Field reconnaissance

Tornado | Mayfield KY

10 December 2021 Midwest Tornado Outbreak

Prof. Gutierrez Soto and the DREAM structures group deployed to the site of the disaster to gather data.

Check out the news article released by Penn state

Our field assessment report and data is available at Designsafe

Invited talk

Seton Hill University

Prof. Gutierrez Soto was hosted by Prof. Abigail Bogdan and gave a talk on the ongoing research at the DREAM structures group

Seton hill

Check out our conference paper that was accepted at the CCS '21: Proceedings of the 2021 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (Acceptance rate: 18%)

Pages 1320–1337

This paper is a results of an international collaboration that aims to improve the cybersecurity resilience of smart buildings and bridges. Wonderful team of researchers!

Research presentation

Sendai, Japan | September 27 to October 2, 2021

[P02E09] Optimal Conditions for Response Control

Congratulations to Sajad Javadinasab Hormozabad on presenting his research for improving the design process of controlled rocking steel braced frames.

His presentation #ID:2g-0283 is titled: "Seismic Design Optimization of Controlled Rocking Steel Braced Frames based on Neural Dynamic Model"

Check out more information at the online conference program.



Research presentation

Sendai, Japan | September 27 to October 2, 2021

[P02E09] Optimal Conditions for Response Control

Congratulations to Alejandro Palacio Bentancur on presenting his research for studying a neural dynamic optimization method for vibration control of diagrid building structures subjected to seismic loading.


Check out more information at the online conference program.



Research presentation

Sendai, Japan | September 27 to October 2, 2021

[P01E05] Analysis

Congratulations to Alejandro Palacio-Bentacur on presenting his research proposing a new soft computing model for structural design optimization of diagrid buildings.


Check out more information at the online conference program.



Penn State

Building DREAMs: Smart structures expert joins Engineering Design

Dr. Gutierrez Soto has joined the Penn State family! Check out the news article released by Penn State here.



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UK College of Education

2020 A Teacher Who Made a Difference

Henry Adams once observed that a teacher affects eternity because you can never tell where a teacher's influence stops. Your impact goes on and on. The people you've helped and taught pass those lessons along.

I am honored and humbled to receive "A Teacher Who Made a Difference" award by the University of Kentucky, College of Education. The last three years have been a great learning experience, and I thank all my students (pictured or not due to COVID-19) for inspiring me to do better each day.


Natural Hazard Reconnaissance

2020 Nashville Tornadoes - Field Assessment Structural Team

Dr. Mariantonieta Gutierrez Soto and Sajad Javadinasab Hormozabad rush to the site and participated in the damage reconnaissance effort.

NSF-sponsored Structural Extreme Events Reconnaissance (StEER) network deployed a Field Assessment Structural Team (FAST-1) to document the impacts of these tornadoes in the Nashville Area the week of March 9 (with primary data collection activities March 9-11). FAST-1 is led by Ricky Wood of University of Nebraska, Lincoln and will include a blend of academics and practitioners:

  • Keith Cullum, Simpson Strong-Tie
  • Mariant Gutierrez Soto, University of Kentucky
  • Mohammad Moravej, Walker Consultants
  • Stephanie Pilkington, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
The team worked closely with complementary projects focused on tornado impacts. Exchange of data between FAST-1 and these complementary efforts will significantly deepen our collective learning from this event. The StEER Associate Directors/Members leading these complementary efforts and contributing to FAST-1 are:
  • David Roueche, Auburn University
  • David Prevatt, University of Florida
  • Frank Lombardo, UIUC
The team’s Primary Objective is to document the performance of several affected typologies including residential construction (single and multi-family), schools (including refuge areas if present), commercial buildings (including metal building systems used in airports, industrial zones, and tilt-up wall construction) using a blend of the door to door damage assessments, unmanned aerial surveys, Applied StreetView imagery and LiDAR (for select structures).


Research presentation

2020 IMACXXXVIII Conference - Society of Experimental Mechanics

It's Not Just Modal Anymore

February 10–13, 2020 in Houston, Texas

Congratulations to Sajad Javadinasab Hormozabad on presenting his research for improving the seismic protection of bridge structures using the latest technology and innovation from artificial intelligence, neural dynamic model optimization and more.

His presentation #8543 is titled: "Optimal Replicator Dynamic Controller via Load Balancing and Neural Dynamics for Semi-Active Vibration Control of Isolated Highway Bridge Structures"

Check out more information at the online conference program.



