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People: Previous Graduate Students

Tianqi Qu (Tony)Tianqi Qu (Tony)

Tony is now working with Professor Masoud Sanayei towards his M.S. in Structural Engineering and Mechanics at Tufts University. He is part of the "Whatever Happened to Long Term Bridge Design?" research team. Tony received his B.S. in Bridge Engineering from Chang'an University in 2012 and he is experienced in bridge design, construction and inspection.

His current research is structure load identification using non-destructive test data. He is using both static and dynamic responses from load tests performed on Power Mill Bridge to identify the location and magnitude of input load with the help of finite element modeling and various optimization methods. Tony is also interested in Bayesian probabilistic approach to structure model updating and structural health monitoring using real-time responses.


  • Dalin, H., Tianqi, Q., Hongbin, W., Longgang, C., "Seismic Analysis of Reinforced Concrete Rib Arch Bridge", Applied Mechanics and Materials Vols. 256-259 (2013) pp 1496-1502

Alex ReiffAlex Reiff

Alex Reiff is a Structural Engineering M.S. student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Tufts University. She received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University in 2012. She spent time at Parsons Brinkerhoff in Boston, where she load rated truss bridges.

Alex is working with Prof. Masoud Sanayei on structural health monitoring of the Powder Mill Bridge. She performed a comparison of the traditional load rating approach with load rating methods that take into account the 3D behavior of a bridge, observing the reserve capacity shown by the advanced methods. She is also working on using live load distribution factors obtained via operational strain monitoring to detect damage in bridges.

Ali KhalooAli Khaloo

Ali Khaloo received his B.S in Civil Engineering from Azad University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran in 2010. He has done researches focused on rehabilitation and repairs of existing structures strengthen and also retrofit of concrete structures using composite materials (FRP) during his undergraduate program. Ali also worked as an engineer for Behsaz Asaye Iranian Consulting Company for two years (2009-2011), and he involved with rehabilitation and repair projects of several buildings located in seismic hazardous zones of Iran. He has experience in retrofit of masonry, concrete, and steel buildings. Ali is currently studying for his Master of Science in Structural Engineering in Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at Tufts University.

Ali is now working with Prof. Sanayei and his research area is Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). He is now working on developing of the "PARameter Identification System" Software (PARIS-API) that updates FE model of structures based on available measured data.

Alyssa A. KodyAlyssa A. Kody

Alyssa Kody is an undergraduate at Tufts University. She plans to graduate with a B.S. in civil engineering in 2013, and would like to pursue a career in structural engineering. As a 2011 Summer Scholar, Alyssa worked with Professor Moaveni on a research project entitled "Damage Simulation of the Dowling Hall Footbridge", during which she performed a 5000-lbs test loading. Alyssa has since continued research by testing strain gages to be added to the continuous monitoring system on the Dowling Hall Footbridge.

Xiang LiXiang Li

Xiang Li is a structural engineering M.S. student at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of Tufts University. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Shandong JIANZHU University in 2010. He took a part-time job in Jinan Construction Engineering Group Corporation in his last year of undergraduate working in the project of Shandong Aviation Department. After graduation, Xiang worked with Shandong Culture & Artistic Center Program as Supervision & Data processor in Shandong Engineering Consulting & Supervision Co., Ltd for 10 months before coming to Tufts.

Xiang is currently working under supervision of Prof. Moaveni and his research is focused on structural health monitoring of the Dowling Hall Footbridge. He plans to use different types of vibration measurements such as ambient accelerations and strains to identify the induced damage (through increasing the mass of deck) on the footbridge.

Chris FollenChris Follen

Chris Follen received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Tufts University in 2010. After completing his undergraduate work, Chris spent a year working for a construction management firm. Chris is now working towards an M.S. in Structural Engineering at Tufts. He is working with Prof. Brian Brenner and Prof. Masoud Sanayei on the NSF-PFI research project "Whatever Happened to Long-term Bridge Design". He is also working in collaboration with the Long-Term Bridge Performance Program. The case study used in Chris' research is the Vernon Avenue Bridge over Ware River in Barre, MA. Chris is focusing on using long-term strain data to detect structural damage. He is also working to develop an interface to include the Vernon Avenue Bridge in the LTBPP database.

