People

Current Students

Xinlai Peng:

img_1087-1shadoXinlai Peng received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU), Beijing, China in July 2007. After graduating, he joined the Department of Bridge Engineering at Tongji University to pursue his master’s degree with Dr. Ming Gu. His master thesis investigated the aerodynamic measures on mitigation of wind pressures on low-rise buildings. After graduating with his master’s degree in the fall of 2010, Xinlai joined the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering at the University of Florida as a Ph.D student under the guidance of Dr. Prevatt. Currently Xinlai’s research delves into the application of finite element analysis, numerical simulation of non-Gaussian processes, and estimation of peak distribution of non-Gaussian processes.
In his free time, Xinlai enjoys frequent excursion to the beach, comedy movies and reading up on history and classical works, and is a hardcore basketball enthusiast.

David Roueche:

David Roueche began his undergraduate degree studying Engineering Physics at Jacksonville University. While there, David involved himself in environmental science research at the Millar Wilson Laboratory of Environmental Science focusing on water pollutants in Florida’s longest river, the St. John’s River.  He later completed his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering after transferring to the University of Florida. Right away, he had the opportunity to join Dr. Prevatt’s research team and has been involved in a number of projects ever since, mostly focused on improving the performance of residential homes in extreme wind events. After graduating, he joined Dr. Prevatt in an expedition to survey the damage done to areas of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Joplin, Missouri after the 2011 tornado season. David returned with a desire to pursue the mitigation of the losses to property and lives due to tornadoes and other wind related catastrophes. Currently, David is pursuing his Ph.D in this very subject.
Outside of school, David enjoys spending time with his wife, being involved in his church, playing basketball, and working out.

Research | Conferences

Austin Thompson:

Austin Thompson received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in the spring of 2013 from the University of Florida. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, he was an involved member of an Engineers Without Borders international project team that worked to provide a sustainable water source to a community in Bolivia. He has also worked with other humanitarian engineering organizations such as Engineering Ministries International (EMI) to help provide shelter to a growing orphanage in India. He joined Dr. Prevatt’s wind research group, following graduation, with a great desire to learn what it takes to reduce the loss of lives and property resulting from extreme wind events on a global scale.

During his free time, he enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and playing soccer.

Dhruv Desai:

DhruvDhruv Desai received his Bachelor in Civil Engineering in the spring of 2012 from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. Dhruv worked for L&T-Sargent and Lundy Ltd. as a Power Plant structural design engineer for one year after his graduation. He joined the University of Florida structural engineering Master’s program in Fall 2013 and subsequently joined Dr. Prevatt’s wind research group. His current research focuses on wind resistance of air permeable discontinuous metal roofing systems.
Dhruv enjoys his research work and is also involved deeply into sports and management. He was a national athlete in India with his primary sport being speed skating. Dhruv has also been at various leadership positions at school level and international student organizations. He loves interacting with people and going for a running spree.

Jeandona Doreste:

Jeandona Doreste is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Florida. In the summer of 2012, he joined Dr. Prevatt’s Wind Hazard Assessment Group as an undergraduate researcher in hopes of developing a training program for a Damage Assessment Group on Campus. His focus is primarily to help recruit students who will receive training in forensic engineering practices, participate in documentation concerning wind damage assessments, manipulate software for rapid upload and analysis of findings, and eventually enter into the University of Florida’s Civil and Coastal Engineering’s masters program. Jeandona currently manages Davidoprevatt.com, Dr. Prevatt’s website and blog.

Jeandona enjoys spending time with family, drawing, studying logic and Christian doctrine and theology, and browsing how-to pages of the internet.

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Former Students

Dr. Prevatt's Research Team

Dr. Prevatt's Research Team 2014

Janet Fay:
Janet Fay received her Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering in the spring of 2013 from the University of Florida and her Master’s with a structural emphasis in the spring of 2014. Janet began working with Dr. Prevatt in January of 2014. Here research, funded by the Florida Building Commission, was to determine the differences between the Florida Accessibility Code and the ADA Standards. A technical basis for each of these differences were to be determined, as well as the impacts these items have had on the contractors and welfare of the general public in Florida.

Devon Minich:

DevonDevon Minich, a graduate from the University of Florida’s Civil and Coastal Engineering program, joined Dr. Prevatt’s research group in the summer of 2014. His research encompassed the detection of inefficiencies with heating and cooling systems within apartment complexes by using historical utilities data. Devon spent his last three summers interning at transmission line and forensic engineering consulting firms, and he plans on furthering his education with a Masters in Structural Engineering.
Besides scholarly ventures, Devon enjoys fishing, golfing, traveling new places, and spending time with family and friends.

