Academics & Research

Engineering student receives research grant

A UH engineering graduate student was awarded a $10,000 fellowship award to further his research on the behavior of soil and structures.

Taraka Ravi Shankar Mullapudi, a doctoral candidate in the Cullen College of Engineering’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was given the 2010 Trent R. Dames and William W. Moore Fellowship by the American Society of Civil Engineers for his work towards a better understanding of the interaction between tensionless soil and a load.

“Soil can resist loads proportional to its normal displacement at a particular point, which is what most structures rely on,” Mullapudi said in a College of Engineering news release. “But it can also resist bending because of the cohesive nature of the soil, and usually this bending resistance is neglected. We are investigating and numerically simulating that interaction.”

Once his research is complete, Mullapudi said he hopes his findings will be incorporated into computer software that will allow architects to create structures that will more effectively distribute their weight.

The Fellowship is open to graduate students, professors and practicing engineers. Mullapudi was nominated by associate professor Ashraf Ayoub.

Mullapudi, who received his bachelor’s and master’s of technology in civil engineering in India, received the ASCE’s 2009 O.H. Ammann Research Fellowship in Structural Engineering for his work on the seismic analysis of reinforced concrete structures subjected to combined axial, bending, shear and torsional loads.

Mullapudi is currently the president of the UH chapter of Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society and the vice-president of the University’s Golden Key International Honor Society.

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