Team

Georgios Tsampras

Group Advisor

Carlos Franco Mayorga

PhD Student

Kyoungyeon (Yeon) Lee

PhD Student 

(Former MSc Student)

Kaixin Chen

PhD Student

James Dayanghirang

PhD Student

Dominic Tran

BS Student

Ernest Baghdasaryan

BS Student

Logan Ghafouri

BS Student

Group Advisor

Georgios Tsampras 

(2020-Present)

Group Advisor and Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering

Georgios is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California San Diego. His teaching and research activities focus on structures and civil infrastructures. 

Prior to joining UC San Diego in 2020, Georgios was a Falcon Vehicle Structures Engineer at SpaceX. His work at SpaceX focused on the damage tolerance analysis for the reuse certification of flight critical hardware and the plumbing distributed propulsion systems in Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy vehicles. He also has experience as an engineering consultant in the Engineering Mechanics and Infrastructure division at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc (SGH). His work at SGH focused on engineering mechanics, failure analyses of structural and non-structural components, analysis and structural evaluation of safety-related structures in a nuclear power plant, finite element analysis of structures and civil infrastructures, probabilistic analyses, and data analytics. 

Georgios earned his doctoral degree from Lehigh University in 2016. During his time at Lehigh University, he focused on the development and evaluation of a force-limiting deformable connection for earthquake-resistant buildings using component level full-scale tests, and system level shake-table tests and dynamic structural analysis. 

In 2023, Georgios was the recipient of the Outstanding ASCE Faculty Advisor award in San Diego, the Best Undergraduate Teacher Award in the Department of Structural Engineering at UC San Diego, and the Outstanding ASCE Faculty Advisor award from the ASCE Region 9 (Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Diego Sections). In 2015, he was the recipient of the Excellent Presentation Award of the Japan Association for Earthquake Engineering in Tokyo. In 2014, he was named P.C. Rossin Doctoral Fellow by the Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science at Lehigh University.

Graduate Student Researchers

Carlos Franco Mayorga 

(PhD 2021-Present)

PhD Student in Structural Engineering

Franco is a PhD Student in the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California San Diego. His research focuses on the design of buildings with force-limiting connections. Franco has experience from research, teaching, and practice. Before joining Tsampras Research Group, Franco was a research engineer in the field of Stochastic Computational Mechanics at Santa Maria Technical University in Chile. During that time, he also served as a Lecturer for two courses entitled “Approximate Structural Analysis” and “Seismic Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures”. Additionally, Franco has worked as a structural engineering consultant in Chile, where he analyzed and designed civil structural systems consisting of reinforced concrete, steel, timber, and masonry materials. 

Franco earned his Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in Civil Engineering from Santa Maria Technical University in 2015. In his Master’s thesis he focused on the development of a novel simulation-based method to assess the sensitivity of the reliability of structures subjected to strong ground motions. In 2015, he was named the best Civil Engineering graduate and he received  the academic distinction “Federico Santa Maria”. He was the recipient of the Conicyt Fellowship for National Master’s Students in Chile, the Anid Fellowship for PhD students outside of Chile, and a first year Fellowship from the Department of Structural Engineering at UC San Diego. In 2023, Franco received the Nicolas F. Maloof Jr. GA Chapter ACI National Fellowship.

Kyoungyeon (Yeon) Lee 

(MS 2021-2022, PhD 2022-Present)

PhD in Structural Engineering (Former MS Student)

Kyoungyeon is a PhD student in the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California San Diego. Yeon received her MSc degree from UC San Diego. Her MS thesis focused on the topic "Seismic Response of Eighteen-story Core Wall Building with Force-limiting Connections and Low-damage Coupling Beams". Before joining UC San Diego, she worked as a structural engineer at KP Engineering and at Midas IT in Korea, where she has gained experience in design and assessment of structures. 

She earned her bachelor's degree in Architecture from Hongik University in 2016. During her time at Hongik University, she received the Scholarship for Excellent Academic Records and the Merit Scholarship for Vice President of Department Student Council.

Kaixin Chen

(PhD 2021-Present)

PhD Student in Structural Engineering

Kaixin is a PhD Student in the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California San Diego. His research focuses on the mechanical properties of friction devices and the development of future-generation friction-based force-limiting deformable connections. Before joining Tsampras Research Group, he worked as a graduate research assistant in Georgia Institute of Technology on a Georgia Department of Transportation funded project, in which he was responsible for developing ArcGIS-based tools for vehicle locating data analysis.

