Former Graduate Student, Ashley Thrall, Receives the IASS Hangai Prize

Monday, Oct 31, 2011

Ashley Thrall, who earned her PhD this year and who was advised by Professors Sigrid Adriaenssens, Maria Garlock and David Billington, received the prestigious IASS Hangai prize last month in London for her paper that is based on her doctoral thesis.  Ashley is currently the Cardinal John O'Hara, C.S.C. Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame where she directs the Kinetic Structures Laboratory.

The International Association for Shell & Spatial Structures (IASS)'s Hangai prize annually recognizes talented young researchers, designers, and engineers working in the field of shell and/or spatial structures. This recognition is achieved by selecting outstanding submissions to the Annual IASS Symposium in the form of research papers, resumes of design projects, or presentations of innovative ideas.

The title of her paper is "Shape-Finding of a Deployable Structure Using Simulated Annealing", and the following is an abstract.

Finding efficient forms and section profiles for a deploying structure is a challenging design problem traditionally approached through trial and error. Alternatively, heuristic search algorithms can be used to pursue an optimal geometry and design the section profiles. This paper will propose a methodology for the design and optimization of a deploying structure for minimum self-weight using a Simulated Annealing algorithm. The design variables are 1) geometric variables that define the system throughout deployment and 2) the section profiles of each element. The constraints include 1) geometric requirements that ensure proper deployment and 2) section profile design specifications defined by design code. This methodology will be demonstrated for a deploying pantograph, but could be employed for the design of other deployable structures, including retractable roofs and expandable shelters.

Congratulations to Ashley on this well-deserved honor!