Lehigh University
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Winning paper extends fatigue technique from welded submarines to welded bridges

Sougata Roy, who worked as an engineering consultant for 11 years in Asia before at Lehigh as a Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering, has won the award for best research paper by a graduate student from the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Roy received the award and a cash prize at ESWP's 21st Annual International Bridge Conference, which was held in June in Pittsburgh and attended by more than 1,100 bridge industry professionals.

The title of Roy's winning paper was "Improving Fatigue Strength of Cover Plate and Stiffener Details using Ultrasonic Impact Treatment."

Roy, who received his M.S. in civil engineering from Lehigh in 2001, is advised by John W. Fisher, professor emeritus of civil engineering and founder and former director of Lehigh's ATLSS (Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems) Research Center.

Roy does experimental and theoretical studies of the effects of high-cycle fatigue on welded steel bridges. He is particularly interested in Ultrasonic Impact Treatment (UIT), a technique developed during the Cold War by Russian engineer Efim Statnikov to improve the fatigue strength of welded submarines. Statnikov is now vice president for research and development with Applied Ultrasonics of Birmingham, Ala.

"Our group at Lehigh is the first to apply UIT to large bridge girders," said Roy, who has conferred several times with Statnikov.

UIT, Roy concluded in his paper, is a "feasible alternative to conventional post-weld treatment techniques" for bridges. It also "enhances the fatigue strength of treated transverse weld at cover plate and stiffener."

Roy gave a presentation about his research in January before the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C.

After earning his B.S. in civil engineering from Bengal Engineering College in Howrah, India, in 1988, Roy spent eight years in India and three in Malaysia working in bridge design and consulting, mostly on concrete bridges.

He chose Lehigh's graduate program in civil engineering over nine other schools that accepted him, because of the university's financial aid package, Fisher's reputation as one of the world's top bridge engineers, and ATLSS's research facilities, which are the largest in North America.

Outside class, Roy has served for two years as treasurer of the Graduate Student Council and for four years as seminar coordinator for the Fritz Engineering Research Society.

Posted on Sunday, August 01, 2004

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