2016 PEER Summer Internship Program

The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) is pleased to offer exciting opportunities for students to explore new directions in earthquake studies and research. This summer eight students participated in the PEER Internship Program. Below, they share some of the highlights and valuable learning opportunities they experienced during their 2016 summer internship.


Megan Perley and Judy Guo

Megan Perley, a senior studying geophysics at UC Berkeley, is participating in the 2016 Heising-Simons Natural Disaster Risk Reduction, UC Berkeley GeoHazards International (GHI) Internship under the guidance of GHI staff Janise Rodgers and UC Berkeley Professors Khalid Mosalam and Doug Dreger. This summer’s project is a building inventory conducted in Aizawl, a city in the northeast Indian state of Mizoram that is highly vulnerable to both earthquakes and landslides. She spent the summer taking inventory of existing school buildings in Aizawl, and she hopes the report she worked on during her internship will prevent unnecessary loss of life by minimizing landslide risk and ensuring schools built in the future are earthquake resistant. She found this internship experience highly rewarding as it introduced her to new areas of research, such as landslide and earthquake probability analysis, which she plans to pursue in the future.

Judy Guo, a fourth year undergraduate civil engineering student at UC Berkeley, is also participating in the 2016 Heising-Simons Natural Disaster Risk Reduction, UC Berkeley GeoHazards International (GHI) Internship. She also conducted the inventory of 22 existing school facilities in Aizawl, India, and is compiling the inventory documents into a report for the local government. Judy found the internship provided her with invaluable exposure and first-hand experience in structural and earthquake engineering concepts.  Judy hopes to use her structural engineering knowledge in the future to help other vulnerable communities like Aizawl.


Yennis Yulieth Barros Atuesta and Cesar Pajaro Miranda
(with Grace Kang, PEER Communications, center)

Yennis Yulieth Barros Atuesta is an undergraduate civil engineering student at Universidad del Norte (UNINORTE) in Barranquilla, Colombia, and she worked with Jiaqi Li, a graduate student of UC Berkeley Professor Paulo Monteiro. Yennis collaborated on a project to study the influence of chemical reactions on the mechanical properties of concrete. Specifically, she documented concrete mechanical properties as influenced by tri-calcium aluminate reactions with gypsum and other parameters. She found the internship both professionally and personally enriching and benefited greatly from the interaction with UC Berkeley professors. She intends to pursue an engineering research career and hopes to apply her skills to improve social conditions.

Cesar Pajaro Miranda is an undergraduate civil engineering student at UNINORTE and collaborated with Jorge Macedo, a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley, and Professor Jonathan D. Bray. Cesar was involved in two projects: 1) the validation of a BMT17 simplified slope displacement procedure which is relevant to subduction zones, and 2) post-processing centrifuge test data results performed by previous UC Berkeley students and updating geotechnical numerical analyses with additional data. The internship exposed him to new trends and topics in geotechnical earthquake engineering research which he is certain will enhance both his professional and personal life in the years to come.


Yu Cai, Khawla Seffar, Baptiste Goussard, Jerome Aubourg, Jeremy Boussidan

Yu Cai is a graduate student at the University of Paris. She is working with PEER-UC Berkeley Lab Manager Clement Barthes on automation and electronics with an emphasis in a laboratory control room. She is working on a platform of piezo-electric sensors which can ultimately be applied to reinforcing steel in buildings, as well as aerospace applications. Part of her research was initiated with Barthes in France, and she came to UC Berkeley for the summer to continue her work.

Khawla Seffar is a graduate student at Ecole Speciale des Travaux Publics (ESTP), France, and she has an extended PEER internship through October 2016. Her area of research is modeling the spatial variability of seismic input motion and studying induced soil-structure interaction effects. She is also working on an OpenSees model of a highway bridge, performing nonlinear time history analyses

Baptiste Goussard is also a graduate student at ESTP and has an extended PEER internship through October 2016. He is working on developing a numerical isolator model that incorporates kinematic behavior more accurately.

Jerome Aubourg, a graduate student at ESTP, is an intern with PEER through October 2016, and he is currently working digital correlation and measurements of materials subjected to ballistics. He is working with Clement Barthes on the study of modeling deformation caused by bullets fired from a cannon, using a high-speed camera.

Jeremy Boussidan, a graduate student at ESTP, has an extended PEER internship through October 2016. With Baptiste, he is studying a new way of numerically modeling isolators, using OpenSees software.

Find more information about the PEER Internship Program.