Faculty
John Ochsendorf, Co-Director

Professor
Department of Architecture
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

John Ochsendorf is a structural engineer with multi-disciplinary research interests including structural design, masonry mechanics, engineering history, and sustainability. Trained in structural engineering at Cornell, Princeton, and the University of Cambridge, he conducts research on the assessment of existing structures and the design of new structures. In addition to his academic work, he is a founding partner at the structural engineering consultancy Ochsendorf DeJong & Block, LLC.


Caitlin Mueller, Co-Director

Assistant Professor
Department of Architecture

Caitlin Mueller is a researcher, designer, and educator working at the interface of architecture and structural engineering. She leads the Digital Structures research group at MIT in addition to co-directing the Structural Design Lab. Caitlin focuses on developing new computational methods and tools for synthesizing architectural and structural intentions in early-stage design. She also works in the field of digital fabrication, with a focus on linking high structural performance with new methods of architectural making. In addition to her digital work, she conducts research on the nature of collaboration between architects and engineers from a historical perspective. Educated at MIT and Stanford, Caitlin holds degrees in architecture, structural engineering, and computation.



Researchers
Corentin Fivet

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Department of Architecture

Corentin holds a master in Architectural Engineering and a PhD in Engineering Sciences from the UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. His main interests are at the intersection of architecture and structural engineering, with a greater focus on the development of innovative and historical graphical tools for structural design. During his PhD at the Structures and Technologies research unit, he developed Constraint-Based Graphic Statics, a computerized environment for interactive structural design for which he was awarded the IASS Hangai Prize. He also had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant in a number of architectural design studios and has been invited as a member of various studio juries. He was recently awarded a BAEF Honorary Membership, a WBI Grant of Excellence and a FSR Grant Extension that allow him to pursue a one-year post-doctoral fellowship in the Structural Design Lab at MIT.

Ornella Iuorio

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Department of Architecture

Ornella Iuorio is a researcher and designer interested in innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration between architecture, structural engineering, and environment. Ornella’s main research topic is innovative materials and systems, focusing on the improvement of light-weight steel structures for applications in seismic prone areas. She also works in sustainable design, developing low embodied-carbon and self-efficient constructions. Currently, her Post-Doctoral research project is "Smart retrofit for resilient historical cities". She will develop this work in resiliency at the MIT Structural Design Lab and at SUTD’s Architecture and Sustainable Design School. Ornella acquired significant teaching experience as a part-time professor in a number of design studios and lecturing in structural engineering and light-weight steel constructions. Educated at Federico II University in Naples and G. D’Annunzio University in Chieti-Pescara she holds degrees in Architecture and Structural Engineering.

James Coleman

Research Associate
Department of Architecture, MIT-SUTD Collaboration

James Coleman founded the design group ParaPractice in 2009, and is involved in projects as a digital design specialist and technical consultant. He couples his architectural and mechanical engineering education with an expertise in digital fabrication. As a former construction manager/entrepreneur James holds a cross disciplinary interest in the making and manufacturing process.



Graduate Students
Catherine De Wolf

Ph.D. Candidate
Building Technology Program in the Department of Architecture

Catherine De Wolf holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering and Architecture at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, where she did a thesis on Life Cycle Design interactions between buildings, components and materials. She studied vaults and arch bridges at Cambridge University, UK, for the European Summer School on Construction History. Currently, she is studying structural material quantities and their environmental impact, within the embodied carbon research team in the Building Technology lab.

Hijung Valentina Shin

Ph.D. Candidate
Computer Graphics Group in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Valentina's current research focuses on developing novel methods to analyze the equilibrium of masonry structures, and interactive visualization tools to assist users to explore and understand the analysis results. Prior to coming to MIT, she received her B.S.E from Princeton University, where she worked with Thomas Funkhouser on the Griphos Project. To learn more about her work, please visit her personal website.

