Driving south from the SMU campus along Central Expressway, there is a new commercial complex at the intersection of Knox Street called Knox Park Village. Payam Khashaee can point to this building and say he helped design it.
Actually, Payam can drive around the Metroplex and point to numerous buildings in which he has played a role in their construction. Payam is an expert in structural engineering, with a particular interest in the design of earthquake-resistant structures.
Payam received offers to attend some of the world’s best engineering graduate schools, but he chose SMU over many other universities because of the opportunity to work with Professor Bijan Mohraz. Professor Mohraz, who also is from Iran, is known worldwide for his expertise in earthquake engineering, and Payam already seems destined for an international reputation himself. He already has presented his pioneering research on energy-based seismic design at several national meetings and international conferences.
Payam’s work on buildings throughout the Metroplex stemmed from internships in 2001 with Mullen & Powell - TechniStructures Inc., a structural engineering consulting firm in Dallas. In 2002 he did a summer internship with John A. Martin and Associates Inc. in Los Angeles, one of the best companies in the field of earthquake engineering. Payam worked on a seismic retrofit of the 12-story San Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco and seismic anchorage of communication systems in more than 20 hospital campuses throughout California. He is spending the summer of 2003 working for Thornton-Tomasetti Inc. which is recognized for designing Petronas Towers, the world’s tallest skyscrapers, in Kuala Lampur.
In addition to his internships and research, Payam has taught undergraduate courses in mechanical engineering and served as the president and treasurer of the Graduate Student Council. As for his plans once he completes his Ph.D., Payam says he is still trying to decide whether to pursue a career in teaching or work in industry.
“I like both,” he says.
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