In his spare time, Chris enjoys playing guitar, skiing, and rock climbing.

Anish PushpangadanAnish Kayiparambil P

Anish KP is a M.S student in Structural Engineering at Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Tufts University. He received his B.Tech in Civil Engineering from National Institute of Technology Calicut, India in 2006. After graduation he worked with Alstom Projects India Ltd. for five years as a lead engineer and was responsible for review of civil design and construction drawings for various structures in Thermal power projects and providing technical support to civil construction team located in Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Anish is currently working with Professor Sanayei on the study of train-induced floor vibrations. The design of buildings for human comfort and specialized purposes such as manufacturing or operation of sensitive equipment calls for prior knowledge of ambient floor vibrations envisaged in the building. The ability to predict and quantify these vibration levels enables engineers to incorporate sufficient mitigation measures in the building design. Anish will be working on vibration prediction, propagation and mitigation methodologies in a building.

During leisure Anish likes to travel and explore new places & cuisine.

Jesse Sipple Jesse Sipple

Jesse Sipple, EIT is a Ph.D. Candidate studying Structural Engineering and Mechanics in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Tufts University. His advisor is Dr. Masoud Sanayei. Jesse is part of the National Science Foundation Partnership for Innovation "Whatever Happened to Long-Term Bridge Design" research team, focusing on the use of frequency response functions (FRFs) for model calibration of full scale bridge finite element models in conjunction with experimental FRF data. Jesse received both his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Jesse has been working with the Powder Mill Pond Bridge (Vernon Avenue Bridge) from the start, helping implement a successful instrumentation plan during the construction phase of the project. Since the opening of the bridge in September 2009, Jesse has taken the lead in planning and performing three load tests on the bridge with a team of researchers from Tufts, UNH, FST Inc., and Geocomp Corp. The first load test in September 2009 was a static load test with a fully load dump truck performing both rolling and stop locations tests. The second load test performed in July 2010 had the previous static component and a new vibration component using a shaker to dynamically excite the bridge and accelerometers to measure the response. The third test performed in September 2011 was very similar to the second load test. His research has been focused on using dynamic based frequency response functions to calibrate full scale finite element models. Jesse is currently working on developing a program to perform this model calibration. He is preparing to use that program on several different structures, including the Powder Mill Pond Bridge, to investigate the usefulness and effectiveness of his proposed methods. Jesse will also synthesize the information from entire NSF-PFI research project into recommendations for including bridge modeling and testing into bridge management programs.


  • Masoud Sanayei, John E. Phelps, Jesse D. Sipple, Erin S. Bell, Brian R. Brenner.  "Instrumentation, Nondestructive Testing, and FEM Updating for Bridge Evaluation using Strain Measurements." Journal of Bridge Engineering, Volume 17, Issue 1, .
  • M. Sanayei, B.R. Brenner, E.S. Bell, D. Ha, J.D. Sipple, M. Iplikcioglu, P. Rohela, E. Picard. "Temperature Based Monitoring of a Composite Steel Girder Bridge." Proc. of 2010 ASCE Structures Congress, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2011.
  • M. Sanayei, J. D. Sipple, J. E. Phelps, E. Santini-Bell, P.J. Lefebvre, B.R. Brenner.  "Bridge instrumentation for long term structural health monitoring."  Bridge Maintenance, Safety, Management and Life-Cycle Optimization: Proceedings of the Fifth International IABMAS Conference edited by Frangopol, Sause, and Kusko.  Philadelphia, PA, 2010.
  • M. Sanayei, B.R. Brenner, E. Santini-Bell, J.D. Sipple, J.E. Phelps, and P.J. Lefebvre. "Baseline Model Updating During Bridge Construction Using Measured Strains." Proc. of 2010 ASCE Structures Congress, Orlando, Florida, 2010.
  • Erin Santini Bell, Jesse David Sipple, Paul Lefebvre, Brian Brenner, Masoud Sanayei. "Instrumentation, Modeling, and Monitoring of a Concrete Bridge from Construction Through Service." Transportation Research Board 89th Annual Meeting, Washington DC, 2010.
  • E.S. Bell and J. D. Sipple. "Special topics studies for baseline structural modeling for condition assessment of in-service bridges." Safety and Reliability of Bridges Structures edited by Khaled M. Mahmoud. New York, New York, 2009.
  • Erin Santini Bell, Jesse Sipple. "Accounting for the Impact of Thermal Loads in Nondestructive Bridge Testing." Transportation Research Board 88th Annual Meeting, Washington DC, 2009.
  • E. Santini-Bell, J. Sipple, and J. Yost. "Long-Term Thermal Performance of a CFRP-Reinforced Bridge Deck." Proc. of 2008 ASCE Structures Congress, Vancouver, BC, 2008.
  • Erin Santini-Bell, Masoud Sanayei, Brian Brenner, Jesse Sipple, and Adam Blanchard. "Nondestructive testing for design verification of Boston's Central Artery underpinning frames and connections", Bridge Structures, 4:2, 87 — 98, 2008

