The Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) Foundation announced that the $10,000 SOM 2013 Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship has been awarded toYao Xiao, who in April received her Master of Science Degree in Structural Engineering from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. In addition to her academic course work for which Prof. Gregory Deierlein served as her Advisor, Yao participated with a student team in the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in 2012, and worked with Prof. Calvin Kam as a Research Assistant at the Center for Integrated Facility Engineering, evaluating the BIM/VDC performance of various building projects. This research contributed to her knowledge of construction technologies, including pre-fabrication, and inspired her to seek optimization techniques and efficiency in structural design to improve project efficiency and cost. Yao’s Stanford research experience influenced her choice of research topic for her SOM Foundation Fellowship.
Based on her winning essay, "Repetition and Modularity in Structural Design," Xiao will utilize her fellowship to research examples of notable buildings and structures which, "…demonstrate the critical architectural, structural and construction techniques of modular repetition which differentiates the selected structures from the typical.” In seeking to answer the question, "What design choices make the difference in promoting elegance, efficiency and economy?", Yao will travel to project locations inSouth America, Asia and Europe to conduct a focused study of selected projects which demonstrate the aesthetic influence of repetitive modules toward structure, space and the surrounding environment; the flexibility and innovative functions brought by modular design; and the benefits and issues associated with constructability.
Having grown up in Beijing, China, Yao attended the Illinois Institute of Technology, in Chicago, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering Degree, Magna Cum Laude, in May 2011. While at IIT, she was an Architectural Summer Intern in 2009 at the China Architecture Design and Research Group where she participated in the Conceptual Design Phase of the Hainan International Convention and Exhibition Center.
The SOM Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship is awarded annuallythrough a national competition. In January 2013, the SOM Foundation received portfolio submissions from students at US schools having an accredited program in civil and structural engineering. The submissions were judged on the quality of the design portfolios, research proposals and travel itineraries.
-- Source: architects24.com. "Winner of the 2013 SOM Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship." Web.