College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Int’l students receive fellowships in honor of Greimann, former CCEE chair

Mohammed Abdellatef, PhD candidate in structural engineering

The Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (CCEE) recognizes two students and honors a former department chair with the inaugural Lowell Greimann Graduate Fellowships. The $5,000 educational assistance award supports exceptional CCEE department graduate students who focus on structural engineering.

One recipient is Mohammed Abdellatef, a first-year civil engineering PhD candidate born in Alexandria, Egypt. Before coming to Iowa State, he earned a MS in civil engineering at Washington State University. Today, he follows his parents’ career footsteps. “I was encouraged by my parents to specialize in civil engineering, especially structural, because both of them are working structural engineers,” he says.

Under the direction of Institute for Transportation’s Director II Brent Phares, Abdellatef develops structural health monitoring systems and algorithms to estimate remaining usefulness in bridges. He says that his research aims to reduce cost and effort of regular bridge inspection and ultimately reduce risk of sudden bridge collapse.

Maryam Nazari, PhD candidate in structural engineering

The other inaugural Greimann Graduate Fellow is Maryam Nazari, also a first-year PhD candidate in structural engineering. Before arriving at Iowa State in January 2012, Nazari grew up in Iran and earned a Master’s degree in earthquake engineering at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran.

After four years working as a professional earthquake engineer in Iran, she chose Iowa State to pursue a doctorate degree to further research earthquake engineering methods. “After searching for different universities in the U.S., Iowa State was highly recommended for its excellent faculty, research-oriented programs and state-of-the-art research facilities,” Nazari says.

At Iowa State, she works under the direction of Wilson Engineering Professor Sri Sritharan to develop seismic-resilient buildings that reduce damage caused by earthquakes and subsequent economic losses. Part of her research experience is conducting shake table tests to simulate earthquake effects on buildings.

Lowell Greimann, CCEE professor emeritus and former chair

The fellowship is named in honor of Lowell Greimann, a CCEE emeritus professor who served from 1973 to 2005 and specialized in structural engineering. He served as CCEE department chair from 1990 through 2005, establishing invaluable alumni support. During his faculty tenure, Greimann also was structural engineering division leader, associate manager of the Bridge Engineering Center and associate department chair of CCEE. He also received several awards, including the ISU Alumni Association Award for Superior Service to Alumni and College of Engineering D. R. Boylan Eminent Faculty Award for Research. Greimann received his BS in civil engineering from Iowa State University in 1964. He later pursued MS and PhD degrees at University of Colorado-Boulder in 1966 and 1968, respectively.