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Dr. Prevatt's Research Team

Dr. Prevatt's Research Team 2012

Tuan Vo:

Tuan Vo received his Bachelor of Science (Summa cum Laude) in Civil Engineering at the University of Florida, in December 2011. As an undergraduate research assistant, Tuan joined Dr. Prevatt, helping out with nail withdrawal tests to determine withdrawal capacities of nails in residential wood roofs. During graduate school, Tuan’s research focused on the structural integrity of vegetative roofs and the prospects of designing a standard construction method that meets the strict wind design codes placed on modern-day buildings in high-wind prone areas. His hope for the outcome of his research was to further the development of a larger resulting green roof industry in the Southeast United States. Tuan received his master’s in Structural Engineering in the fall of 2013 and accepted an E.I.T. position at Walter P. Moore.

In his free time, Tuan enjoys any physical challenge, eating, technology, and spending quality time with friends.

Research | Conferences

Ashlie Kerr:

Ashlie Kerr received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida, in December 2011. In the spring of 2012, Ashlie joined Dr. Prevatt’s wind research team as a Graduate Research Assistant in the School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering. Under Dr. Prevatt’s guidance, she recieved her master’s degree in Structural Engineering in 2013. Ashlie’s research studies focused on determining nail withdrawal capacities in residential wood roofs.
In her free time, Ashlie enjoys reading, cooking, and conquering video games.
Research

Craig Dixon:

Craig Dixon received his Ph. D in Civil Engineering from the University in 2013 and accepted a forensic engineering position at Solutions Before Solutions After (SBSA) . Craig joined Dr. Prevatt’s wind research group in the fall of 2009, after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in the fall of 2008 from the University of Florida. Before receiving his Bachelor’s, he spent six summers interning for forensic structural and building envelope consulting firms. During his undergrad, his research focused on the interaction of wind with wood roof sheathing and standing seam metal roofing. Craig’s graduate level research was focused on the wind resistance of asphalt shingles.
In his free time, Craig enjoys everything outdoors, from camping to triathlons. Craig is highly involved in the University of Florida Triathlon team, having been the president of the group and running over 40 endurance athletic events.
Research | Conferences

Jason S. Silbiger:

Jason S. Silbiger earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Florida in 2013, specializing in Structural Design. In 2010, Jason participated in the UF study abroad program at the Manchester Business School of Manchester, United Kingdom, where he earned a business minor. He spent two summers working for the Army Corps of Engineers conducting quality assurance inspections, developing independent government estimates for field testing, and coordinating resources for emergency communications during natural disasters for the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation project. In the fall of 2012, he joined Dr. Prevatt’s Wind Hazard Assessment Group as an undergraduate research student. Under Dr. Prevatt’s guidance, he worked on his Summa Cum Laude Honors Thesis. Jason’s research delved into the analysis of the stiffness of H2.5 and U-bracket hurricane straps.
Outside of school, Jason enjoys playing drums, watching basketball, and is a well-rounded athlete.

Research

Nicholas Andriano:

Nicholas Andriano earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. In the summer of 2013, with the funding of the National Science Foundation, he joined the Civil and Coastal Engineering department at the University of Florida as a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) student, under Dr. Prevatt. Nicholas’s main research contributions were geared towards developing a stiffness model for multiple roof-to-wall connections for use in a finite element model to view load sharing in full scale models affected by high winds.
In his free time, Nicholas enjoys playing Intercollegiate baseball, watching sports, fishing, and spending time with friends.

Joe Eixenberger:

Joe Eixenberger graduated from Boise State University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree at Brigham Young University. In the summer of 2012, with the funding of the National Science Foundation, he joined the Civil and Coastal Engineering department at the University of Florida as a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) student, under Dr. Prevatt. Joe’s main research contributions have been geared towards the evaluation of moisture content buildup in Closed Cell Spray Applied Polyurethane (ccSPF) Foam retrofitted roofs.
In his free time, Joe enjoys running, archery, reading, and hiking.

Shelly Dean:

Shelly Dean graduated from Humboldt State University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at Stanford University. In the summer of 2012, with the funding of the National Science Foundation’s Infrastructure Materials REU, she joined the Civil and Coastal Engineering department at the University of Florida, under the tutelage of Dr. Prevatt. Shelly’s research focused on determining the in-place withdrawal capacities of nails in residential wood roofs. The parameters of her research included presence of sheathing (OSB and plywood), no sheathing, or the method of nail withdrawal (direct pull vs. steel plate).
In her free time, Shelly enjoys hiking, camping in the great outdoors, and bringing the excitement to concerts.

