Ann Sychterz

 Ann Sychterz
Ann Sychterz
(217) 244-6148
2122 Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg

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Education

  • Ph.D, Civil Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, 2018
  • M.A.Sc, Civil Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada, 2014
  • B.A.Sc, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada, 2012

Biography

Ann Sychterz(SICK-tesh) obtained her PhD in 2018 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) addressing the novel use of control algorithms, statistical diagnostic tools, and real-time feedback on a full-scale tensegrity structure to enable smooth deployability, damage detection, adaptation, and learning. During her masters of applied science obtained in 2014 at the University of Waterloo, she built full-scale aluminum pedestrian bridges for vibration characterization and control. She completed a postdoctoral position at the University of Michigan on actuator optimization of adaptive origami structures. With her team at SMARTI lab at the University of Illinois, they harness geometrically nonlinear systems, such as tensegrity structures and origami, for adaptive civil infrastructure. She is a faculty fellow of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and a faculty affiliate of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology in the Autonomous Materials Systems group. She is an active member of the Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) in working group 15: Structural Morphology.

Ann has had industry experience in design firms such as civil and mechanical engineering at Walterfedy in Kitchener, Canada and structural engineering at MMM Group in Toronto, Canada. These large-scale interdisciplinary projects -- such as Conestoga College and St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton -- were focused on sustainable design and LEED certification. During her undergraduate degree, she was a captain of the UW student team for the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race and also served as a mentor for the concrete canoe and ASCE steel bridge student teams.

Academic Positions

  • Faculty Fellow, ORMIR, Gies College of Business, 08/2021 - Present
  • Levenick Sustainable Teaching Fellow, Institute for Sustainability Energy and Environment, 02/2021 - Present
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Civil Engineering, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, 02/2019 - 12/2019
  • Faculty Fellow, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois, 07/2020 - Present
  • Faculty Affiliate, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois, 10/2020 - Present
  • Faculty Affiliate, Mechanical Science and Engineering, 08/2022 - Present
  • Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 01/2020 - Present

Teaching Statement

Students should be encouraged at every stage of their academic career to explore both short term and long term targets. Maintaining a balance of theory and application will give the students the scientific tools they require and the vision how to use them in real life. Having a diverse work experience and exciting large-scale research projects have enabled me to give the students real life motivation for the lab and analytical work they conduct.

Resident Instruction

  • CEE 595 SRS - Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Systems Program seminar coordinator
  • CEE 498 ST - Theory and Creation of Structure
  • CEE 467 - Masonry Structures
  • CEE 465 - Design of Structural Systems

Course Development

  • CEE 498 - Theory and Creation of Structure
  • CEE 467 - Design of Masonry Structures

Student Organizations

  • Illini Swing Society
  • Society of Women Engineers

Design Teams

  • University of Waterloo Concrete Canoe Team, Graduate Mentor
  • University of Waterloo Concrete Toboggan Team, Graduate Mentor
  • University of Waterloo Steel Bridge Competition, Graduate Mentor
  • Masonry Arch Design Team, Faculty Advisor
  • UIUC Concrete Canoe Team, Faculty Technical Advisor
  • Illinois Solar Decathlon, Structures Faculty Advisor
  • UIUC Steel Bridge Team, Faculty Technical Advisor

Other Undergraduate Advising Activities

  • Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) summer camp, summer 2020, created and taught module "Self-Balancing Structures" for pre-college students

Research Statement

A manifestation of sustainability in infrastructure is the reduction of embodied energy and energy required in the manufacturing process. Adaptive structures show promise to address challenges for structures currently being overdesigned and unmodifiable our ever-changing environment. Emerging technologies for civil engineering structures combine sensing with real-time active feedback control which includes form-finding methods, structural dynamics, statistical diagnostic tools, sensor placement optimization, robotics, and multi-scale experimental testing. This work combines structural engineering with mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and architecture for experimental and analytical research to develop active control adaptive systems for civil infrastructure.

Research Interests

  • Optimized sensor placement for civil structures
  • Structural dynamics
  • Form-finding methods
  • Machine learning and robotics for civil structures
  • Damage mitigation and risk assessment in large-scale structures
  • Adaptive and deployable structures

