University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


Civil Engineering Graduate Student Wins Paper Competition


Toby Weber

Taraka Ravi Shankar Mullapudi, a Ph.D. candidate in the Cullen College’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, won the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s 2011 Student Paper Competition.

The award was presented to Mullapudi during the group’s 63rd Annual Meeting, held in La Jolla, Calif., last week. Mullapudi presented the winning paper, “Seismic Behavior of RC Structures Subjected to Combined Loading Including Torsion,” at the gathering.

The article explores the behavior during earthquakes of reinforced concrete members with eccentric loadings, asymmetrical geometries, and skewed and curved geometries with unequal spans and column heights. In seismic events, these concrete members are subjected to multiple combined loads, including axial, flexure, shear and torsion loads.

Mullapudi has developed an analytical model “to predict the behavior of structures under such loads, as well design them to resist against destructive earthquakes,” he said.

This is just the latest honor Mullapudi has received during his time at the Cullen College. The American Society of Civil Engineers awarded him the O.H. Ammann Fellowship in 2009 and the Trent R. Dames and William W. Moore Fellowship in 2010. He also won the best paper award for April 2010 from the ASCE’s Texas Section and placed third in the Institution of Civil Engineers USA Graduate and Student Paper Competition. Mullapudi is pursing his doctorate under the guidance of associate professor Ashraf Ayoub.


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