Doctoral Student Follows Structural Engineering Prof To Wayne State

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DETROIT — For doctoral student Kapil Patki, the opportunity to work with structural engineering expert and professor Christopher Eamon was enough to make him want to pursue his passion at Wayne State University. The College of Engineering’s current research, facilities, and innovative lab equipment and technologies were just icing on the cake.

Patki, an Indian native, earned an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Pune University in India and a master’s degree in structural engineering from Lawrence Technological University, where he was first introduced to Eamon.

“Dr. Eamon was working as a civil engineering professor there, and I had taken number of courses under his guidance,” Patki said. “I had a great deal of respect for him due to his excellent teaching style and expertise in structural engineering. One lecture he gave on reliability analysis amazed me.”

A couple of years later, Patki discovered that Eamon had joined the Wayne State faculty. Patki was employed in the civil engineering industry but expressed his desire to pursue a doctoral degree under Eamon’s guidance at Wayne State.

“I was so pleased when he accepted me as a Ph.D. candidate,” Patki said.

He currently is working on Eamon’s research project “Accurate and Efficient Reliability Analysis of Complex Engineering Problems,” National Science Foundation project number CMMI-1127698. The project aims to develop an accurate and efficient method for calculating failure probability (reliability analysis) for computationally and probabilistically complex structural engineering problems. The goal is to achieve greater levels of consistency within a structure.

“I have been fascinated with reliability analysis since hearing his lecture,” Patki said. “This project could have an immense impact on structural safety analysis for a long time to come. I consider myself very lucky to be studying under Eamon and Wayne State’s highly professional and qualified team of professors.”

Patki, who will graduate in 2014, now hopes to follow in Eamon’s footsteps.

“Upon graduation, I hope to continue working on structural engineering research projects, either as a research scholar, post-doctoral fellow or assistant professor,” Patki said. “My dream job is to be a professor, teaching students fundamentals and collaborating with them on a variety of research projects. I am so thankful for the opportunity, help and encouragement I have received from the civil and environmental engineering department, its professors and, especially, Dr. Eamon.”

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