"Eray Baran a doctoral student in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota is the recipient of the 2003 Nevada Medal for Distinguished Graduate Student Paper in Bridge Engineering," Professor Saiidi of the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Nevada, Reno announced recently.
Baran's research that led to the award winning paper was conducted under the direction of Professors Catherine French and Carol Shield. His paper was selected among 23 entries from 7 countries. Evaluators were from a group of internationally recognized authorities in bridge research and design. The award includes a plaque, an engraved 14-K gold pin, and a $1,000 check. The funding for the award is provided through an endowment established by Simon Wong Engineering of San Diego, California. Mr. Wong completed a BSCE ('79) and an MSCE ('84) degree in civil engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno.
The title of Baran's paper was "Analytical and Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Vertical Pre-Release Cracks on Prestressed Bridge Girders." Vertical cracks are formed during construction of long-span high-strength prestressed concrete bridge girders. These cracks tend to affect the service load and the ultimate flexural capacity of the girders. Using elaborate finite element computer simulation and testing eleven full-scale girders, Baran was able to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the effects of the cracks and come up with a rational explanation of the changes in stiffness and stress concentration. Baran is hoping to conduct analytical and experimental research on different aspects of bridge engineering following graduation.
"This exceptional award increased my motivation to continue doing research in bridge engineering," said Baran.