International Engineering graduate students receive Alan G. Davenport Award

By Agnes Chick | September 13, 2011

Sunwei Li and Mohammad Abrar Alam Khan are the first two recipients of the revised Alan G. Davenport Award.

Civil Engineering PhD student Sunwei Li was the first recipient of the award in May 2011. An international student from China, Li completed his bachelor's degree in civil engineering at Tsinghua University and a master’s degree in wind engineering at Tongji University before arriving at Western in 2008.

Li is currently pursuing his PhD in the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory in hopes of becoming a researcher in wind engineering. His research focuses on the wind field characteristics within the hurricane boundary layer, a critical component since most human structures are constructed within this layer. Li is also interested in wind resistance structure design in hurricane-prone region and numerical stimulation on atmospheric wind.

“The most important influence of this award is the encouragement it provided me to carry on my research on hurricane wind,” says Li, who feels his research will benefit structural engineers responsible for building designs in hurricane-prone regions. “It was such an honour to receive an award named after the most distinguished researcher in the wind engineering field to recognize the work I have done.”

Khan, a Civil & Environmental Engineering MESc candidate and second recipient of the revised Alan G. Davenport Award, received his bachelor of science in civil engineering at the Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology before coming to Western to pursue his graduate studies in 2010.

Khan is also conducting his research initiatives at the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory, with particular interest in wind loads on low-rise buildings and wind-induced responses to slender structures.

As part of the Three Little Pigs Project at the Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes, Khan’s research will help develop a model or method for predicting the failure propagation pattern of the roof to wall toe-nail connections during extreme wind events. This knowledge may be useful to improve two-storey residential building code and to help improve the safety of low rise houses.

“I am really delighted to receive this award,” says Khan, a member of the Alan G. Davenport Engineering Group. “The award is a measure of the importance of the current research. This achievement will inspire me to do some original research which will be fruitful to the entire society.”

The Alan G. Davenport Award is given to a full-time graduate student conducting research in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Alan G. Davenport Wind Tunnel Program, based on academic achievement. Preference will be given to an international student, particularly if he/she is from a developing country. Students must submit a one-page essay describing their background and reason for pursuing graduate studies.

The revised award became effective May 2010 and was established by family and friends of the late Dr. Alan Garnet Davenport.

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