Kaixin earned his Master's degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2021 and Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering (Structural Stream) from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2015. In his undergraduate research, he was involved in the project of Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) based low-damage structural systems. In those projects, Kaixin was responsible for building up numerical analysis models and for experimental testing. His final year project, entitled “Numerical study of rocking steel columns with shape memory alloy bolts and replaceable steel angle fuses”, was awarded the “Best Final Year Project Award” by ASCE Hong Kong Section. He was the recipient of “Outstanding Student Award of Faculty of Construction and Environment” of HK PolyU, which is one of the most honorable awards for PolyU students. He was also awarded the Structural Engineering Distinguished Fellowship at UC San Diego.

James Dayanghirang

(PhD 2023-Present)

PhD Student in Structural Engineering

James is a PhD student in the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on the design and development of 3D-printed functional surfing reefs for coastal enhancement.

James earned his bachelor's degree in Structural Engineering from UCSD in 2022, concentrating on the study of civil structures. He was also enrolled in the department's combined B.S./M.S. program, which enabled him to earn his master's degree in the following year. Additionally, James gained practical experience through an internship at Sun Engineering Technology International, Inc (SETI, Inc.) where he had the opportunity to work on precast concrete bridges.

Undergraduate Student Researchers

Dominic Tran

(Undergraduate Research Experience 2023-Present)

Undergraduate student in Structural Engineering

Dominic is an undergraduate student in the Department of Structural Engineering at UC San Diego. He joined our research team on January 2023. His research focuses on design, analysis and fabrication of seismic response modification devices for high-performance buildings.

Ernest Baghdasaryan

(GEAR Program, Undergraduate Research Experience 2023-Present)

Undergraduate student in Structural Engineering

Ernest is an undergraduate Structural Engineering student at UC San Diego. Joining as part of the GEAR (Guided Engineering Apprenticeship in Research) program, Ernest's research is focused on utilizing additive manufacturing for producing seismic energy dissipation devices. Ernest received one of the 2023 GEAR Summer Research scholarships at UC San Diego.

Alumni

Serena Strawn

(CEER NSF REU, Summer 2023)

Serena Strawn is an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Denver. She participated in the 2023 Designing for Safety and Safety by Design REU at UCSD in the Department of Structural Engineering. Her research experience focuses on shake table testing for small-scale structures and comparing different methods of displacement data collection. 

Sara Brown

(CEER NSF REU, Summer 2023)

Sara is an undergraduate student in the Engineering program at Washington and Lee University. Sara participated in a REU through the National Science Foundation within the Department of Structural Engineering at UC San Diego.

Sara’s summer research focuses on understanding the characteristics of dynamic one-story and three-story structures while comparing collected data from accelerometers to the data from Digital Image Correlation (DIC) technology. 

Anne-Sophie Roobol

(SE 296 - Independent Study, Spring 2023)

MS Student in Structural Engineering

Anne-Sophie is an MS student in the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California San Diego. Her Independent Study focuses on the development of a friction-based structural connection. 

Anne-Sophie earned her Bachelor's degree in Structural Engineering from UC San Diego in 2022.

Justin Dalton

(SE 296 - Independent Study, Spring 2023)

MS Student in Structural Engineering

Justin is an MS student in the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California San Diego. His Independent Study focuses on the stress analysis methods for curved and thin walled tubes. 

Justin earned his Bachelor's degree in Structural Engineering from UC San Diego in 2022, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He is interested in the structural analysis of propulsion systems for launch vehicles. 

Anthony Li

(Undergraduate Research Experience Spring 2023)

Undergraduate Student in Structural Engineering 

Anthony is an undergraduate student in the Department of Structural Engineering at UC San Diego. His research experience focuses on design and manufacturing of structural connections.

Rachel Mao

(Undergraduate Research Experience Spring 2023)

Undergraduate Student in Structural Engineering 

Rachel is an undergraduate student in the Department of Structural Engineering at UC San Diego. Her research experience focuses on shake table testing for small-scale structures.

Matthew Roloff

(Graduate Research Experience, Spring 2022)

MS student in Structural Engineering

Matt received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from CSU Sacramento in 2021 and master’s degree in Structural Engineering from UCSD in 2022. While attending UCSD he focused on analysis and computational mechanics, and participated in numerical simulation and physical testing of a small-scale timber model under the supervision of Dr. Tsampras. He previously had internship experiences with J.F. Shea Construction Co. and Skidmore, Owings, & Merill, and currently works at Crosby Group in San Mateo.