Completed Research Projects

Seismic Response of Asymmetric Freestanding Structural Systems

: Systems of unanchored, or freestanding, structures are highly vulnerable to sliding and/or overturning when subject to seismic excitation. In an effort to further understand these structures, over 400 individual shake table tests were conducted on multiple geometric and material configurations of these structures. The results validated a multi-physics model for the three-dimensional response of these systems. This project formed the basis of the PI's dissertation.


  1. Journal papers in  Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics (1-in print (2015), 1-in print (2017), 1-in print (2018));
  2. Two conference presentations at 16WCEE and 2017 ASCE-EMI
  3. Conference paper presented at 16th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering;
  4. Conference poster presentation for ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute;
  5. Conference paper in 10th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering;
  6. Two technical reports in the UC San Diego SSRP Series; and
  7. Best poster award in Jacobs School of Engineering Research Expo.

Sponsors: NSF-IGERT Minigrant Program, UC San Diego Academic Senate Research Grant
Duration: 07/2012 - 12/2015

System Identification of Cultural Heritage Artifacts

: This project aimed to quantify the rigidity of common mounting systems for large statue-pedestals systems in museums. Experimental modal analysis and system identification were conducted for statues within the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. The results were compared to numerical predictions using high-resolution geometric data acquired from laser scanning (LiDAR). Recommendations for seismic mitigation were provided in the case of weak restraints.


  1. Journal publication in Journal of Cultural Heritage;
  2. Invited speaker at the International Mountmakers Forum; and,
  3. Conference presentation at the Computer Applications and Quantitave Methods in Archaeology Conference

Sponsors: NSF-IGERT, NSF-MRI, with collaboration from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Museum Conservation Insitute of the Smithsonian Institute, EQX Global, and Forell/Elsesser Engineerings, Inc.
Duration: 07/2014 - 06/2015

Reconnaissance: 2014 South Napa Earthquake

: This project consisted of post-earthquake reconnaissance efforts following the Mw 6.1 American Canyon (South Napa) Earthquake on August 24, 2014. The first phase of reconnaissance included drone-based aerial imagery for a variety of sites including red-tagged structures, residential blocks, and highway bridges. The second phase incorporated laser scanning (LiDAR) for the documentation of unattached statues and other objects. 


  1. Technical report in the UC San Diego SSRP Series;
  2. Inclusion in the post-earthquake reconnaissance report of the PEER Center; and,
  3. Conference paper in Digital Heritage Congress.

Sponsors: NSF-IGERT, Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center, Center for Interdisciplinary Art, Architecture, and Archaeology
Duration: 08/2014 - 12/2014

Characterization of Cultural Heritage Statues for Seismic Analyses

: This project focused on a field survey of culturally significant stone statue-pedestal systems in Florence, Italy. Geometry and mass properties of these structures was obtained using light detection and ranging (LiDAR) scanning as well as using advanced computer vision techniques (structure from motion or SfM). The resultant three dimensional digital reconstructions were utilized for highly accurate geometric parameters and the prediction of the seismic response of individual statues.

  1. Journal publication in ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering;
  2. Conference paper and poster in ASCE Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering;
  3. Conference paper in EuroMed Digital Heritage; and,
  4. Technical report in UC San Diego SSRP Series.

Sponsor: NSF-IGERT International Experience for Trainees
Duration: 07/2011 - 12/2012