Research

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Dr. Prevatt's Research Team 2010

Dr. Prevatt's Research Team 2010

Kenton McBride:

Kenton McBride graduated from the University of Florida in 2011 with a Master’s in civil engineering. Kenton is currently working on his Ph.D under the tutelage of Dr. Ronald Cook at UF. His research involves studying the strength of steel anchors under various loading conditions. Master’s Thesis: ”Wind Uplift Performance of ccSPF-Retrofitted Roof Sheathing Subjected to Water Leakage.” A glimpse of his research can be found here.

Peter L. Datin:

Peter L. Datin received his master’s in Civil Engineering at Clemson University in May 2007, under the direction of Dr. David O. Prevatt. In June 2007, He joined the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering at the University of Florida as a PhD student. While at Clemson, Peter worked at their Wind Load Test Facility conducting wind tunnel studies and structural load testing of low-rise structures. Peter continued his research studies at UF, under Dr. Prevatt, who took a faculty position at UF in the same year. Peter’s research work focused on wind loading of low-rise, wood-frame structures, and stochastic analysis techniques. Having grown up in Oklahoma, a state known for its frequent tornado outbreaks, Peter’s interest in wind loading of wood-frame residential structures naturally flourished.

Peter enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.

Juan Antonio Balderrama Garcia Mendez:

Juan Antonio Balderrama Garcia Mendez received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame du Lac, Notre Dame, Indiana, in May 2007. In the fall of 2007, Juan joined the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering at the University of Florida as a master’s student, with the direction of Dr. Forrest Masters, Dr. David Prevatt, and Dr. Kurtis Gurley. His research focused on catastrophe modeling and the development of loss projection models for low and mid high rise commercial residential buildings.

Aside from work and academics, he enjoys water sports (waterskiing, wakeboarding, surfing, fishing, etc.), playing basketball, and snowboarding.

Akwasi Frimpong Mensah:
Akwasi Frimpong Mensah, graduating with honors, received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, in May 2006. In August 2008, Akwasi joined the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering at the University of Florida as a master’s student. He received his master’s degree in May 2010, under the tutelage of Dr. Prevatt. Prior to joining UF, Akwasi worked as a teaching assistant at Kwame Nkrumah University for a year, and then moved to Accra, Ghana as an assistant civil/structural engineer with an engineering consulting firm. During his time at UF, he was heavily involved in a National Science Foundation funded performance based engineering project investigating the interaction of hurricane induced forces with low-rise buildings. Akwasi’s research focused on analyzing aerodynamic data from wind tunnel studies and developing a Database Assisted Design (DAD) MATLAB-based program for residential buildings.

On his free time, Akwasi enjoys fiddling with probabilistic and stochastic studies, reading, soccer, traveling, and politics.

Sushmit Shreyans:

Sushmit Shreyan graduated from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, India, in July of 2009, with a Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Civil Engineering. During his undergrad, Sushmit’s research focused on composite materials, finite element analysis and energy efficiency of buildings. In the fall of 2009, he joined the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering at the University of Florida as a master’s student, under the guidance of Dr. Prevatt. Sushmit’s master’s thesis focused on field evaluations of the thermal performance and energy efficiency of closed cell spray applied polyurethane (ccSPF) foam in vented residential attics. A glimpse of his research can be found here.

Sushmit loves sketching, painting, photography, and traveling

Zach Ferrall:

Zach Ferrall received his Bachelor of Science in Civil and Coastal Engineering from the University of Florida. Before entering college, Zack enlisted in the United States Air Force as a tactical aircraft maintainer, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant by the end of his 4 year, 9 month enlistment. After completing his time in the Air Force, he joined the University of Florida’s Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering and later Dr. Prevatt’s research team. Zack has participated in several research projects, from destructive testing conducted in Debary, Florida to the construction of a 1/3rd scale model house.

On his free time, Zach is an avid outdoors enthusiast and traveler. More weekends than not, he can be found hiking on a mountain, camping in a field, or floating on a river. His lively adventures have taken him to 37 states.

Paul A. Beata:

Paul A. Beata graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a minor in the subject of applicability of mathematics with regards to engineering analysis. Before graduating, he worked as an Autodesk Student Representative.  Paul joined Dr. Prevatt research team as a master’s student, in the summer of 2011. Paul’s research focused on running tests on a 1/3 scale house to determine the effect of wall openings (such as windows and doors) on load paths for wood-frame residential structures.

Aside from academics and research, Paul enjoys playing hockey, cooking, and watching The History Channel.

