2021 Outstanding Student Thesis Awards

The Masonry Society’s Research Committee presented the 2021 Outstanding Masters Thesis and 2021 Outstanding PhD Dissertation awards during it’s Annual Meeting on October 14, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee.


2021 Outstanding Masters Thesis

Karren Izquierdo, University of Alberta
for Statistical Prediction Methods for the In-Plane Shear Strength of Partially Grouted Masonry Walls
under the direction of Dr. Carlos Cruz-Noguez

Izquierdo’s thesis discusses the complexity of the behaviour of partially grouted masonry shear walls due to their anisotropic nature and the nonlinear interactions between blocks, mortar, grouted cells, ungrouted cells and steel reinforcement. Currently available code- and research-based shear strength equations give highly variable results when predicting the in-plane shear strength of partially grouted masonry. It is crucial to develop a greater understanding in this area, as sudden shear failures of masonry walls can lead to catastrophic losses of human life and property. This study presents the development of several new in-plane shear strength models for partially grouted masonry walls using stepwise regression and model trees.


2021 Outstanding PhD Dissertation

Larisa Garcia-Ramonda, Universitat Politècnica de Cataluya
for Seismic Retrofit of Masonry with Innovative Materials for Strengthening and Repair
under the direction of Dr. Pere Roca Fabregat and Dr. Luca Pelà

Garcia-Ramonda’s dissertation presents an extensive experimental programme on masonry walls composed of handmade clay bricks and low strength lime-based mortar, a recurrent typology for historical buildings. The main aim of the experimental campaign was to deepen the understanding of the in-plane behaviour of strengthened masonry and to accurately capture the global and local response of strengthened masonry walls, emphasizing on the identification of damage levels and the influence of different configurations of TRM strengthening solutions on the in-plane response.


The Masonry Society’s Student Thesis Awards are presented annually by its Research Committee to the best doctoral dissertation and master’s thesis on masonry topics.

For 2022, Masters theses or reports will be considered that were submitted for degree requirements between May 16, 2021 and June 1, 2022.  Masters reports must be publicly available (referenceable) to be eligible.

For 2022, Ph.D. dissertations that are submitted for degree requirements between June 1, 2020 and May 31st, 2022 are eligible for this award. Ph.D. dissertations previously sent to TMS for award selection and that meet the current Ph.D. completion date requirements, are still eligible and will be automatically considered without the need for resubmittal.

Theses must be submitted to the TMS office no later than June 1st of the award year. Electronic submission of theses in PDF format is strongly encouraged.

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