Thursday, March 17, 2016

Civil/Structural Engineer to Present Poster on Seismic Protection at Research Expo 2016

Born and raised in Italy, UC San Diego structural engineering graduate student Elide Pantoli knew she wanted to help people, but also knew didn’t want to be a doctor.

“I don’t like blood, so I knew I wouldn’t go into the medical field,” said Pantoli. “In Italy, there’s an association of doctors that was looking for civil engineers. That’s where I got the idea to study civil engineering.”

Pantoli chose to study civil engineering at the University of Bologna – the oldest university in the world. She knew she wanted to study abroad, and the university offered an exchange program with the University of California school system.

“I applied to study at UC San Diego, and came in 2007-2008,” said Pantoli. “After that, I wanted to stay abroad, so I applied to do research for a year at Columbia University.”

From there, Pantoli returned to start her Ph.D. at UC San Diego in 2010.  She started working on the Large High Performance Outdoor Shake Table (LHPOST) at UC San Diego – the largest outdoor shake table in the world – which provides the earthquake engineering community with a facility that allows the accurate reproduction of severe earthquake ground motions for the seismic testing of very large structures.

Pantoli tested a full-scale five-story building fully outfitted with nonstructural components. Her dissertation focuses on one of these – the precast concrete façade. This is what she will present at Research Expo 2016 (see abstract below).

“There have already been code changes due to this work,” said Pantoli. “All of my papers were published in partnership with industry. They say, here’s a problem, and we try to help them solving it.”

Pantoli is interested in both industry and academia – but her dream is to change engineering education.

“I’ve seen students in their third year that are so frustrated because they still don’t know what they are doing,” said Pantoli.

She is passionate about helping students master a subject.

Register today for Research Expo 2016 to hear more from Pantoli and 200+ engineering graduate students for the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Research Expo also features TED-style talks by faculty highlighting research from our agile research centers and a networking reception with faculty, students, industry partners and alumni.


DepartmentStructural Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s)Tara C. Hutchinson

Primary Student
Name: Elide Pantoli

Architectural precast concrete (APC) cladding is a nonstructural system sensitive to both seismic floor accelerations and story drifts. APC panels must be designed to resist forces in the out-of-plane direction of motion, while they must accommodate in-plane story drifts. This requirement presents specific challenges to engineers, namely the design and detailing of connections intended to allow in-plane drifts (termed ?tiebacks?) and corners of the system. Presently, these important issues are addressed rather broadly in design codes, leaving the details to the discretion and experience of the designer. With the goal of providing practical guidance to designers, system and component tests on representative APC cladding and tieback connections were performed. This poster summarizes key results obtained from these experiments and applies these findings to develop guidelines for drift-compatible design of tieback connections and corner systems.

Industry Application Area(s)
Civil/Structural Engineering

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