November 23, 2020
Hometown: Tieling, Liaoning Province, China
Advisor: Dr. Eric M. Lui
Growing up in Mainland China and observing many mega infrastructures and skyscrapers growth, Tie Zheng found himself fascinated with civil engineering. The enormously devastating earthquakes all over the world arose him to be a structural engineer to design structures protecting people from similar disasters. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, Tie Zheng decided to start his PhD study in Syracuse University specializing in structural engineering. The main reason attracting him to SU was Dr. Eric Lui’s research interests and reputation as one of the world-class experts especially in steel structures and structural stability. From day one, Zheng felt warmly welcome at SU as professors and staff were approachable and always willing to help.
“I made the right choice”, says Tie as he reflects on the wide range of achievements he gained in the program – from learning advanced theoretical concepts, having a lot of teaching experience, exercising computer programming to effective communication.
Now as a fourth year PhD candidate, Zheng works on his PhD research under Dr. Lui’s direction to conceptualize and study a new energy dissipative device. Originating from the idea of snap-through behavior, the device is mainly made of helical steel springs and rigid members arranged in a certain pattern. Under an external excitation, the device, as part of the structural system, will exhibit nonlinear snap-through and snap-back behavior to dissipate energy. The thought of combining programming and structural analysis has always been in Zheng’s mind, Therefore, he added a new material within OpenSEES framework using Language C++ to represent the snap through behavior. Such creation makes it possible to simplify the model building and reduce the running time greatly.
During his time at SU, Zheng also served as a teaching assistant in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Physics Department, a teaching mentor in 2018 and 2019 Teaching Assistant Orientation Programs, and participated in the Graduate School Future Professoriate Program. These experiences helped him become a confident and effective communicator. His stellar technical and communication skills have already put him on the path of a fulfilling career. As a structural EIT at GM Consultants LLC over the Summer and Fall 2020 semesters, he helps support integration of the construction work being performed at 270 Park Avenue, Manhattan and associated with MTA C&D’s East Side Access construction project. In addition to structural design work, he also helps facilitate design review and reviews submissions and schedules.
In his free time, Zheng likes cooking pastry referring to different recipes, like mooncakes, brownie, cheesecake, mousse, cupcakes, etc. Zheng also does meditation and enjoys jogging and yoga.