Baiyu Chen, CEE PhD Student, Receives SEAMASS Scholarship

Baiyu Chen has been awarded the Structural Engineers Association of Massachusetts (SEAMASS) scholarship at the SEAMASS 2023 Annual Dinner Meeting & Presentation this past May. Chen, currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering under Professor Jerome Hajjar, demonstrated exceptional passion and commitment to the field, earning recognition and support from the association.

Chen’s interest in applying for the SEAMASS scholarship stems from her deep fascination with structural engineering and her eagerness to learn from experienced professionals in the industry. SEAMASS, a non-profit, member-driven organization that holds a mission to advance the structural engineering profession, provides a unique opportunity for Chen to expand her knowledge, network with experts, and gain valuable insights into the ever-evolving field of structural engineering.

A pivotal moment in Chen’s journey toward becoming a structural engineering student was her inquisitive nature and desire to understand the choices of construction materials used in high-rise structures. Wondering why concrete and steel were often utilized while timber was rarely seen in urban high-rises, Chen’s curiosity eventually led her to pursue an education in engineering.

During her undergraduate years, Chen had the privilege of working as a research assistant under the guidance of Professor Hajjar. She was actively involved in a groundbreaking project focused on the incorporation of timber in the construction of these high-rise structures through a hybrid system of steel-CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber). This hands-on experience exposed her to various aspects of structural engineering, including architecture, sustainability, and connection design of the steel-CLT project.

When speaking about her research and future plans, Baiyu Chen expressed her excitement in working with Professor Hajjar to develop innovative connection and design equations for steel-CLT hybrid structures. Additionally, she is working on conducting a Life Cycle Analysis of framing plan options, aiming to contribute to sustainable practices in the construction industry.

After graduating with her undergraduate degree in May, Chen has continued her journey as a graduate student, persisting in steel-CLT research. With a passion for knowledge and a drive for innovation, she looks forward to expanding her expertise in structural engineering through her Ph.D. program. Chen also expressed her eagerness to explore and test innovative ideas in the laboratory, with the ultimate goal of witnessing these concepts transform into marketable products that significantly contribute to the sustainability of the construction industry from a structural engineering perspective.

The SEAMASS scholarship has recognized Baiyu Chen’s dedication to the field of structural engineering, and the support will undoubtedly propel her forward in achieving her goals and making meaningful contributions to the industry. As she continues her academic and research journey, the future looks promising for the young and talented Ph.D. candidate.

Chen’s passion for structural engineering, her research endeavors, and her pursuit of sustainable construction solutions have been acknowledged and rewarded through the SEAMASS scholarship. As she continues to make strides in her academic and professional journey, the engineering community eagerly awaits the impact she will undoubtedly make on the field of structural engineering and the broader construction industry.

Related Faculty: Jerome F. Hajjar

Related Departments:Civil & Environmental Engineering