Originally From: Sombor, Serbia
Fellowship Start Date: Fall 2020
Research Subdiscipline: Earthquake and Structural Engineering
Research Advisor: Dr. Mohamed Moustafa
What inspired you to pursue a PhD?
My mother has worked as a professor of Food-Processing Technology her whole life, and I have seen her prepare generations of students for industry employment. I hope to continue in her footsteps which is why I aspire to an academic career in research and teaching. I see myself as being at the frontline of emerging knowledge, leading future engineers through it and enabling their career dreams to come true. This is the reason I have found the GAANN program to be perfectly suited to my career goals. I am a firm believer in teaching and professional development for academic staff, and I appreciate the fact that the GAANN program offers a teaching instruction course followed by a teaching practicum course. Studying in the USA opened my eyes to modern teaching methods and student-oriented pedagogy. I have benefited from the enthusiasm of my professors and would find it personally fulfilling to guide others through the same process, showing them how they can best live up to their potential.
What are you most interested in learning more about during your PhD study?
My lifelong passion for innovation and creativity has driven me to move to a new continent in the pursuit of scientific knowledge that can be practically applied to address real-life problems. My career goal is to contribute to Structural Engineering theory and practice, especially in terms of reimagining solutions to structural engineering issues related to aging and extreme event resilience. In particular, such solutions would involve the application of advanced and emerging materials and new technologies, as well as their implications on new structural designs and philosophies. One specific area I believe may have a massive impact on the future of Structural Engineering is optimizing the use of advanced materials, e.g. Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC), in buildings, both economically and practically. To accomplish such goals, I hope my PhD studies will enable me to contribute to new knowledge as well as share it through academic research and teaching.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy swimming, travelling, and learning about other cultures.