Reflections from 12NCEE – Wael Aloqaily

Wael Aloqaily, PhD Candidate, at 12NCEE in Salt Lake City, Utah (June 27-July 1, 2022)

This summer, I attended the 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering to join the experts in earthquake engineering and community resilience around the world. I’m grateful to the University of Delaware Graduate student travel grant for covering my travel expenses to attend the conference.

The 12th NCEE provided great exposure to the latest research findings in seismic hazards and protection around the world. In addition, I reconnected with friends that I made through the Fulbright program (2017-2019) sharing similar research interests. Having my Ph.D. program focused on machine learning applications in earthquake engineering and low-cost seismic structural health monitoring, the conference allowed me to network with experts to discuss my work to get some feedback.  

Encouraged by my advisor, Prof. Monique Head, to engage more in Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), I applied and was awarded the EERI travel grant. As a result, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the registration desk. Opposite to my expectation, the registration desk uncovered a great opportunity to meet top-tier professionals in a pleasant informal environment. Working with other volunteers; from young faculty members, shaped my perspective for the upcoming future, and helped establish my network among the future leaders in my field. Additionally, I was invited to the “Meet the leaders” event, at which I had discussions with popular figures in earthquake engineering including researchers, practitioners, and founders of mega firms.

Finally, I joined a tour of the famous Salt Lake Utah Temple undergoing a unique base isolation project. The work aims to retrofit the historical building with base isolation that will allow the monument to move slightly during earthquakes, dissipating the seismic energy and keeping occupants safe. I also got to know more about the Temple’s historical significance, and enjoy Utah’s extraordinarily beautiful scenery and the unique salt flats.

Shaymaa receives a grant to attend the 12NCEE in Salt Lake City, Utah in June 2022!

Shaymaa Obayes has received a grant to attend the upcoming 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, 12NCEE, that will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, from June 27-July 1, 2022, with the theme Reimagining Risk and Resilience. NCEE is hosted by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) once every 4 years, in conjunction with federal and local partners. This milestone conference brings together professionals from a broad range of disciplines: architecture, civil and structural engineering, seismology, geology, geophysics, geotechnical engineering, business, public policy, the social sciences, regional planning, emergency response, and regulation. The 12NCEE will provide an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to share the latest knowledge and techniques to better understand and mitigate the damaging effects of earthquakes and tsunamis. Congratulations, Shaymaa!

SEI Travel Scholarships Awarded to Aloqaily and Safari from Head Research Group!

SEI travel scholarship recipients to attend 2022 Structures Congress in Atlanta, GA

Wael Aloqaily (PhD candidate) and Sajjad Safari (PhD student) received ASCE SEI (Structural Engineering Institute) travel scholarships to attend the 2022 Structures Congress in Atlanta, GA. Both are advised by Prof. Monique Head. (
Congratulations on this honor and representing UD! Former master’s student and UD alumnus Luke Timber will present findings from his masters thesis during one of the sessions. Luke was also advised by Prof. Monique Head and is currently employed with Hardesty and Hanover.

Congratulations, Christos, on a successful dissertation defense!

from left to right: M. Head, H. Shenton, C. Aloupis, M. Chajes, and M. Santare

On Tuesday, March 22, 2022, Christos Aloupis defended his dissertation titled, “Damage Identification Tools for Cable-Stayed Bridges: Monitoring the Key Structural Elements.” Committee: Dr. Michael Chajes (Co-Chair), Dr. Harry “Tripp” Shenton (Co-Chair), Dr. Monique Head (Member), and Dr. Michael Santare (Member, Mechanical Engineering)

Monitoring water levels near a bridge in Slaughter Beach, DE!

Undergraduate research scholars, Madison Gac (junior) and Drew Huffer (senior) are Chair’s Undergraduate Fellows conducting research in the area of flood monitoring and evaluation of coastal bridges and nearby infrastructure. On Friday, March 4, 2022, we installed a water level pressure sensor near an older bridge in Slaughter Beach, DE to monitor water level and potential flooding. We are remotely monitoring the water levels, which have reached almost 4 feet so far!