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Gerasimidis Gives CEE Faculty Invaluable Experience Working on Notable International Structures

Simos Gerasimidis

Simos Gerasimidis

Assistant Professor Simos Gerasimidis of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is a highly accomplished professional engineer who has worked on such larger-than-life structures as the new Yankee Stadium, the Olympic Stadium and Velodrome for the Athens Olympics of 2004, and major interventions associated with the largest Byzantine monuments in Thessaloniki, Greece – the Rotunda and the Eptapyrgion. This is the kind of rich experience that Gerasimidis brings to UMass.

Since the spring of 2016, the College of Engineering has been fortunate enough to have Gerasimidis as one of its brilliant new faculty members.

Currently, his research focuses on infrastructure resilience, structural stability, structural response of critical infrastructure systems subjected to extreme-loading events in urban regions, progressive collapse, stability of shell structures, resilient-oriented structural design approaches, damage propagation, and structural response of damaged structures covering a broad spectrum of structural behavior. His employment background includes working as a post-doctoral research scientist at Columbia University, a teaching assistant at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, a structural engineer in Greece, a structural engineer for Thornton Tomasetti Engineers in New York, a structural engineer at Santiago Calatrava, and a teaching assistant at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He received his degrees from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and from MIT.

While serving in these various capacities, Gerasimidis, worked on some of the most recognizable structures on earth. While with Thornton Tomasetti in 2006 and 2007, he was on the team designing the new steel/concrete New York Yankees Stadium under the direction of Tom Scarangello and Mike Squarzini. Gerasimidis supervised different parts of the stadium, including the concrete foundation, concrete superstructure, and steel construction on site. He was also part of the team that modeled and updated the geometry of the structure of the stadium using a structural building information modeling system known as TEKLA. During his time at Thornton Tomasetti, Gerasimidis also calculated and modeled the steel high‐rise tower for the Chicago Spire project, a 2,000-foot-high tower in Chicago under the direction of Tom Scarangello and architecturally designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Prior to that high-profile job, Gerasimidis participated in an even more prestigious project, the 2004 Olympics. While on Calatrava’s staff in Athens from 2003 to 2004, Gerasimidis helped engineer some of the most identifiable structures throughout the Olympic venue. He calculated and remodeled in detail the emblematic arch/dome‐like steel structures for the coverage of the main Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Velodrome; the steel superstructure and foundation of the “Agora”; the steel “Entrance Canopies”; the frame‐type steel structure for the “Nations’ Wall”; the tubular‐steel structure for the “Monument”; and the cable-stayed steel footbridge at the “Katehaki” metro station.

For the Olympics, Gerasimidis also calculated and designed various special structures, like the light removable structure of the side‐lateral shading system for the perimeter of the Velodrome and the construction of the rigid protective wall, made of steel framework and transparent polycarbonate panels, on the central island of the cycling tracks area of the Velodrome. In addition, he calculated and designed several building structures of reinforced concrete for the various new electro‐mechanological installations (substations, workshops, electro shops, etc.) and worked on a series of retaining walls, high-mast foundations, water fountains, and large external staircases.

More recently, from 2008 to 2011, Gerasimidis was a licensed structural engineer in Thessaloniki. There he designed, from the conceptual stage to the construction drawings, the two major interventions on the biggest Byzantine monuments in Thessaloniki, the Rotunda and the Eptapyrgion. Both interventions were part of a project improving access to the Byzantine monuments, the design and the construction of which were funded by the European Union and the Greek Program of Public Works through the Ministry of Culture.

The Rotunda intervention included the complete design and supervision of a steel truss footbridge spanning 19 meters above the Byzantine antiquities and connecting the current street level and the monument level, allowing for the long‐awaited opening of the prestigious emperor’s entrance of the monument. The Eptapyrgion intervention included the complete design and supervision of two steel ramps through a Byzantine fortifying wall.

Not surprisingly, Gerasimidis belongs to many engineering societies as one result from his wealth of experience. He’s a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a member of the ASCE Committee on Tall Buildings, the ASCE Committee on Objective Resilience, and the ASCE Committee on Structural Stability. He also belongs to the Structural Stability Research Council, the Progressive Collapse Working Group of the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the National Committee of Young Engineers (Greek Technical Chamber), the Technical Chamber of Greece, and the Association of Civil Engineers of Greece. In addition, he is a Certified Professional Licensed Civil Engineer in Greece (1st Degree Level).

This impressive body of work and accomplishments is yet more indication of the high quality of the faculty members teaching and researching at the UMass College of Engineering, where we hope Gerasimidis feels right at home. (December 2016)