Merve IplikciogluMerve Iplikcioglu, MS '12

Merve Iplikcioglu received her B.S. in Structural & Civil Engineering from Eskisehir Osmangazi University in 2007. She also studied her MBA at University of New Haven, CT and graduated in 2009. She completed her M.S. in Structural Engineering at Tufts University and worked with Prof. Sanayei and Prof. Brenner.

She was part of "Whatever Happened to Long Tern Bridge Design?" NSF-PFI research team. Her research was focusing on structural health monitoring with model updating using finite element model. She studied bridge load rating, bridge monitoring using nondestructive test data and temperature effect on strain gauges. Her other interest is “structural art”. She is one of those people who believe that aesthetic and engineering design has to express the same point.


  • Sanayei, M., Iplikcioglu, M., Sipple, J.D., Santini-Bell, E. M. and Brenner, B. R. (2012). "Nondestructive Testing and Comparison of Approaches for Bridge Load Rating," In preparation for submission to the Journal of Bridge Engineering.
  • Santini-Bell, E., Lefebvre, P.J., Sanayei, M., Sipple, J.D., Iplikcioglu, M., Brenner, B.R.  (2012)."Experimental Load Rating of a Steel Girder Bridge Using Structural Health Monitoring and Modeling," Proceedings of the Sixth International IABMAS, Villa Erba, Lake Como, Italy, July 8-11, 2012.
  • Sanayei, M., Brenner, B.R.,Santini-Bell, E., Ha, D., Sipple, J.D., Iplikcioglu, M., Rohela, R., Picard, E. (2011). "Temperature Based Monitoring of a Composite Steel Girder Bridge," Proceeding of the ASCE Structures Congress, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2011.
  • Iplikcioglu, M., Lin, W., Soleimani, F., Svetieva, A. I., Zhao, N., (2010). "The Evaluation of Chloride Contamination in Reinforced Concrete," Journal of Civil Engineering Practice, Spring/Summer 2010.
  • Substantial Assistance on Sanayei, M., Phelps, J.E., Sipple, J.D., Santini-Bell, E., Brenner, B.R. (2012). "Instrumentation, Nondestructive Testing, and FEM Updating for Bridge Evaluation using Strain Measurements," Journal of Bridge Engineering, Volume 17, Issue 1, 

Pradeep MauryaPradeep Maurya, MS '12

Pradeep completed his B.Tech in Civil Engineering from National Institute of Technology Calicut, Kerala, India in 2006. After undergraduate studies, he worked for Delhi International Airport Project with Larsen & Toubro Ltd. as Sr. Structural Design Engineer till July, 2010. He is currently pursuing his M.S in Structural Engineering at Tufts University, under the guidance of Dr Masoud Sanayei.

