Research Group Members

Nenad Bijelic (PhD)

Nenad Bijelic is pursuing doctoral studies in the field of structural and earthquake engineering. The effects of earthquakes on the built environment and their detrimental, globally resonating socio-economic and environmental impacts preoccupy this young scholar and his research will focus on performance-based seismic engineering as a crucial means in achieving earthquake resilience in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. His research interests include nonlinear structural analysis and design, prediction of structural collapse, vibration control and advanced experimental procedures but also spread into the field of materials science. Nenad hopes that his research will contribute to achieving the vision of disaster-resilient communities.

A native of Croatia, Nenad received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Zagreb. He worked there as a teaching/research assistant for two years prior to arriving in the United States as the recipient of the International Fulbright Science and Technology Award. When not working on his research, Nenad particularly enjoys trekking, sailing, snowboarding, and reading.

Matthew Thomas (MS/PhD)

Matt Thomas is starting at Marquette University in fall 2013 to pursue his master's degree in civil, construction and environmental engineering, focusing on structural engineering and structural mechanics. Currently, he works as a graduate teaching assistant for Surveying, facilitating sections in classroom, laboratory and field settings. Captivated by the analytical and theoretical aspects of research and education, he is exploring research opportunities in nonlinear structural modeling and analysis, probabilistic hazard analysis, and climate change. Matt hopes that his work will contribute to more resilient and sustainable infrastructures.

Matt received his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Bradley University where he worked as a university tutor and later as a teacher's assistant. Prior to joining Marquette, he analyzed the conditions of asphalt and concrete pavements as an undergraduate researcher at Bradley, and evaluated the performance of valves and nozzles as an intern in Spraying Systems Co. in Wheaton, IL. Aside from his studies, he enjoys reading as well as soccer and tennis.

Hamed Nikbakht (PhD)

Hamed Nikbakht is joining HazSus as a PhD student in fall 2014 from the University of Colorado Boulder. Hamed grew up in north of Iran. He received his bachelor's degree in civil engineering, and was ranked 1st in his graduating class of 120 students. He also had experience as a teacher assistant in structural analysis and fluid mechanics while an undergraduate. After graduation, he worked in a consulting engineering company for a year. Hamed completed his master's degree at Sharif University of Technology in the field of earthquake engineering. His research interests include seismic ground motion effects on tall buildings, performance-based earthquake engineering, progressive collapse of structural and non-structural systems, nonlinear structural dynamics, and stochastic modeling of wind loads. Outside of his research involvement, Hamed enjoys weight training, doing cardio, playing tennis, and hiking.

Saeed Nozhati (PhD)

Saeed Nozhati is pursuing his doctoral education at Marquette University in fall 2014. Saeed hails from Iran where he finished 4th in the final phase of the 16th National Civil Engineering Olympiad. He graduated with M.Sc. in earthquake engineering from Sharif University of Technology and B.Sc. in civil engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology. His master's thesis focused on the effect of asymmetry on the fragility curves of reinforced concrete structures. A curious learner and keen researcher, he is constantly striving for improvements in various aspects. His current interests include seismic design, repair and rehabilitation of structures; he is also seeking knowledge in cutting-edge areas that are innovative and practical. In his spare time, he enjoys playing chess and strumming Persian musical instrument "Sitar", in addition to pondering over numerous questions.

Former Research Group Members

Timothy Lewis (BS)

Attending graduate school at UC Berkeley in fall 2014

Tim Lewis is originally from Milwaukee, WI, and is currently a senior at Marquette University pursuing a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He has participated in undergraduate research since fall 2012 when he assessed the resiliency of a Guatemalan hardwood for use in pedestrian bridges. Most recently, Tim worked on a project in summer 2013 to evaluate shrinkage cracking potential of concrete bridge decks in the state of Wisconsin. Currently, Tim is investigating landslide hazards associated with deforestation in saturated tropical climates of South America. Tim's interests lie in structural applications, sustainability of infrastructure, long term hazard mitigation, and risk assessment in design and construction. Upon graduation in May 2014 from Marquette University, Tim intends to pursue a master's degree, seeking to develop his comprehension and practical knowledge of these interests.

Outside of his coursework and research involvement, Tim has participated extensively in Engineers Without Borders since fall 2009. He was the lead technical designer on the structural design for a suspended cable pedestrian bridge in Nueva Providencia, Guatemala which was awarded the 2013 ACEC National Engineering Honor Award. He has also been involved closely with a solar and hydroelectric project to deliver sustainable and affordable electricity. Currently, Tim is working on the planning, design, and construction of a vehicle bridge in Guatemala which will create access for over 1,000 people in Guatemala. He also currently works as a Transportation Structural Intern at CH2MHill on the reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange in Waukesha, WI, as a part of the Core Interchange Steel Bridge Design Team. Tim has experience as a teaching assistant, is the student president of Marquette's ASCE Chapter, is proficient in Spanish, enjoys playing the guitar, and has fun downhill skiing during winter months.

Michael Kren (BS/MS)

Mike Kren is completing his bachelor's degree in civil engineering at Marquette University. Mike started as a HazSus undergraduate research assistant in spring 2014, playing with game engine to create virtual shaking in the MARquette Visualization Laboratry (MARVL). He is interested in mathematics, structural applications, performance-based engineering, and visualization.

Extensively involved in American Society of Civil Engineers and Builders Coalition of Marquette University (Associated General Contractors), Mike is the project manager of Marquette's ASCE concrete canoe team. He also completed a co-op with the City of Waukesha during his undergraduate degree. Outside of engineering work, Mike enjoys competitive cycling, competing in cyclocross, road, and Criterium racing. He has participated in Marquette Triathlon Club and Hunger Clean-Up since 2010.