PEER Student Committee

Our mission at the PEER Student Committee is to facilitate student interaction and engagement in PEER activities while enhancing student education in earthquake engineering and related fields. To that end, some of the initiatives that we are organizing are Student Research Videos, Student Highlights, PEER Institution Lab Tours, PEER Student Meetings, and bridging the gap between industry partners and students involved in research, including empowering PEER students with opportunities for the future workforce. More details about each of these programs will be shared in future newsletters and via this webpage.

As a committee, we want to be a point of contact for students of the institutions affiliated with PEER, helping them to take advantage of the resources available at the PEER network for their professional or research careers. Feel free to contact any one of us.

Committee Members

My name is Laura L. Hernández-Bassal, and I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis. As part of my research, I am currently evaluating uncertainties in analysis and assessment methodologies in performance-based earthquake engineering, under the supervision of Dr. Sashi Kunnath. I am this year’s PEER student committee chair and I’m looking forward to working with the other passionate board members to develop student-focused initiatives within PEER! In my free time, I enjoy dancing and playing board games. Email: lauhernandez@ucdavis.edu

My name is Chrystal Chern, and I am in my second year as a Ph.D. student studying structural engineering at the University of California, Berkeley with Professor Khalid Mosalam. My main research aim is to establish a digital-twin methodology incorporating machine-learning-enabled automatic model updating for bridge structural health monitoring. I am especially interested in helping to build community among students and very excited to serve on the PEER student committee. In my free time, I enjoy dancing, art, and a good nap. Email: cchern@berkeley.edu

My name is Jeff Newgard, and I am a Ph.D. candidate working with Professors John McCartney and Tara Hutchinson at the University of California, San Diego. Our project aims to control the kinematics of a rocking footing supporting a bridge pier during an earthquake via ground improvement. Outside of my research, I enjoy working with our GeoWall team every year and heading our CalGeo group. In my spare time, I’m often dreaming of, or actually out climbing mountains in the Sierra Nevada. Email: jnewgard@eng.ucsd.edu

My name is Rodrigo Silva-Lopez, and I am a fourth-year civil engineering Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University working under the supervision of Professor Jack Baker. My research aims to minimize the consequences of road network disruption generated by earthquakes through the development of optimal bridge retrofitting strategies. I am from Chile, so I have felt many earthquakes, even a couple with a magnitude over 8.0 Mw. Because of this, I have heard of PEER even before getting into college and I am really excited to be part of the PEER Student Council and engage with other students. During my free time, I enjoy swimming and spending time with my friends. Email: rsilval@stanford.edu

My name is Bryam Astudillo-Carpio, and I am an M.S. student at Oregon State University. My research with Professor Barbara Simpson includes the analysis of strongback systems. As part of it, I am working in the US-Japan collaborative research on frame-spine systems with force-limiting connections. I am very excited to engage in the PEER Student Committee and I look forward to promoting student participation in the coming activities. In my free time, I like to play soccer. Email: astudilb@oregonstate.edu