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CCEE Ph.D. student Aakriti Khadka tapped for ACI fellowship

CCEE Ph.D. student Aakriti Khadka was selected for the Anne K. & Cecil L. Jones Carolinas Fellowship from the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit subsidiary of ACI that promotes progress, innovation and collaboration in the concrete industry through strategic investments in ideas, research and people to create the future of the concrete industry.

All fellowship recipients receive a $10,000 educational stipend; paid travel expenses and attendance fees to two ACI conventions; and assistance in finding an industry mentor. Khadka, who is advised by CCEE Assistant Professor Giorgio Proestos, was one of 29 students across 35 institutions to receive a fellowship. 

Khadka said she felt “very grateful and fortunate” to be recognized as a fellow.

“Having dedicated my career to concrete structures, I have closely followed and valued ACI as an important platform bringing together people from industry and academia and connecting it to students like us,” Khadka said. “I am looking forward to the invaluable networking and professional development opportunities by attending the next conventions. It will be great to connect to students and leaders with similar goals.”

Khadka’s research goal is to determine the safety of the existing reinforced concrete structures. Her work focuses on finding the remaining capacity by understanding the shear transfer mechanism and by utilizing information from the cracks in the concrete structures. 

“For my Ph.D. thesis, I am looking specifically at developing a crack-based assessment method for evaluating capacity of shear-critical reinforced concrete slender beams,” she explained.

Khadka, who is a member of engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi, has worked as an instructor for the lab portion of CE 332 Material in Construction and a TA for CE 327 Reinforced Concrete Design. She has also helped introduce structural engineering to high school students through NC State’s Catalyst Program, 

“It is so refreshing to witness the excitement of the students for their first-ever concrete mixing experiences and I also enjoy providing real-life applications during my interactions,” Khadka said.