GAANN Ph.D. fellowships in structural engineering

Students in the Earthquake Engineering Lab auditorium
An empty shake table in the Earthquake Engineering Lab
Two graduate students in front of a large curved bridge with trucks on it in the Large Scale Structures Lab

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is pleased to announce the availability of GAANN Fellowships for Ph.D. students. GAANN, which stands for Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need, is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.

The GAANN program at the University of Nevada, Reno will support fellowships related to the general theme  Rebuilding the Nation’s Structural Infrastructure for Resilience to Extreme Events.  GAANN Fellows will receive a need-based stipend of up to $34,000 per year, and tuition and fees are covered by the fellowship.

The objective of our GAAAN program is to provide fellows with an enhanced graduate school experience that grants student autonomy, develops strong peer networks, and better prepares them for careers in academia. In addition to the usual degree requirements for the Ph.D. in civil & environmental engineering, the GAANN Fellows educational program will include the following additional elements.

  • Fellows will develop a degree progression plan within the first year. Progress will be evaluated and the plan revised periodically. This approach encourages appropriate goal setting and self-accountability. Fellows will be encouraged to select a paper-based dissertation format.
  • Supervised teaching experience: Fellows will be required to enroll in ENGR 720: Teaching Undergraduate Engineering and Science and ENGR 721: Teaching Practicum (new course to be piloted in Spring 2021). After receiving this education, they will have the opportunity to co-teach with a faculty mentor as co-instructor of record for two semesters. It is expected that the fellow teach 10-20 percent of the classes, with continuous assessment and improvement throughout the semester.
  • Fellows will be paired with a non-research mentor for advice on issues they may not feel comfortable bringing up to their mentor.
  • Fellows will participate in professional development activities tailored to meet their needs. One example is the University's Graduate School professional development workshop series. Fellows may also consider a variety of other opportunities, such as discipline specific conferences and workshops, external teaching workshops and training workshops offered by sites under the umbrella of the National Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure
  • Fellows will enroll in two semesters of CEE 750: Graduate Seminar to learn more about the research conducted by their peers and develop strong peer networks within the department.

The earthquake and structural engineering program is one of the strongest on campus, with a long history of both experimental and analytical research that has influenced seismic design practice for bridges and buildings. Our expert faculty include three Foundation Professors, a select designation based on lifetime career achievements. Our program is also growing with the recent addition of three new faculty.

The program houses two state-of-the-art structural laboratories and testing facilities. The 44,000 square foot Earthquake Engineering Laboratory houses the only re-locatable four-shake-table array in the U.S. capable of simulating earthquakes for large-scale, system-level experiments. A fifth shake table and biaxial laminar soil box for studying soil-structure-interaction is under construction in the adjacent Large Scale Structures Laboratory. The two laboratories provide unique capabilities to test large-scale full bridge systems, multi-story buildings, structural and nonstructural components, electric power infrastructure and substation equipment, etc.

GAANN fellows are encouraged to explore creative ideas for collaborating with, leveraging, and adding to the large experimental projects conducted in the labs.