For the control of floor vibration, it is absolutely necessary to understand and accurately predict the vibrations induced by the various factors involved. His research interest lie in the field of structural dynamics with his research primarily focused on the Prediction of Train-induced floor vibration in Buildings. Also, he enjoys playing Guitar and writing poems, at leisure.


  • Sanayei, M., Maurya, P., Zhao, N., Moore, (2012). "Impedance Modeling: An Efficient Modeling Method for Prediction of Building Floor Vibrations" Proceedings of the ASCE, Structures Congress 2012, Chicago, Illinois, Mar. 29-31, 2012
  • Sanayei, M., Zhao, N., Maurya, P., Moore, J.A., Zapfe, J.Z. and Hines, E.M., (2012) "Prediction and Mitigation of Building Floor Vibrations Using a Blocking Floor," Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, Accepted for publicationdoi:10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0000557
  • Sanayei, M., Zhao, N., Maurya, P., Moore, J.A., Zapfe, J.A., Hines, E.M.,(2011). "Impedance Modeling for Prediction of Train Induced Floor Vibrations." Proceedings of the ASCE, Structures Congress 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada, Apr 14-16, 2011

Peeyush RohelaPeeyush Rohela, MS '12

Peeyush is currently a graduate student pursuing M.S. in Structural Engineering from Tufts University. He is working with his advisor, Prof. Masoud Sanayei, on the development of a MATLAB® based program called PARIS© 13.0 for Automated Finite Element Model (FEM) Updating of full scale structural models. The parameter estimation techniques are based on minimization of static and modal error functions previously developed at Tufts University. The program is designed to use both analytical and numerical sensitivities for optimization. A unique feature of this program is that it employs SAP2000® for finite element analysis during the analysis stage of FEM updating process through the use API (Application Programming Interface). Not only does this provides the user with SAP2000® GUI but also allows for the creation of larger finite element models with more complex geometries. The research is aimed at continued program development and its eventual deployment for calibration of finite element model of the Powder Mill Bridge in Barre, Massachusetts, using static and dynamic Non-Destructive Test (NDT) data.

Prior to his graduate studies, Peeyush worked for two years as a design engineer at Fluor Daniel in India. He received his bachelor's degree (B.E.) in Civil Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology, India, in 2008.


  • Sanayei M., DiCarlo C. J., Miller E. L., Kilmer M. E., and Rohela P. (2012) "Sensor Placement using Fisher Information Matrix for Robust Finite Element Model Updating." Submitted to the Journal of Civil Structural Health Monitoring
  • Rohela P. and Sanayei M. "PARameter Identification System (PARIS© 13.0) for Automated Finite Element Model Updating" In preparation for submission to Computers & Structures

Paul RosenstrauchPaul Rosenstrauch, MS '12

Paul received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Tufts University in 2010. He is now working towards his M.S. in structural engineering. His research, conducted with Professor Brian Brenner, focuses on how changes in temperature affect bridge structural behavior. This is important as the strains caused by daily and seasonal changes in temperature may be as much, if not greater than, those strains caused by live traffic loading. The case study in this research is the Little Mystic Truss span of the Maurice J. Tobin Memorial Bridge, which has been instrumented with a structural health monitoring system. An extensive three-dimensional finite element modeling of the Little Mystic span has been developed. He will be using the strain information from the instrumentation system to update the Little Mystic model and to define the structural response of the Little Mystic Truss to changes in temperature.

Gusset plate performance is an important topic in structural engineering, and so Paul will also be researching the behavior of the gusset plates in the Little Mystic Truss. He will add the gusset plate elements to the Little Mystic Truss model and perform a full finite element analysis of the plates. He will compare the strains predicted by the model to the strains recorded by the instrumentation system during a full scale load test that was conducted in the fall of 2009.

Katie ReifKatie Reif, BSCE '11

Katie Reif is an undergraduate at Tufts University, planning to graduate in the spring of 2011. She studies civil engineering and is especially interested in structural engineering. She has been working on research on the Vernon Ave Bridge since summer 2010. During this time, she has focused predominately on the long-term temperature effect on the bridge. She also assisted in the July Load Test and some data processing following that test. Katie is so glad to have the opportunity to be a part of this research project.

