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Infrastructure Technology Institute

Student of the Year: Ivan Vlahinich


Civil Engineering senior Alex Stack marks where he will weld a strain gage to the bridge mockup.

Ivan Vlahinich is a Ph.D, candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University. His studies and research focus on the behavior of cement-based and other heterogeneous materials, and he works with ITI researchers Professors Hamlin Jennings and Jeffrey Thomas on the chemical and microstructural properties of cement.

Ivan earned his B.S. in civil engineering at Columbia University, graduating magna cum laude in 2003. During and after his undergraduate studies, he worked as a civil engineer in design and construction in the U.S. and abroad.

ITI has selected Ivan because of his important research achievements. He has developed a new mathematical formulation to describe the dimensional changes of a porous body during drying, as the water or other fluid evaporates from the pores. This is important theoretical work in the field of poromechanics and geomechanics with immediate practical implications to shrinkage of concrete. Ivan’s model has been verified using data from both cement paste and porous glass, and he is lead author of a paper describing this work, recently accepted for the Mechanics of Materials journal. Ivan expects to complete his Ph.D. in 2010. His thesis is titled “Mechanical performance cement-based and other heterogeneous materials: approach based on
granular microstructure.”