The Edmond Sun

July 29, 2013

U. of I. graduate students win awards to conduct research overseas


Special to The Sun

EDMOND — Three University of Illinois doctoral students have won Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide awards from the National Science Foundation. They are Andrew Mock of Edmond in civil engineering, Nardine Abadeer  of Wausau, Wis., chemistry; and Evgueni Filipov of Watertown, Conn., civil engineering. All are fellows in the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program.

The GROW program, which began this year, is a partnership between NSF and select international funding agencies that allows current NSF fellows to conduct extended research overseas. Participating countries are Denmark, Finland, France, Japan, Korea, Norway, Singapore and Sweden. GROW provides recipients $5,000 to cover travel and research costs; host countries contribute allowances for living expenses.

Mock will conduct structural dynamics research in France for seven months at the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan with Fabrice Gatuingt. Mock will devise computational models to predict how cracks in concrete form and propagate under stressful conditions. The models will be applicable to bridges and other structures.

“Although advances in materials and design methodologies have improved the strength and durability of concrete structures, designers still lack reliable computational tools for predicting the complete response of structures to gravity, wind, earthquake, and time dependent effects,” Mock said. “To improve these predictions, our research aims to create and validate a computational model that will better describe the behavior along a crack in reinforced concrete.”