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NDSU faculty member honored by engineering society

Beena Ajmera, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been awarded the 2020 Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award by the American Society of Civil Engineers Geo-Institute.

As one of the society’s highest honors, the award was established in 1955 to recognize meritorious contributions to the field of geotechnical engineering in the form of a paper published by ASCE.

Ajmera is the first woman and sixth person in the history of the Geo-Institute to receive both the Middlebrooks Award and the Collingwood Prize.

She 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.

“Through this paper, we presented relationships to estimate the strength loss in fine-grained soils from the results of an extensive laboratory testing program on controlled soil samples with a wide range of properties,” Ajmera said. “Our efforts demonstrated that the methods currently used to quantify these strength reductions underestimate the values measured in laboratory tests by approximately four times.”

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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