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University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

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Graduate Student Takes Home Honor at ICE Competition

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Erin D. McKenzie
Taraka Ravi Shankar Mullapudi holds the three awards he recieved at the 24th Annual Campus Leaders Reception and Awards Ceremony April 27. Contributed Photo.
Taraka Ravi Shankar Mullapudi holds the three awards he recieved at the 24th Annual Campus Leaders Reception and Awards Ceremony April 27. Contributed Photo.

Taraka Ravi Shankar Mullapudi, a Ph.D. candidate in civil and structural engineering, placed third at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) USA Graduate and Student Paper Competition recently.

Mullapudi was among three chosen as a finalist for the April 20 competition. There, he presented his paper “Static and Seismic Evaluation of Shear Critical Concrete and Structures in Combined Loadings.” It details his efforts to study how concrete behaves when subjected to combined axial, bending, shear and torsional loads.

The research, which he is working on for his dissertation, is helping assist engineers in determining the best way to design concrete structures to more safely handle not only earthquakes, but also hurricanes and man-made disasters.

“UH has given me a broad scope for improving both of my research and leadership capabilities with its world-class research facilities and leadership opportunities,” said Mullapudi. “In particular, I am very thankful to my academic advisor, Dr. Ashraf Ayoub; civil engineering faculty; staff and advisors of the organizations for their support to my learning curiosity.”

Mullapudi obtained his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the National Institute of Technology in India in 2002 and later his master’s at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 2004. He worked for two years as a structural design engineer at General Electric Co. in Bangalore, India before coming to the United States to pursue his doctoral degree at the University of Houston.

During his time at UH, he has received the Chi Epsilson Southwest District Henry Townley Herald Scholarship and the O.H. Ammann Research Fellowship in Structural Engineering from the Structural Engineering Institute. He holds a 4.0 GPA and serves as a teaching assistant for two courses.

Outside of the classroom, Mullapudi volunteers in the community, tutors engineering freshman and is president of the UH chapter of the Chi Epsilon Engineering Honor Society and vice president the UH chapter of the Golden Key International Honor Society.

In addition to this most recent honor, Mullapudi took home the American Society of Civil Engineers Texas Section Best Paper Award this month as well as the Outstanding Leadership Award; the Outstanding Honor Society of the Year Award, for work with Golden Key International; and a $1,000 CEO Scholarship at the 24th Annual Campus Leaders Reception and Awards Ceremony April 27.

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