Benjamin Jenett

S.M. Student
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Benjamin earned his undergraduate degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley, and has studied structural engineering at TU Delft. He has worked in both fields, as well as being employed as project manager at Ball Nogues studio, an integrated design and fabrication practice operating in a territory between architecture, art, and industrial design. His current research includes grid shells, deployable structures, and materialization of topologically optimized structures.

William Plunkett

S.M. Student
Building Technology Program in the Department of Architecture

William earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Princeton University in the Architecture and Structural Engineering Program and completed coursework in architecture at Cornell University and University of Texas at Austin. He also worked in professional practice for several years with AECOM. William's research focuses on the relationship between the performance of existing structures and structural design.


Alumni

Rory Clune

  • Ph.D., 2013
    M.S., 2010
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Ph.D. Thesis: Algorithm Selection in Structural Optimization
    M.S. Thesis: Explorative Structural Design

  • Post-MIT: consultant at McKinsey & Company.

Virginie Arnaud

  • Master of Engineering, 2013
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Thesis: Quantifying Architects’ and Engineers’ Use of Structural Design Software

  • Post-MIT: structural engineer at Thornton Tomasetti.

Trevor Bertin

  • Master of Engineering, 2013
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Thesis: Evaluating the Use of Particle-Spring Systems in the Conceptual Design of Grid Shell Structures

Romain Mesnil

  • Master of Engineering, 2013
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Thesis: Stability of Elastic Grid Shells

Samar Malek

  • Ph.D., 2012
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Thesis: The Effect of Geometry and Topology on the Mechanics of Grid Shells

  • Post-MIT: Assistant Professor at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Brooke Goodman

  • Master of Engineering, 2012
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Thesis: Effectiveness of Bridge Design Competitions in the United States (1989-1998)

Daniel Green

  • Visiting Student, 2011
    Cambridge University

Alex Jordan

  • Bachelor of Science, 2011
    Department of Architecture
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Thesis: Designing for Forces: An Early-Stage Design Program for Axial-Force Structures

  • Post-MIT: graduate student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University.

Dario Parigi

  • Visiting Student, 2010
    Politecnico di Torino

Michael Shearer

  • Master of Engineering, 2010
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Thesis: Analyzing and Creating Forms: Rapid Generation of Graphic Statics Solutions Through RhinoScript

  • Post-MIT: Design Engineer at ARUP in Boston.

Philippe Block

  • Ph.D., 2009
    MS in Architectural Studies, 2005
    Building Technology Program in the Department of Architecture

  • Ph.D. Thesis: Thrust Network Analysis: Exploring Three-dimensional Equilibrium
    SMArchS Thesis: Equilibrium systems: Studies in Masonry Structure

  • Post-MIT: Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering and Architecture at ETH-Zurich.

Lonneke Tiggeler

  • Visiting Student, 2007
    Technische Universiteit Delft

Axel Kilian

  • Ph.D., 2006
    Design and Computation Program in the Department of Architecture

  • Thesis: Design Exploration through Bidirectional Modeling of Constraints

  • Post-MIT: Assistant Professor of Architecture at Princeton University.

Collaborators
Jerome Connor

Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Professor Connor's areas of specialization include computational mechanics, structural analysis, motion based structural design, and novel design methodologies for structural systems. In his nearly fifty years as a faculty member at MIT, he has taught courses in the fields of computational mechanics and structural engineering, and has been active in research. He also directs the High-Performance Structures Master of Engineering program. He is a registered professional structural engineer in Massachusetts and has received numerous awards and honours in the field of numerical structural mechanics. He is also the principal author of many books and served as an editor for numerous proceedings, as well as published an extensive list of technical papers.

Edward Allen

Architect, Structural Designer, Author
Boston Structures Group

Ed is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a recipient of the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education. He has taught at the University of Oregon, Yale University, University of California - San Diego, Montana State University, Liverpool University, University of Washington, and MIT. He is the designer of more than 50 constructed buildings. His books are read and used in universities and professional offices throughout the world.

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