Long term performance of mass timber building: supporting the AEC industry in decision-making process
Faculty mentor/Supervisor: 
Mariapaola Riggio
Department Affiliation: 
Wood Science & Engineering
Job Location: 
Richardson Hall, the A.A Red Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory, Peavy Hall, Zoom and from home.
Description of project or research opportunity: 
While the mass timber industry is developing and expanding its market segments, and advanced structural systems, such as post-tensioned shear walls, have being increasingly incorporated in many projects, the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) community has still many questions regarding the long-term behavior of these systems. Since these systems are new, there is a paucity of data on their long-term performance and best design and construction practices have not yet been compiled and implemented in harmonized guidelines and recommendations. Structural health monitoring (SHM) programs, such as the one implemented in Peavy Hall, aim to provide this much needed information to support decision making processes of interested stakeholders. Objectives of the study are: • To collect and analyze data on short-, mid- and long-term (2 years) performance of post-tensioned mass timber panels, in relation with design details and climate conditions; • Communicate these data to the research community as well as to the wood construction industry; • To investigate the extent to which the presented monitoring data (e.g. in Peavy Hall and in laboratory samples) reach the intended audience; and • To investigate which features of the currently available data communication and visualization tools are considered useful by the targeted AEC users.
Tasks student will perform: 
The student will work closely with an interdisciplinary team which, additionally to Dr. Riggio, includes other faculty in COF (Dr. Muszynski), CCE (Dr. Barbosa) and COE (Dr. Rowe), 2 graduate students, and Faculty research assistants. The student will work both on a qualitative research to collect data on the effectiveness of an educational display on long-term performance data in Peavy Hall, and an experimental study to collect quantitative data on the long-term performance of post-tensioned mass timber panels. To participate in the first study, the student will need to complete the required IRB training. As soon as the participation in on Campus activities will not be restricted, the student will take the mandatory theoretical and hands-on safety and lab training before any lab work. The student is expected to work collaboratively during the preparation of the experimental setup, helping in preparation of samples, testing, evaluation and preparation of IRB project, reports, as well as scientific presentations and publications.
Special skills required: 
As the student’s responsibilities include both analytical and experimental tasks, the student is required to be comfortable working in both office and lab settings. Basic computer skills and ability to use Microsoft Word and Excel are required. Depending on the tasks and deadlines, the student may be required to work after hours and/or during weekends. The student should be able to work both independently and as a team. The student should be respectful of other team members and should have a commitment to promote and enhance inclusiveness and diversity in the team. Overall, the student should be reliable, punctual, have a willingness to learn, have good interpersonal and communication (both verbal and written) skills and be a good team player.
Hourly rate of pay: 
Proposed dates of employment: 
Monday, November 9, 2020 to Friday, June 11, 2021
Anticipated hours worked per week: 
Proposal Type: 
Mentored Employment Program
COVID-19 Pandemic Response: 
A timeline of work activity will be developed to prioritize remote work first, such as 1) the completion of all required training (IRB and theoretical safety lab training), 2) participation in the development of an IRB proposal; 3) organization of excel data sheets; 4) data organization and preliminary analysis, among others. The student will be involved in all the Zoom meetings with the rest of the team.