The University of Massachusetts Amherst
 
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#FeaturedFacultyFriday: Simos Gerasimidis

This week’s featured IALS Associated Faculty Member is Simos Gerasimidis. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Gerasimidis’ research areas include structural stability, thin-walled structures, nano- and micromechanics, new architected metamaterials, infrastructure resilience, bridge engineering, new metamaterial designs for engineering biofilm, structural systems and energy structures.

Below, you will find our complete interview with Simos Gerasimidis:

Q: What is the focus of your research? 

A: I am working on new architected (truss and plate lattice) metamaterials, civil infrastructure, structural engineering, structural stability, shell buckling, infrastructure resilience to extreme events, bridge engineering, aging infrastructure, structural systems and energy structures

Q: Why did you choose to come to UMass?  

A: I chose UMass because of the outstanding facilities and amazing faculty I would have for colleagues. Also the West Mass area was a great motivator!

Q: How large is your lab? How many students work in your lab (including undergrad, graduate, and post-doc)?

A: I currently have 2 post-docs, 4 PhD students, 2 Masters students and 2 undergraduate students. 

 

"Our group at UMass Amherst gave me the opportunity to focus on interdisciplinary research in the fields of Structural Engineering and Materials Engineering and collaborate with many experts in these fields. I had the chance to work on new plate lattice metamaterial architectures and explore their unique mechanical behavior. Since our group covers different topics in Engineering, being a part of it has been extremely beneficial for me and my goals in academia."

Fani Derveni, PhD Candidate

 

Q: Do you use any novel techniques or tools, or work with any unique materials for your research?

A: We are working on high stiffness steel for civil infrastructure and on unique plate and truss lattice architectures for metamaterials. 

Q: Have there been any major advances in your field or the technologies used in research since you were a grad student? Do you find yourself telling students “Well, when I was in school we didn’t have…”?

A: The advances in manufacturing have been immense in the last decades. My goal is to bring together the fields of additive manufacturing, architected metamaterials and civil infrastructure. 

Q: What is the most useful tool (i.e. specialty screwdriver, duct tape) in your lab, and why?

A: Our hands!

Q: What is your proudest moment ever? (science related or otherwise)

A: My science related proudest moment ever is testing a brand new composite auxetic metamaterial and observing a unique new mechanical behavior. 

Q: Assuming your research is widely successful, how will it impact society?

A: It will lead to a new generation of metastructures with new properties and performance currently unachievable. My work on bridges has a direct impact on the lifetime of our aging infrastructure. 

 

Alternate get-to-know-you-better questions: 

Q: What is your favorite book/movie/tv show? 

A: Book: The saviors of God, Nikos Kazantzakis

Movie: The Godfather (1972)

TV Show: (a recent one) The Last Dance (2020)


Q: Where is your favorite place to travel, or where would you like to travel? 

A: Favorite place to travel is Greece in the summer!

Q: Does the love of science run in your family? 

A: Yes! Especially during these difficult times, as a family we are more committed to science than ever!

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: Greece

Q: Have you ever had a job in industry?

A: Yes, I worked in structural design for 5 years for Santiago Calatrava and Thornton Tomasetti. (See photos below)