Undergraduate Research: STReSS Lab
I had the opportunity to be selected to participate in research study with Professor Hajjar, Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering. The tasks given were never easy or simple, but they challenged me to reach my full potential and to cover different areas of engineering, which opened me up to a whole prospect of future interests I may want to experience during CO-OP.
During my time working with Professor Hajjar and his team of undergraduate and graduate students, I learned how to do literature reviews, use new programs such as InDesign, participate in meetings with PhD students, and attend engineering events. The projects I mainly focused on covered several disciplines in civil engineering: Thermal Bridging, Energy Dissipating Fuses, and 3D Point Clouds Lasers. This opened up many doors for creating connections and becoming more proficient as a student and as a future engineer, building my skills for the profession I am now more content I have chosen.
I later applied for an Early Research Grant offered by the Honors Program, which helped me excel with my experience doing research because it allowed me to work in the STReSS LAB, Laboratory for Structural Testing of Resilient and Sustainable Systems, at Northeastern University. The STReSS Lab is used for multi-scale and coupled experimental, computational, and field investigations across several disciplines of civil engineering. The double-height STReSS Lab features a 2,000 square-foot, reinforced concrete strong floor to enable full-scale testing of buildings, bridges, and other structures to failure. The strong floor includes a grid of 416 tie-down anchors, each capable of withstanding 200,000 pounds of force. The STReSS Lab also includes a loading dock, staging area, machine shop, and control room, and 20-ton-capacity crane to enable construction and transfer of test specimens up to 18 feet tall.
I helped the team develop materials that lay out specifications of the Lab, informed future users of its applications, and helped preliminary testing arrangements. With the generous help of the Honors Program I was able to work in an academically enriched environment that allowed me to excel in my domain, cover a wide range of interests I may want to seek and fully discover during CO-OP or later on in my career, and gain knowledge and experience in my field.