Carnegie Mellon's Ricardo Taborda Receives
Prestigious Alumni Award from Alma Mater
PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Ricardo Taborda received the 2009 Excellence in Civil Engineering Award on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from his alma mater EAFIT University in Medellin, Colombia.
"This is a tremendous honor to receive this award because it represents a culmination of both academic and community-oriented work," said Taborda, a Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Taborda, who accepted the award via a special virtual video, received his alma mater's highest alumni honor in civil engineering for his leadership and impact on the overall development of Colombia and Latin America.
"Ricardo is an outstanding researcher and student whose attention to detail and enthusiasm for his work are intrinsic qualities for his latest accolade," said Jacobo Bielak, a University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a member of the Mexican Academy of Engineering. Bielak recently gave a keynote lecture at the Engineering College at EAFIT University in Colombia. "I am proud to have him as a team member as we develop important computer simulations that play an important role in reducing earthquake risk for large urban regions."
"We in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon are very proud of Ricardo Taborda. We offer a world-class, internationally recognized engineering program, and it is excellent students like Ricardo who most effectively illustrate the strengths of our programs and who become our great ambassadors," said James H. Garrett Jr., head of Carnegie Mellon's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Taborda feels right at home at Carnegie Mellon because of the collaborative nature of the university. "I enjoy my research at Carnegie Mellon, where I've been able to stretch my scientific and engineering expertise," he said.
The energetic civil engineer earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 2000 from EAFIT University in Colombia and a master's degree in structural engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2003. He earned a second master's degree in civil engineering with an emphasis on structural mechanics in 2005 from the University of Southern California.
Taborda works with Bielak and a team of researchers from the University of California and the University of Texas to create large models of earthquake-prone areas to simulate how earthquakes behave and impact buildings.
In addition to his latest alumni award, Taborda was recently awarded a Bertucci Graduate Fellowship at Carnegie Mellon. He also was a member of the 2008 Carnegie Mellon engineering research team that won first place in the First Annual Graphics Competition sponsored by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.
Watch Taborda discuss the award and his research at Carnegie Mellon at http://wms.andrew.cmu.edu:81/nmvideo/Ricardo_interview2.mov.
Pictured above is Ricardo Taborda, a Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.