The recipient of the 2013 Nevada Medal for the Distinguished Graduate Student Paper in Bridge Engineering is Mahdi Arezoumandi, a doctoral student at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Arezoumandi's paper, "Shear Strength of Sustainable Reinforced Concrete Bridge Beams," compared the strength of large-scale concrete beams where up to 70 percent of the cement had been replaced with fly ash. The research found that the mixture with 70 percent ash had higher shear strength than mixtures with a lower amount of ash.
"It is a great honor and privilege for me to receive the Nevada Medal for Distinguished Graduate Student Paper in Bridge Engineering," said Arezoumandi. "It is a very prestigious and recognized award, and I feel immense pride in this accomplishment. I would also like to extend my sincere appreciation to Mr. Simon Wong for his generosity in sponsoring this award."
The award, which has been given since 2001, is intended to recognize outstanding graduate student contributions to state-of-the-art bridge engineering. The Nevada Medal is funded through an endowment established by Simon Wong Engineering of San Diego, California. Wong completed a B.S. (1979) and M.S. (1984) in civil engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Award recipients receive a plaque, an engraved 14 karat gold pin and a $1,500 check.
The award is coordinated by Professor M. "Saiid" Saiidi of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Paper submissions were evaluated by a group of experts in bridge engineering research and design.
Arezoumandi's research has been directed by Dr. Jeffery S. Volz. After completing his doctoral studies, Arezoumandi said he intends to pursue an academic career to educate and inspire future engineers.
An experimental investigation was conducted to study the shear strength of full-scale beams constructed with two high-volume fly ash concrete mixes -- with one mix replacing 50 percent of the cement with fly ash and the other replacing 70 percent -- and conventional concrete (CC) mix. This experimental program consisted of 18 beams without stirrups with three different longitudinal reinforcement ratios. The experimental shear strengths of the beams were compared with the shear provisions of both U.S. and international design codes. Furthermore, the shear strengths of the beams were evaluated based on fracture mechanics approaches, modified compression field theory, and a shear database of CC specimens. Results of this study show that the mix with 70% fly ash had higher shear strength compared with the mix with 50% fly ash and the CC mix.