Christopher Zaverdas '16
After graduating in May 2016 as part of the inaugural class of civil engineers at Stony Brook, Christopher is continuing his studies as a Ph.D. candidate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Some of the graduate courses he has completed includes structural dynamics, nonlinear structural analysis, earthquake engineering and wind engineering. After discovering a passion for structural dynamics and earthquake engineering, he decided that his research will be focused on supplemental framing systems that protect structures from damage induced by seismic loading. The specific problem Christopher wants his research to address is the cost-effectiveness of seismic protection systems. By employing a new approach to the design, analysis and implementation of these systems, his research will help determine if the current devices used in seismic protection systems can be replaced with already manufactured, off-the-shelf style products that are mechanically similar but are currently used for other purposes.
Thus far, he has considered vehicle shock absorbers and their potential to protect relatively smaller, light-framed buildings, such as wood framed houses. In August 2017 he presented his research for the first time at the 3 rd Huixian International Forum on Earthquake Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. This year, Christopher is focusing on shake tables to determine the viability of using vehicle shock absorbers to prevent damage during an earthquake. The results of these tests will be presented at the ASCE/SEI Structures Congress in April 2018. At SBU Christopher was a member of the Seawolves ice hockey club, and has continued to play on the RPI ice hockey club team, which he argues has a much better name, the Engineers. Christopher has found that his civil engineering education at SBU has created a solid foundation of technical knowledge and problem solving skills, both essential to pursuing a Ph.D.