May 21, 2020

Faculty member honored by civil engineering society


Beena Ajmera, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been awarded the 2020 Collingwood Prize by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Awarded annually to a member under the age of 35, the prize is presented to the author of a paper describing their engineering work or their investigations that contribute to engineering knowledge.

Ajmera was honored for her paper, titled "Characterization of the Reduction in Undrained Shear Strength in Fine-Grained Soils due to Cyclic Loading,” that was published in the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering in May 2019.

“In our paper, my co-authors and I provide a comprehensive study that yields relationships to estimate the strength loss in fine-grained soils from cyclic (earthquake) loading,” she said, noting the research used an extensive laboratory testing program on a wide range of soil samples from around the world. “The paper addresses a significant gap in our understanding, while providing the geotechnical engineering community with a novel, practical and time-sensitive method of addressing strength losses in fine-grained soils as a result of cyclic loading. It highlights the disastrous consequences of ignoring such strength losses.”

The award was instituted and endowed in 1894 by Francis Collingwood, past secretary of the society. It is presented through the organization’s Honors and Awards Program.

Ajmera joined the NDSU faculty in 2018. She earned her bachelor’s degrees and master’s degree in civil engineering at California State University, Fullerton, and her doctorate in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg.

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