Carl Harrigan:
Carl Harrigan graduated from the University of Florida in 2009. While in school, he conducted research on nail withdrawal test methods for wood-roof sheathing. Currently, Carl works for Schlumberger, an oilfield services provider.

Griffin Malatino:
Griffin Malantino graduated from the University of Florida in 2009. While in school, his research focused on ASTM D1761 nail withdrawal testing.

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Ph.D. Dissertations

Dr. Bo Cui:

Dr. Bo Cui graduated from Clemson University in 2007 with a Ph.D. in civil engineering. Dr. Cui lives in Houston, TX and works as a structural engineering consultant. Dissertation: Wind Effects on Monosloped and Sawtooth Roofs

Dr. Zhuzhao Liu:

Dr. Zhuzhao Liu graduated from Clemson University in 2006 with a Ph.D. in civil engineering. Dr. Liu is currently working at the Institute for Business and Home Safety Research Center in South Carolina.

Dissertation: Field Measurements and Wind Tunnel Simulation of Hurricane Wind Loads on Single Family Dwellings

Masters Theses and Reports

Hal Boudreau:

Hal Boudreau completed his Bachelor of Science (honors) in Civil Engineering at the University of Florida.

Undergraduate honors thesis: “Design, Construction and testing of an Open Atmospheric Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel

Akwasi Frimpong Mensah:
Akwasi Frimpong Mensah received his master’s degree from the University of Florida, in 2010.

Thesis: Determination of Wind Uplift Forces Using Database-Assisted Design Approach for Light Framed Wood Structures

Kenneth Hill:

Kenneth Hill graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, in 2009. Kenneth is currently working with Rehau Inc., in Washington, DC.

Thesis: Development of Time-Varying Wind Uplift Test Protocols for Residential Wood Roof Sheathing Panels

Collaborators

Dr. Forrest J. Masters:
Dr. Forest J. Masters is currently an assistant professor of civil and coastal engineering at the University of Florida. Dr. Masters received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Florida, in the fall of 2004. His research interest includes: characterization of surface-level tropical cyclone winds and wind-driven rain, wind and wind-driven rain effects on structures, and stochastic simulation of natural hazard events.

Dr. Kurtis R. Gurley:
Dr. Kurtis R. Gurley is currently an associate professor of civil and coastal engineering at the University of Florida. Dr. Gurley received his Ph.D. from in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, in 1997. His research interest includes: probabilistic natural hazard modeling and damage mitigation, simulation of stochastic environmental loads, wind/ coastal engineering, random vibration, structural reliability, signal processing, data analysis, and applications of wavelet transforms and neural networks in structural analysis.

Dr. Gregory A. Kopp:
Dr. Gregory A. Kopp is a professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Dr. Kopp received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1995. He currently holds a Canada Research Chair in Wind Engineering and is a Faculty Scholar in the Faculty of Engineering. Dr. Kopp is also a Research Director and sits on the Board of Directors of the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory.

Dr. John W. van de Lindt:
Dr. John W. van de Lindt is an Associate Professor of structural engineering at Colorado State University. Dr. van de Lindt received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University, in May 1999. His research program works to improve the built environment by making structures and structural systems perform to the level expected by their occupants, government, and the public. Dr. van de Lindt seeks to accomplish this through the development and test bed applications of performance-based engineering of building systems and bridges for earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods.

Dr. Rakesh Gupta:
Dr. Rakesh Gupta is a professor in the Department of Wood Science and Engineering at the Oregon State University. Dr. Gupta received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from Cornell University, in 1990. His research interest lies in the area of timber engineering and mechanics. Dr. Gupta’s research focuses on intelligent and efficient use of wood in structural application. The major goal of his research program is to develop advanced testing methods, modeling, and analysis techniques to design efficient and safe wood structures. This includes theoretical and experimental studies addressing problems in timber engineering and mechanics aimed towards the application of wood and wood-based composite materials in structures.

Dr. Bryant G. Nielson:
Dr. Bryant G. Nielson and Dr. Prevatt were Principal Investigators on the 2006-2008 NSF-sponsored SGER project, which was conducted in Clemson, South Carolina. The intent of this research project was to evaluating the vulnerabilities of existing residential construction. Dr. Nielson participated in a follow-up study, sponsored by the Department of Community Affairs, Division of Emergency Management, through the University of Florida. This follow-up study extended the scope of the SGER project to masonry residential structures, as part of continuing efforts in Florida to learn from destructive testing of existing residential structures. (Please contact Dr. Prevatt or Dr. Nielson for further information on the project).

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