The Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) Foundation has announced that the $10,000 SOM 2011 Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship has been awarded to Ashley Thrall, who will receive her PhD this month from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University, where she has also received an Master in Arts in 2009 and a Master of Science in Engineering in 2008.
Working with Professors Sigrid Adriaenssens, Maria Garlock, and David Billington, her PhD research has focused on improving the sustainability of movable bridges by generating new forms that integrate the structural and mechanical systems. Based on her essay submitted for fellowship consideration, ‘Deployable Structures: Elegant Kinematics for Social Responsibility’, Ashley will utilise her fellowship to continue her interest in kinematic structures by studying the application of deployable structures for disaster relief.
Her itinerary will include: visiting the site of a recent disaster; meeting designers at research centers and design firms; and evaluating deployable structures through site visits. Ashley will begin her itinerary in Haiti, at the site of the recent earthquake, and then will proceed to study deployable structures in the United States and throughout Europe.