Faculty

Christine E. Wittich, Ph.D.

Dr. Wittich joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in January 2017 and established this lab focused on structural engineering for natural hazards and extreme events. She holds a Ph.D. (2016) and M.S. (2012) in Structural Engineering from the University of California, San Diego, and a B.S. (2010) in Civil Engineering from Lafayette College in Easton, PA. As the PI of this lab, her research interests focus on enhancing fundamental knowledge of how structural systems behave individually and how they interact at the community level during and after natural hazards and extreme events. In addition to her research efforts through this lab, she teaches undergraduate courses in structural engineering and steel design as well as graduate courses in structural dynamics and remote sensing. More information on her research and teaching can be found by visiting the tabs at the top of this page.

Graduate Student Researchers

M. Khalid Saifullah

Khalid is currently pursuing his Ph.D. under the advisement of Dr. Wittich and began his studies at UNL in January 2018. He received his M.S. degree in Structural Engineering from Istanbul University in Turkey with an emphasis on earthquake engineering and seismic isolation. Prior to this, he received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, in Pakistan. His current research focuses on analytical and numerical modeling of freestanding structural systems. Khalid's anticipated graduation is Fall 2021.

Khalid Al-Kady

Khalid is currently pursuing his Ph.D. under the advisement of Dr. Wittich and began his studies at UNL in summer 2019. He is concurrently working to conclude his M.S. degree in Structural Engineering from Cairo University, where he also received his B.S. degree in May 2017. His current research is in two primary areas with one focusing on traffic-induced vibration during phased construction and the other focusing on non-contact remote sensing for structural damage identification. Khalid's anticipated graduation is Spring 2023.

Seyed Mohammadreza Farooghi Mehr

Mohammadreza is currently pursuing his Ph.D. under the advisement of Dr. Wittich and began his studies at UNL in Fall 2019. He received his M.S. Civil Engineering with a focus in Earthquake Engineering from Imam Khomeini International University in 2017, where he previously also received his B.S. in Civil Engineering. His current research focuses on the seismic response of steel storage silos and the impact of agricultural structures on rural community resilience. Mohammadreza's anticipated graduation is Fall 2023.

Shuyah Ouoba

Shuyah is currently pursuing her M.S. degree under the advisement of Dr. Wittich. She is a member of the Fulbright Student Program from Burkina Faso and began her studies at UNL in Fall 2019. She previously received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering (2iE). Her current research focuses on the seismic response of manufactured houses. Shuyah's anticipated graduation is Spring 2021.

Marie Wagner

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Marie is currently pursuing her M.S. degree under the advisement of Dr. Wittich. She graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2019, and joined the Wittich Reserach Group right away in January 2020. Her current research focuses on the probabilistic response of statue-pedestal systems and the assessment of culturally significant monuments. Marie's anticipated graduation is Summer 2021.

Undergraduate Student Researchers

Yajyoo Shrestha

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Yajyoo is currently pursuing his B.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He joined the Wittich Research Group through UNL's UCARE program for the 2019-2020 academic year. He will conduct scaled shake table tests and assist with the installation and verification of a full-scale shake table system. His reseach will focus on the seismic response of freestanding systems, in general.

Arman Moussavi

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Arman is currently pursuing his B.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He joined the Wittich Research Group in January 2020 and is currently researching methods to improve digital reconnaissance for the structural assessment of rural infrastructure to natural hazards.

ALUMNI: MS/PhD Students

Taylor Knickerbocker, M.S. 2019

Taylor graduated with her M.S. in Civil (Structural) Engineering in August 2019. Her thesis was entitled "Probabilistic Analysis of Slide-Rocking Structures Under Earthquake Loads," under the advisement of Dr. Wittich. She published her research at the 12th Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering and currently has one journal paper in preparation. Prior to joining the Wittich Research Group, she completed her B.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2017. She is currently at AECOM in Denver, CO.

Kanchan Devkota, M.S. 2019

Kanchan graduated with his M.S. in Civil (Structural) Engineering in May 2019. His thesis was entitled "Full Scale 13-Story Building Implosion and Collapse: Effects on Adjacent Structures," under the advisement of Dr. Wittich and Dr. Richard L. Wood. He published his research at the 2019 ASCE Structures Congress and currently has one journal paper in preparation. Prior to joining the Wittich Research Group, he completed his B.S. in Civil Engineering at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal. He is currently at HDR in Omaha, NE.

ALUMNI: Undergraduate Students

Aleece Barnard
Spring - Fall 2019

Aleece was an undergraduate researcher and a McNair Scholar at UNL, while pursuing her B.S. in Civil Engineering. She joined the Wittich Research Lab in Spring 2019, was a full-time undergraduate researcher over the summer, and continued through her graduation in December 2019. She conducted scaled shake table tests analyzing the impact of interface geometry on rocking or uplifting structures. Her reserch was presented at multiple national venues, including the Fall 2019 AGU Virtual Poster Session and the 2019 Conference for Undergraduate Women in the Physical Sciences. In addition, she is the second-author on a current submission to the 17th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering. She is currently employed at Black & Veatch in Kansas City.

Gabriela Yáñez González
Summer 2019

Gabriela joined the Wittich Research Group for summer 2019 as part of the REU Site: Sustainability of Horizontal Civil Networks in Rural Areas. As part of her summer research, she conducted scaled shake table tests looking at the impact of material flexibility on the overturning of rocking systems, which is motivated by the dynamic response of steel silo structures. She presented her research at the 2019 Conference for Undergraduate Women in the Physical Sciences. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez.

Andy Loken
2018 - 2019

Andy was an undergraduate researcher in the Wittich Research Group during the 2018-2019 academic year. As part of his research, he conducted a digital (virtual) reconnaissance of natural hazard events for calendar year 2018 in an effort to study the impact in rural areas. He graduated with his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May 2019 and is currently pursuing his M.S. in Civil Engineering at UNL.

Lianne Brito
Summer 2018

Lianne was an undergraduate researcher in the Wittich Research Group during summer 2018 as part of the REU Site: Sustainability of Horizontal Civil Networks in Rural Areas. As part of her research, she conducted a digital (virtual) reconnaissance of natural hazard events for summer 2018 with a focus on rural areas and agricultural systems. She also conducted finite element analyses looking at the buckling capacity of steel grain bins. She published her research at the 2019 ASCE Structures Congress. She graduated with her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Central Florida in May 2019 and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado, Boulder.