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Capretta, E., Hummad, K., and Sychterz, A.C. "Analytical and experimental testing for increased shear plane of deployable geosystems for coastal stabilization" Engineering Mechanics Institute conference 2024, Chicago, United States. 1--8
  • Baruah, A.C. and Sychterz, A.C. "Optimizing sensor placement for characterization and control of a meter-scale origami pill-bug structure" Engineering Mechanics Institute conference 2024, Chicago, United States. 1--4
  • Paul, S. and Sychterz A.C."Non-linear modelling of multi-layered randomized architected material (MLRAM) under tensile loading for a tensegrity structure" Engineering Mechanics Institute conference 2024, Chicago, United States. 1--4
  • Sychterz, A.C. "Stability of a deployable awns on a compliant steel geosystem for nonlinear soil-structure interaction", American Institute for Steel Construction NASCC 2024 Structural Stability Research Council, San Antonio, United States. 1--8
  • Tucker, K. and Sychterz A.C. "Comparison of biologically inspired functionally-graded deployable geosystems with experimental measurements", Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium, Melbourne, Australia, 2023
  • Baruah A.C. and Sychterz A.C. ''Damage detection of cable-actuated origami structure using dynamic relaxation'', Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference 2022, Baltimore, Maryland. 1--4
  • Paul, S. and Sychterz, A.C. "Robustness of Multilayered Random-network Architected Material through Experimental Testing", ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference 2022, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 1--4
  • Grendzinski, M. and Sychterz, A.C. "Characterization of Torque-Driven Underground Compliant Structures Using Pushover Analysis", Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference 2022, Baltimore, Maryland. 1--4
  • Torres, J.A. and Sychterz, A.C. "Virtual Reality as a Vehicle for Education in the Domains of Building Systems", American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition 2022, Minneapolis, MN. 1--8
  • Tucker, K and Sychterz, A.C. "Analyzing Geosystems with Deployable Compliant Mechanisms for Enhanced Tension Capacity", Canadian Society of Civil Engineers Annual Conference 2022, Whistler, British Columbia. 1--8
  • Sychterz, A.C. "Adaptive Aluminum Tensegrity Structure as a Bike Parking Canopy", 5th International Conference on Structures & Architecture, Aalborg, 2022, 1--8.
  • Paul, S. and Sychterz A.C. “A Computational Analysis for an Adaptive Tensegrity-based Four-Module Roof Structure”, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Conference 2021, 1—9.
  • Baruah, A.C. and Sychterz A.C. “Pill-bug inspired adaptive origami tuned-mass dampers”, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Conference 2021, 1—8.
  • Gathman, H and Sychterz A.C. “Analysis of full-scale plate-based tensegrity structure using dynamic relaxation”, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Conference 2021, 1—8.
  • Paul, S. and Sychterz A.C. “Dynamic Characterization of an Adaptive Tensegrity-based Four-Module Roof Structure”, Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium, Surrey, UK, 2021, 1—10.
  • Baruah, A.C. and Sychterz A.C. “Active control of 3D printed pill-bug inspired adaptive origami”, Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium, Surrey, UK, 2021, 1—10.
  • Gathman, H and Sychterz A.C. “Full-scale plate-based tensegrity bike parking canopy”, Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium, Surrey, UK, 2021, 1—10.
  • Sychterz A.C. and Smith, I.F.C., Path-finding for deployment and midspan connection of a tensegrity structure, Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium, Boston, United States, 2018.
  • Sychterz, A.C and Smith I.F.C., Dynamic effects of cable rupture in a tensegrity structure, Fourth conference on Smart Monitoring, Assessment and Rehabilitation of Civil Structures, Zürich, Switzerland, 2017, 1—8.
  • Sychterz, A.C. and Smith, I.F.C., Towards biomimetic actuation for a deployable structure, Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium, Tokyo, Japan, 2016, 1—9.
  • Sychterz, A.C. and Smith, I.F.C., Shape control for self-stress following deployment of a tensegrity footbridge, 24th International Workshop on Intelligent Computing in Engineering, Krakow, Poland, 2016, 1—11.
  • Sychterz, A.C., Dalil Safaei, S., and Smith, I.F.C., Friction modeling of a deployable tensegrity footbridge, Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2015, 1—11.
  • Sychterz, A.C., Narasimhan, S., and Walbridge, S., A study on modal characterization and dynamic analysis of two aluminium pedestrian bridges in Québec, INALCO 2013 Conference Proceedings Montreal, Canada, 2013.
  • Sychterz A.C., Sadhu, A., Narasimhan, S., and Walbridge, S., Results from Modal Testing of the Daigneault Creek Bridge, CSCE 2013 General Conference Proceedings, Montreal, Canada, 2013.

Pending Articles

  • Forster, D, Paul, S, Bischoff, M, and Sychterz, A.C. Structural Assessment of Architected Material Using the Redundancy Matrix and Experimental Testing. Journal of Applied Mechanics, (In review)
  • Baruah, A.C. and Sychterz A.C. Dynamic Characterization of Meter-Scale Adaptive Origami Structure, Journal of Structural Engineering, (In review)
  • Tucker, K. and Sychterz A.C. Analyzing Geosystems with Deployable Compliant Mechanisms for Enhanced Tension Capacity, Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures, (In review)
  • Torres, J, Bejjarapu, D, Uihlein, M, Henschen, J, Shaffer, E., Garg, N, and Sychterz, A.C., Virtual Reality as a Vehicle for Education in the Domains of Building Systems and Construction Materials, Journal of Civil Engineering Education, (In review)

Magazine Articles

Journal Editorships

  • Guest Editor, ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering
  • Guest Editor, Frontiers in Built Environment: Structural Sensing

