the Asia-Pacific Summer School (APSS) on Smart Structures Technology for her hybrid simulation research.

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[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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