Summer REU recap or How we nailed it!

It has been a while since my last blog post, and I wanted to write about the amazing REU stuff which happened this summer. I was blessed to be able to work with five exceptional undergraduate students from different universities in the US [I was going to call them young talents, but then I’m not that old to call others young] and faculty members of Virginia Tech as part of “the resilient and sustainable buildings” initiative.  In a course of 8-week period, we worked on two main thrusts of performance-based assessment seismic assessment data collection and sustainability evaluation for mid-rise office buildings.

A serious group of people doing great stuff

Although time was tight and I hammered them enough to get the most of stuff done through countless individual and group meetings, interesting faculty lectures, and workshops, we had a blast doing several outreach activities for high school kids, at which we shake their structures up! [Enjoyed quite a few episodes that somebody referred to structure’s vibration as an infamous dancing style]:

Dr.Flint testing kids’ structures on the mini shake table.

We also visited Murray structural lab at Virginia Tech, where REUs had a chance to get first-hand info on the large-scale testing happening there [the term “large-scale” is used to brag a bit, not in a very scientific manner]  

Raul showing REUs how we roll in VT.

And in case you are not aware, Virginia has some stunningly beautiful scenery which we take advantage of, as seen below, hanging out at McAfee know and taking some spectacular selfies:

McAfee knob, Appalachian trail

Besides the fun and amount of work we did (which are being formatted as several publications and reports), I had a chance tipping my toes in “teaching” waters and man, I like it. Apparently, it was a two-way street as they made me this artisan postcard [The cover is the inside joke on how much I hate grilled fruits on BBQs]:

A gift to remember: Pineapple express

While I surely miss them, I’m grateful for the time we spent working and I will be looking forward to hearing about their great adventures!

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