Ziyad Duron Research Group

Dynamics Lab

Providing opportunities to pursue basic and applied research initiatives in Civil Engineering and related fields.

The Frank and Frances De Pietro Fellowship Program in Civil Engineering

The De Pietro fellowship program was created in 1998 by brothers Robert ’69 and Dennis De Pietro in honor of their parents, Frank and Frances. The purpose of the fellowship is to support undergraduate research in the field of civil engineering. The fellowship has been supported with additional funding from NIST, DARPA, Army Corps of Engineers, ATF, DOC, Caltech, Southern California Edison, BioSTAR and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission).

Fellowships are awarded on the basis of academic record, a letter of intent, and a personal interview. Awardees participate during the summer (with paid stipend) and during the academic year (for academic credit).

Active areas of research include:

  • Performance Based Testing – field testing and evaluation of large dams for the purpose of evaluating vulnerabilities.
  • Predicting Hazard Response in Large Systems – application of systems theory, fragility techniques, and performance limits for predicting how large dams respond.
  • Baseline Condition Assessment of Large Systems – developing baseline conditions for concrete dams.

Ziyad Durón, Jude and Eileen Laspa Professor of Engineering, is an expert in the full-scale field testing of large structures, including seismic investigations and earthquake engineering.

Durón has headed more than 20 field tests on a variety of structures, including concrete dams, buildings, bridges and launch vehicles. He is a leader in the development of field-test procedures aimed at identifying response characteristics from low-level vibrations that occur naturally in all structures.

He has also developed highly sensitive instrumentation for monitoring hydrodynamic pressure wave propagation for use in seismic investigations of concrete dams. He has been active in this field since 1985 and continues to be active in earthquake engineering, with a particular emphasis on experimental testing techniques in support of analytical investigations. His work has been funded by national and international organizations, and he serves as a consultant for Southern California Edison, British Columbia Hydro and Power, and California Department of Transportation. His work has been published in Dam EngineeringHydroReview MagazineExperimental Technique, and the Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics.

De Pietro Fellowship logo