Myron and Rosemary Noble Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering
Ashley P. Thrall’s research focuses on numerically and experimentally understanding the behavior, design, and optimization of deploying and modular structures. At the University of Notre Dame, she is building and directing the Kinetic Structures Laboratory, which features computational, rapid-prototyping, and experimental testing facilities. This is the only university laboratory in the United States dedicated to the study of deploying civil infrastructure. Recent and current projects include the design, optimization, and experimental testing of (1) origami-inspired deploying shelters, funded by the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (http://www.nd.edu/features/origami-shelter/); (2) deployable bridging, funded by a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award; and (3) prefabricated high-strength rebar systems for accelerated construction of nuclear concrete structures, funded by the Department of Energy.
At Notre Dame, Professor Thrall teaches Statics and Bridge Engineering courses. Outside of formal courses, Professor Thrall is involved in mentoring activities at the undergraduate and high school levels. She is developing and implementing BRIDGES (Building Relationships to Inspire and Drive Girls to pursue Engineering and Science)—a before-school, single-gender enrichment program for high school girls enrolled in an engineering magnet program at Riley High School in South Bend. She also co-advises the American Society of Civil Engineers Steel Bridge Competition—an undergraduate group that meets weekly to design and build a steel bridge to be tested at an annual competition.
Professor Thrall earned her Ph.D. and MSCE in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Princeton University in 2011, and her B.A. in Physics from Vassar College in 2004. She joined the faculty of the University of Notre Dame in 2011.
This professorship was established in 2013 by friends of the University Myron and Rosemary Noble, to support a faculty member working in the area of structural engineering. Myron has served on the College of Engineering Advisory Council since 2000.