ASCE picks Saini for Ammann Research Fellowship

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Ph.D. student Ajay Saini, one of the American Society of Civil Engineers' O.H. Ammann Research Fellows in Structural Engineering for this year. (Photo: Jess Hunt-Ralston)

Ph.D. student Ajay Saini has earned the support of the American Society of Civil Engineers for his work on structural reliability and resilience.

The society selected Saini for its O.H. Ammann Research Fellowship in Structural Engineering this year. He said he’ll use the funding to finish his doctoral research with Assistant Professor Iris Tien building a model that optimizes structural reliability in the short and long term, accounting for seismic risks, degradation over time, and the effects of climate change.

“It is great to be recognized by ASCE, and it definitely will help with my professional career,” Saini said. “It is also added responsibility and motivation and a great recognition of the research we are all doing here as a research group at Tech.”

Saini said he became interested in mitigating earthquake risks for structures as an undergraduate, but it wasn’t until he took a class from Tien that he became interested in broader risk assessments.

“Dr. Tien taught us a course on structural reliability when I was a master’s student at Georgia Tech. That course, in a way, sparked my interest in the stochastic assessment of structural risk and reliability,” he said. “I talked to Dr. Tien and shifted my focus on multi-hazard risk assessment.

“I really like the power of statistics and probability to be able to model anything.”

ASCE awards the Ammann Fellowship to a handful of students each year to foster the creation of new knowledge in structural design and construction. As a fellow, Saini will send ASCE a full report on his research that may also be reviewed for publication.