"Chiara Casarotti, a recent doctoral student at the European School for Advanced Studies in Reduction of Seismic Risk, the University of Pavia, Italy, is the recipient of the 2005 Nevada Medal for Distinguished Graduate Student Paper in Bridge Engineering," Professor Saiidi of the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Nevada, Reno, announced recently.
Casarotti's research that led to the award winning paper was conducted under the direction of Professors R. Pinho and G. Calvi. 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 Casarotti's paper was "Displacement-Based Adaptive Pushover for Seismic Assessment of Bridges." Shortcomings of conventional pushover analysis for irregular bridges were addressed and an innovative method was introduced and verified against nonlinear dynamic analysis results.
"Recent major earthquakes sadly highlighted the importance of improving the safety level of structures," Casarotti said. "This is the reason why I personally consider the design of new structures and the assessment of existing ones as a worthwhile research field to develop, and being the recipient of such a prestigious award encouraged me to continue research in bridge engineering."
Casarotti recently accepted a post-doctoral position at the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California, San Diego.