Research presentation

2019 Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference at Caltech

Congratulations to Alejandro Palacio Betancur on presenting his poster on Real-Time Hybrid Simulation of Structures, and,

Congratulations to Alvaro Javier Florez on presenting on a Model Free Adaptive Control Method for Vibration Control of Base-isolated Structures.

Dr. Gutierrez Soto served as Chair for the MS62: Complex Dynamics and Vibration Control of Structures under Single/Multiple Hazards session.

Check out their talks at online conference program and book of abstracts.



Professional Development


SimCenter at University of California - Berkeley

This summer Alejandro Palacio-Betancur and Sajad Javadinasab-Homorzabad attended a 2-day training of SimCenter, which is part of the NHERI DesignSafe-CI facilities. With support from the National Science Foundation, the SimCenter granted a travel stipend to attend!

The two-day workshop on natural hazard engineering was hosted by SimCenter, the NSF-funded center that provides next-generation computational modeling and simulation software tools for natural hazards engineering research community. The workshop was focused on introducing and working with simulation tools developed by SimCenter. The tools are developed for both educational and research purposes. The educational tools include Multiple Degrees of Freedom (MDOF), Pile Group, Earthquake versus Wind, and Braced Frame Modeling tools.

On the other hand, the research applications facilitate basic and advanced modeling, analysis and simulation of some types of natural hazards including windstorms, storm surge, tsunamis, and earthquakes. Uncertainty quantification (UQ), loss estimation, and optimization concepts play the key role in these applications. The research tools include Earthquake Engineering - Uncertainty Quantification (EE-UQ) Application, Uncertainty Quantification Finite Element (uqFEM) Application, Computational Wind Engineering - Uncertainty Quantification (CWE-UQ) Application, Performance Based Engineering (PBE) Application, and Regional Earthquake Workflow.

SimCenter is currently developing the simulation tools based on the natural hazard engineering community needs and therefore any required simulation feature can be suggested and included in the software packages. The software packages use separate tools for different parts of the workflow. OpenSees is the major tool for finite element structural analyses and other open source tools are also employed to perform uncertainty quantifications as well as damage and loss analyses. The applications are capable of simulating the impact of natural hazards on structures, lifelines, and communities. The consequential costs and losses due to a natural hazard can be estimated in both small scale (a single building) and large scale (a region including millions of buildings) problems.

More information about the SimCenter can be found here

Poster presentation


UK Undergraduate Research

Congratulations to Morgan Baumann and Chistopher Wheatley for presenting their research on origami-inspired additive manufacturing of buildings during the 2019 University of Kentucky Scholars event.

More information can be found here.



Research presentation

2019 SPIE Smart Structures + Nondestructive Evaluation

Congratulations to Brandon Enbody on presenting his paper on bioreplication, and,

Congratulations to Amanda Bellamy on presenting her paper on origami-inspired facades.

Dr. Gutierrez Soto served as Chair for the Energy Harvesting session.

Check out their talks at online conference program and conference proceedings.



On the ground

Damage assessment of structural damage due to Hurricane Harvey

A group of wind engineering investigators including Prof. Gutierrez Soto surveyed and performed damage assessment of residential buildings that suffered from Hurricane Harvey in Port Aransas, TX.

Check out the online news articles:

University of Kentucky UK Now

Check out the local TV news webstory:

Local TV news


The New Faces of Engineering

Dr. Gutierrez Soto was recently interviewed by the Diversity in STEAM magazine!

Check out the article online at:

Diversity in STEAM


Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference

A group of most influential engineering investigators gather at the ASCE EMI conference each year. The 2018 annual conference took place at the MIT campus.

Check the 2018EMI conference site for more information


UK Undergraduate Research

A group of most aspiring engineering innovators gather at the UK Youngs Library to present research findings each year.

Congratulations Caylee, Alex, Chris and Brandon on their poster presentations!

Department of Civil Engineering

Congratulations Class 2020 

Congratulations to my graduate students on achieving this milestone as MSCE class of 2020. We learned so much from you during the discovery journey as part of the Smart Structures team. You all did it! The best is yet to come!

Amanda Melendez successfully defended her M.S. Thesis titled: "Holistic Resilience Quantification Framework of Rural Communities"

Alejandro Palacio Betancur successfully defended his M.S. Thesis titled: "Adaptive tracking controller for Real-Time Hybrid Simulation"

Congratulations to our alumni of the Smart Structures lab and recent M.S. Civil Engineering graduates:

  • Amanda Bellamy
  • Amanda Melendez
  • Alejandro Palacio Betancur
  • Prethesha Alagusundaramoorthy