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Clarkson University Visiting Scholar Receives Top Italian Award for Thesis in Aerospace Structures

Clarkson University Visiting Scholar Michele Pasquali recently received a top national Italian award for the Best M.S. Degree Thesis in Aerospace Structures.

Pasquali was honored with the prestigious Liviu Librescu Award, established by Sapienza University of Rome in the memory of the late Professor Liviu Librescu of Virginia Tech, who died in the tragedy at Virginia Tech in April 2007.

The prize was awarded in June during a formal ceremony in Rome sponsored by AgustaWestland, an Anglo-Italian helicopter company.

Pasquali's thesis is titled “Geometrically exact models of thin plates towards nonlinear dynamics system identification via Higher order spectral approach.”

The work is the result of the research carried out by the candidate while at Clarkson University over the past academic year. His research co-advisors were Clarkson University Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Professor Pier Marzocca and Sapienza University Structural and Geotechnical Engineering Professor Walter Lacarbonara.

“I am very pleased by the excellent work carried out by Mr. Pasquali during his studies here,” said Marzocca. “It is an example of successful international collaborative research initiated with a top university in Italy.”

During several months at Clarkson, Pasquali developed an experimental procedure to detect damage in metal and composite thin flexible structures and numerical tools applicable to structural health monitoring of these structures.

This stage of his research was partially supported by a fellowship from the University of Rome and by a Clarkson Center for Advanced Materials Processing project with the U.S. Army.

Marzocca had the great opportunity to work closely with Librescu while he was at Virginia Tech.

“It was a treasured experience to learn from a pioneer in the areas of advanced structures, aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, and foundation of refined theories of laminated composite and sandwich structures," said Marzocca. "He was a dedicated, caring and inspiring teacher, devoted to the education of his students and to the engineering profession, just for the love of it.” 

Late in the spring, Clarkson and Sapienza entered into a memorandum of understanding with the intention of developing cultural and scientific cooperation of mutual advantage to both universities, and fostering international cooperation in education and research with a faculty and student exchange.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six 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 health sciences, 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.

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

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