Conferences Organized or Chaired

  • Illinois Structural Engineering Conference 2024, UIUC, co-chair
  • ASCE EMI/PMC 2024, local organizing committee member
  • ASCE SEI Structures Congress, 2024, San Antonio, Minisymposium Coordinator "Innovations in Modular Rapidly Erectable and Deployable Structures" supported by Modular Rapidly Erectable and Deployable Structures Technical Committee
  • ECCOMAS 2024, Lisbon, Minisymposium Coordinator "Track 1900 Adaptive and Compliant Engineering Structures"
  • ASCE EMI 2024, Chicago, Minisymposium Coordinator "Geometries and Design" supported by Experimental Analysis and Instrumentation Technical Committee
  • ASCE SEI Structures Congress, 2023, New Orleans, Minisymposium Coordinator "Advances in Intelligent Structural Sensing and Control" supported by Structural Control and Sensing Technical Committee
  • ASCE EMI 2023, Atlanta, Minisymposium Coordinator "Geometries and Design" supported by Experimental Analysis and Instrumentation Technical Committee
  • ASCE EMI 2022, Baltimore, Minisymposium Coordinator "Geometries and Design" supported by Experimental Analysis and Instrumentation Technical Committee
  • ECCOMAS 2022, Olso, Minisymposium Coordinator "Track 1900 Adaptive and Compliant Engineering Structures"
  • CSCE 2022, Canada, Session Chair and Technical Committee
  • CSCE 2021, Canada, Session Chair and Technical Committee
  • ASCE EMI International conference 2021, Durham, UK, Minisymposium 74 "Adaptive and Controllable Modular Structures", Session Chair and Technical Committee

Presentations

  • Sychterz A.C. and Filipov, E., Actuator optimization for adaptive origami structures, 56th Annual Technical Meeting of the Society of Engineering Science (SES2019), St. Louis, MO, 2019.
  • Sychterz A.C. and Smith, I.F.C., Element location and classification following a damage event of a near-full-scale deployable tensegrity structure, Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, 2019.
  • Sychterz A.C. and Smith, I.F.C., Damage mitigation of a near-full-scale deployable tensegrity structure through behavior biomimetics, Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI) Conference 2019, Pasadena, United States, 2019.
  • Sychterz A.C. Analysis of full-scale adaptive aluminum tensegrity canopy, ASCE EMI-International Conference, 2021, Durham, UK.
  • Sychterz A.C., Pill-Bug Inspired Adaptive Origami Tuned-Mass Dampers, ASCE EMI 2021, virtual, United States.

Professional Societies

  • Structural Engineers Association of Illinois, Affiliate member
  • Society of Women Engineers, Member
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), M.ASCE
  • Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of ASCE, M.ASCE
  • Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI) of ASCE, M.ASCE
  • International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS), Member (WG15 Structural Morphology)

Other Outside Service

  • Reviewer, Engineering Structures
  • Reviewer, ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering
  • Reviewer, Journal of Sound and Vibration
  • Vice-Chair, ASCE SEI Younger Members Committee
  • Treasurer, ASCE SEI Structural Control and Sensing Technical Committee
  • Secretary, ASCE SEI Modular, Rapidly-Erectable, and Deployable Structures Technical Committee
  • Vice-Chair, ASCE EMI Experimental Analysis and Instrumentation Technical Committee

Honors

  • ASCE SEI Future Leaders Award (02/2024)
  • IntCDC International Visiting Professor, University of Stuttgart, Germany (06/2024)
  • ASCE SEI Futures Fund Young Professionals Award (01/2023)
  • Faculty Fellow, ORMIR, Gies College of Business (08/2021)
  • Faculty Fellow, National Center for Supercomputing Application (NCSA) (07/2020)
  • Early Postdoc.Mobility, Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) (02/2019)

Teaching Honors

  • ASCE ExCEEd Assistant Mentor (08/2023)
  • ASCE ExcEEd Fellow (07/2022)
  • Levenick Sustainable Teaching Fellowship (01/2021)

Research Honors

  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship Ministry of Advance Education and Skills Development (09/2012)
  • Canadian Graduate Scholarship, CGS M Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) (09/2013)

Improvement Activities

  • ASCE ExCEEd assistant mentor, online, July 2024 [invited]
  • KEEN Workshop EML 1.0, August 8-11, Salt Lake City
  • KEEN Consultant, University of Illinois summer 2023
  • ASCE ExcEEd assistant mentor, Colorado State, July 2023
  • KEEN National Conference, 2023
  • ASCE ExCEEd teaching workshop, West Point Military Academy, July 2022
  • KEEN National Conference, 21/02/2021
  • ExCEEd online: Debrief the Semester: Lessons learned from the term
  • ExCEEd online: Adapting Demos to an Online Environment
  • ExCEEd online: Reimagining exams and assessments

Recent Courses Taught

  • CEE 465 - Design of Structural Systems
  • CEE 467 - Masonry Structures
  • CEE 498 ST3 (CEE 498 ST4, CEE 498 STO) - Theory & Creation of Structure
  • CEE 595 SRS (CEE 595 SUS) - Sustain & Resiliant Infrst Sys

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