The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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CEE Doctoral Student Earns First Place in Engineering Mechanics Institute’s Student Paper Competition

Panos Pantidis with award

Panos Pantidis (r)

Panos Pantidis

Panos Pantidis

Panos Pantidis , a Ph.D. student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, won first place in the Engineering Mechanics Institute’s (EMI) Student Paper Competition in Objective Resilience, held during the EMI 2018 Conference from May 29 to June 1 at M.I.T. in Cambridge. His paper develops a novel analytical framework capable of assessing the collapse mode and describing the damage propagation path of steel and concrete composite buildings under the extreme scenario of progressive collapse, thus giving civil engineers a valuable new analytical tool. His advisor is CEE Assistant Professor Simos Gerasimidis.

Pantidis was presented with a certificate and monetary award as part of his prize during the EMI awards banquet on Thursday, May 31, before an audience of distinguished members of the engineering mechanics community.

The title of Pantidis’ winning paper was “Towards an analytical resilience framework of steel and concrete composite buildings.”

As Pantidis described the background of his paper, “Infrastructure resilience is a complex and multifaceted concept, revolving around the structural performance of an infrastructure asset under extreme events, the interaction of the latter with the remaining properties of the broader network, as well as the decision-making processes inherently involved in the design of communities.”

Pantidis went on to explain that one of the main components of infrastructure resilience is robustness, which is affiliated with the ability of the structural system to resist collapse. He said that design of resilient properties implies that the civil engineer is equipped with the appropriate tools to easily and accurately evaluate their robustness against a hazardous event.

“This paper develops a novel analytical framework, based on closed-form expressions, which is capable of assessing the collapse mode and describing the damage propagation path until collapse of both 2D steel moment resisting frames and 3D steel and concrete composite gravity framed systems, under the notion of a column removal scenario,” as Pantidis wrote in his paper.

Pantidis added that “The proposed methodology accounts for two fundamentally different progressive collapse mechanisms and provides an efficient means to the civil engineer to evaluate the structural robustness of such a structure without the need of performing detailed finite element analyses.”

Created on October 1, 2007, the EMI replaced the former Engineering Mechanics Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers. During the EMI competition, students submitted abstracts and papers in the appropriate thematic area as part of the submission process, and all submissions were evaluated by a panel of three expert judges. The top seven papers were selected for presentation in a special session at the EMI conference, in addition to the regular presentation within the conference. (July 2018)