Vivian Vidoli and John HaiderCaption: Vivian Vidoli, former graduate dean at Fresno State, congratulates Jon Haider on his winning entry in this year's CSU Student Research Competition. Haider won first place in the Undergraduate Engineering and Computer Science category for his study on “Effectiveness of Friction Dampers of Dissipation of Seismic Energy.” Vidoli began the systemwide research contest 25 years ago.

Research Achievement

CSUF Graduating Engineering Major Wins Statewide Competition

Jon Haider of Upland, a civil engineering major graduating this month at Cal State Fullerton, won first place in the Undergraduate Engineering and Computer Science category at the 25th annual California State University Student Research Competition.

The systemwide contest among 225 students from 21 of CSU system’s 23 campuses was held May 6-7 at Fresno State.

Haider’s research is titled “Effectiveness of Friction Dampers of Dissipation of Seismic Energy.”

“We know how devastating earthquakes can be to buildings and other structures,” said Haider, who will be pursuing a master’s degree at UCLA in the fall. “It’s important that we improve building methods and develop systems that would help protect structures from the potential damage that earthquakes can cause.

“This research is an investigation to see how effectively devices known as ‘friction dampers’ can help dissipate the energy that is released during seismic activity and how much protection these dampers can really provide. We built two small scale models — one equipped with dampers and one without — subjected both to earthquake simulations on our ‘shake table’ in the Civil Engineering Department and compared the performance,” said Haider. “We showed that these devices can significantly reduce how much the building sways and are more cost- effective than other methods of damping.

“In the future, we hope to advance the design of these dampers to detect the earthquake [when it occurs] and adjust its settings accordingly, which will make it even more efficient and effective,” he added.

“John did a great job,” said Haider’s faculty adviser Uksun Kim, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. “He’s a very smart and very focused researcher who optimizes his time in the lab. I really enjoyed working with him.” 

Other campus winners who participated in the statewide competition:

  • Daniel Penilla of Anaheim, January 2011 graduate, B.A. sociology
  • Mohammad Biabani of Claremont, civil engineering graduate student
  • Ishita Shukla of Diamond Bar, Class of 2010, B.S. biological science
  • Troy Cannon of Fullerton, senior mathematics major
  • Anna Hanlon of Fullerton, January 2011 graduate, master of public health
  • Juliane Nguyen of Garden Grove, senior majoring in ethnic studies, health science
  • Nina Nguyen of Huntington Beach, senior human services major
  • Adam Lewis of Lake Hughes, senior civil engineering major
  • Stephen Chang of Pomona, Class of 2010, B.A. political science
  • Carlos Hernandez of Riverside, senior mathematics major
  • Luis Torres of Santa Ana, senior mathematics major
  • Macarena Aloi of Rancho Santa Margarita, senior biological science major
  • Anh Duong Le of Westminster, civil engineering graduate student

Campus judges were: Irene Matz, associate dean of the College of Communications; Mark Filowitz, associate dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Jeannie Kim-Han, director of the Office of Research, Initiatives and Partnerships and Center for Internships and Community Engagement; Binod Tiwari, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering; and Natalie Carrick, assistant professor of child and adolescent studies.

Last year, two graduate students and three undergraduates Cal State Fullerton captured first- and second-place honors at the annual competition.

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