Zahra Heidary is a PhD student in the Civil Engineering Department. Zahra worked as a full time trainee in an engineering company which does structural design and computer modeling. Since January 2010, she has been working with Dr. Ozevin in the field of nondestructive testing of civil structures. Her PhD research focuses on developing numerical methods to enhance traditional acoustic emission techniques and transform the practice of damage detection by providing efficient real-time continuous monitoring of the safety of civil structures. In addition to her PhD research, she completed an independent study on the crack detection in orthotropic bridge decks using acoustic emission.
Zahra received a Graduate Student Fellowship award for the 2012 NSF CMMI engineering research conference and selected as a winner of the UIC student research forum competition. Her long term research goal is to extend her research on the analysis of fracture mechanics using tools from wave propagation theory, finite element analysis, signal processing and gradually move towards probability theory and quantitative understanding of uncertainly and risk of engineering applications, which will lead to more accurate assessment and use of the engineering characteristics and potentials of materials, sites, and processes. Her ultimate career goal is to conduct independent research to be one of the pioneers in the field of wave propagation approach for damage detection in structures.