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Q&A: Talking with our ENR Top Young Professionals, Amirpasha Peyvandi

ENR Top Young Professional and Jacobs Senior Bridge Engineer Amirpasha Peyvandi talks career, the talents and experiences within #OurJacobs and his love of the mountains.

This year, Jacobs is proud to have six Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top Young Professionals to congratulate.

We're so proud of how they're each bringing our tagline: challenging today, reinventing tomorrow to their roles at Jacobs. Join us in celebrating John Parham, Chitwan Saluja, Menzer Pehlivan, Katie Warner, Robert Poche and Amirpasha Peyvandi with a series of interviews with these young pros. 

We connected virtually with Top Young Professional and Jacobs Senior Bridge Engineer Amirpasha Peyvandi to talk career, the talents and experiences within #OurJacobs and his love of the mountains. Read more in this Jacobs.com interview.

What’s your favorite part of your role?

My favorite thing is the interaction with so many knowledgeable engineers in the filed who can find an amazing solution for every single challenge we may see along the project.

What inspired you to pursue a STEAM career?

Back to my high school days, I realized that I am good at mathematics and I was thinking if I can follow my future career making difference by what I feel good at it. Motivated by my father, I picked civil engineering with the hope that one day I could design/build a huge bridge. Now I am a bridge engineer and designing huge bridges.

With more infrastructure approaching the end of its useful life, your research is crucial for public and transport safety. Tell us a bit about what you’re working on.

Some of my research works has led to the introduction of glass-enhanced concrete pavement with superior durability, impermeability and cost-effectiveness; novel microbial corrosion-resistant synthetic fiber-reinforced concrete; and demonstration of modified graphite nanoplatelet-enhanced concrete that is more resilient and has better structural characteristics than legacy formulations. 

The research has not only improved current formulations but expanded the applicability of research findings to provide researchers, engineers, and designers with more corrosion resistant, lighter, stronger and cheaper concretes for infrastructure systems. The benefits of the works to builders and users are substantial, insofar as introducing new methodologies for improving the performance of concrete with nanomaterials to improve the lifetime, cost, and resilience of this ubiquitous construction material.  

For scientists, findings affirm the synergistic and complimentary benefits of nano- and micro-scale composite reinforcement across different scales with positive interfacial stress transfer and pullout behavior from the nanocomposite fibers embedded in the concrete matrix. For industry entrepreneurs, the application of optimum graphite nanoplatelet hybrid nano- and micro-scale reinforcement systems to improve concrete durability and impermeability, is a brilliant demonstration of how to elicit optimum nano- and micro-scale reinforcement with a moderate dosage of micro-scale fibers and a relatively low dosages of nano-scale fibers. For academics, the work represents a rich trove of information on the nature and properties of nanocomposite concrete while, at the same time, offering a spring-board for further research.

If you aren’t in the office, what would we be most likely to find you doing?

My biggest problem is there is so much I want to do that I’d have trouble narrowing it down. If I am not in my office, most probably you can find me in the mountain no matter what season.

Most interesting career moment?

Eight years ago, I found myself in a lecture theatre, presenting my PhD research to a thesis jury. During the years leading up to that moment, there were many days when I worried whether I was ever going to make it that far. Now thinking about how far I have come, it’s encouraging knowing there is so much more I can do and learn.

What’s something you learned in the last week?

My latest lesson learned is that I shouldn’t apologize for not knowing something, but there’s no excuse for staying uninformed. Just ask and learn – it’s really that simple.

Most proud career moment?

It is hard to pick one moment as the one I am most proud of.  I feel proud when I see my research works, which performed few years ago, is now being used by industry leaders in real projects and making a difference in projects regarding cost, safety and serviceability.

What’s a story that your family always tells about you?

My family loves to say I put my youngest sister in the dryer and turned it on! I didn't PUT her in the dryer because she was already in there. For some reason, it always comes up at family reunions.

People would be surprised to know that I….

Had named each of my children before they were born - they were called Hannah and Daniel - they ended up being called Deanna and Adrian, much to the annoyance of people who had already wrote cards!

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Jacobs family?

I am surprised about the number of talents and outstanding people gathered in Jacobs. Basically, it is almost impossible not to find an answer for any question from the people who expert in that field.

 

From mountains of research projects and peer-reviewed journal articles to hiking, hunting and fishing his way through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, there’s no obstacle too intimidating for Amirpasha Peyvandi. An engineer focused on advanced concrete materials, green nanocomposite infrastructural materials and structural design, he’s continuously raising the standards of resilient infrastructure for tomorrow. Meet Amirpasha.

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