Peter MoserPeter Moser, MS '10

Peter Moser received his B.S. in Chemistry from Wheaton College (IL) in 2003. He is currently pursuing a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Tufts University and he is working with Prof. Moaveni. Peter's research interest is in vibration-based Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). The key component of the research project is a continuous monitoring system deployed on the Dowling Hall Footbridge at Tufts. The system continuously monitors ambient/traffic induced vibrations at eight locations and temperatures at ten locations. A set of programs automatically transfer, process, and analyze each data set. The dynamic characteristics of the bridge can be extracted from each sample.

The dynamic characteristics of the bridge are sensitive to damage but also to temperature. If the system is to be used to accurately detect damage, the effect of environmental conditions must be well understood. Peter's current work includes investigation of the relationship between temperature and the natural frequencies of the bridge, development of a nonlinear model quantifying this relationship, and assessment of the model accuracy.


  • Moser, P., and Moaveni, B., "Design and Deployment of a Continuous Monitoring System for the Dowling Hall Footbridge," Experimental Techniques, currently under review.

Eric PheiferEric Pheifer, MS '10

Eric J. Pheifer received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Tufts University in 2008. He is currently pursuing a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Tufts University and he is working with Prof. Brenner. Eric's Master's thesis focuses on the Tobin Bridge, a 2-1/4 mile long bridge composed of a number of steel approach and truss spans between Boston and Chelsea, MA. Finite element models have been developed for most of the structure. A detailed model was developed for one of the truss spans and a system of instrumentation was installed on the span. Non-destructive testing of the bridge was performed. Collected strain data from the load test is used to update and calibrate the finite element model.

The research project is hosted by Fay, Spofford & Thorndike, LLC in Burlington, MA where Eric is an Assistant Engineer. When not busy working on the Tobin Bridge, Eric works on developing 3-D project visualization for proposals and client meetings. Eric also enjoys scuba diving on the north shore on weekends when the water is not numbingly cold.


  • Brenner, B., Santini-Bell, E., Durack, W., Sanayei, M., Pheifer, E. "Modeling and Instrumentation of the Tobin Memorial Bridge in Boston, Massachusetts, USA." Safety and Reliability of Bridge Structures. CRC Press: 2009.
  • Brenner, B., Santini-Bell, E., Sanayei, M., Pheifer, E., Durack, W. "Structural Modeling, Instrumentation, and Load Testing of the Tobin Memorial Bridge in Boston, Massachusetts." Proceedings, 2010 ASCE Structures Congress, Orlando, Florida, May 12-14, 2010.

John PhelpsJohn Phelps, MS '10

John E. Phelps received his B.S. in Civil Engineering Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2008. He is now enrolled in the M.S. program in Civil Engineering at Tufts University and he is collaborating with Prof. Masoud on his research. John is a member of the NSF-PFI research project entitled, "Whatever Happened to Long-term Bridge Design?" His major contributions to the project include detailed finite element modeling, and model calibration using measured strain readings from the Vernon Avenue Bridge load test.

Ningyu Zhao, MS '09

Ningyu Zhao is a Ph.D. student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Tufts University. His research is on health monitoring of buildings with applications to train-induced floor vibration testing for human comfort and operation of sensitive equipment. The Tufts Structural Engineering group, in conjunction with Acentech Incorporated and LeMessurier Consultants, combined resources to conduct research on prediction and mitigation of train-induced floor vibrations in buildings. Ningyu received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Tongji University in 2007 and his M.S. in Structural Engineering from Tufts University in 2009.


  • Zhao, N., Sanayei, M., Moore, J. A., Zapfe, J. A., Hines, E. M. (2010). "Mitigation of Train-Induced Floor Vibrations in Multi-Story Buildings Using a Blocking Floor." Proceedings, 2010 ASCE Structures Congress, Orlando, Florida, May 12-15, 2010.
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