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Civil and Environmental Engineering

Nagarajaiah co-authors 'Best' paper

A paper co-authored by Satish Nagarajaiah, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice University, has been named winner of the 2017 Raymond C. Reese Research Prize.

Each year, the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recognizes “outstanding contributions to the application of structural engineering research” with the Reese Prize. Nagarajaiah shares the honor with lead author Yongchao Yang, a postdoctoral researcher in his lab when the paper was submitted and now the Director’s Funded Postdoctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Their paper, “Real-time Output-Only Identification of Time-Carrying Cable Tension from Accelerations via Complexity Pursuit,” was published in the January 2016 issue of the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering. It proposes an algorithm and an automated method for monitoring the real-time health of cables that support bridges, buildings and other structures.

“It is being tested for monitoring a cable-stayed bridge in Xiamen, China. It requires only two accelerometers  and the algorithm can identify the cable force in real time, enabling engineers on-site to test if the cable tension is reduced, which indicates a problem,” Nagarajaiah said.

In 2011, he was named managing editor of the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, and now serves as its managing editor. He edits two other journals, Wiley International Journal—Structural Control and Health Monitoring, and Techno-Press Journal—Structural Monitoring and Maintenance. In 2012, he was named an inaugural fellow of the Structural Engineering Institute. He joined the Rice faculty in 1999, and received an NSF CAREER Award that year for adaptive stiffness structures.

Co-authors of the prize-winning paper are  Shunlong Li, associate professor; Hui Li, professor; and Peng Zhou, a graduate student, all at the Harbin Institute of Technology, China. They will be honored at the ASCE’s Structures Congress 2017 in Denver, April 6-8.

Patrick Kurp, Engineering Communications