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Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
Civil Engineering Department

Geotechnical Engineering Group, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering  

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Dr Alba Yerro

Assistant Professor of Geotechnical Engineering

Alba Yerro is an Assistant Professor of geotechnical engineering at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, US). She obtained her M.Sc. Civil Engineering degree in 2009 from Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain). After achieving her Ph.D. in 2014 from the same university, she got a post-doctoral position at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK). She moved to VirginiaTech in August 2017. Her primary research is on modelling slope failures and soil-structure-water interaction problems involving large deformations. Yerro has a broad experience with the Material Point Method, and has contributed in the field proposing multiple-phase approaches to simulate the behavior of partially saturated soils and internal erosion processes. She is recipient of the Telford Gold Medal from the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Luis Zambrano Cruzatty

PhD student

Luis Eduardo Zambrano Cruzatty is a Geotechnical Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech, working under the supervision of Professor Alba Yerro. His research focuses on the numerical simulation of soil-water-structure interaction, the development of strain-rate sensitive constitutive equations, and eolian sediment transport using MPM. Luis, from Portoviejo-Ecuador, started his studies in Civil Engineering at the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral University (ESPOL) located in Guayaquil, Ecuador. In 2017 he obtained a master’s degree focused on geotechnical engineering from Virginia Tech. The same year, he transitioned towards a doctoral program with Professor Alba Yerro's research group. Luis has also completed the Future Professoriate graduate certificate and joined the Disaster Resilience and Risk Management doctoral program in 2019 at Virginia Tech. Luis's work experience started in 2011 when he joined Consulnac Cia Ltda as a Jr. geotechnical engineer. In Consulnac, He worked on deep and shallow foundations, slope stability analysis, and pavement design. Later, in 2013 Luis joined the Oceanographic Research Institute of the Ecuadorian Navy (INOCAR) and was part of the XVIII Ecuadorian Antarctic Expedition. In 2014 he founded Xense Cia Ltda and was the manager of the company until 2016.

Abdelrahman Alsardi

PhD student

Abdelrahman Alsardi joined Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, USA) as a Ph.D. student in August 2019. He obtained his M.Eng. Civil Engineering degree from the University of Bristol (Bristol, UK) in July 2019. During the third year of his M.Eng. degree, he was selected to spend a year abroad at UC Berkeley (Berkeley, USA) where he was first introduced to Anura3D. Alsardi is interested in using the MPM to accurately model the dynamic hydro-mechanical soil behavior. He is currently working to further develop the Anura3D code for researching landslides triggered by earthquakes.

Kaleigh Yost

PhD student

Kaleigh received her B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2015. She received her M.S. in geotechnical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2017 where she completed a thesis on false-positive liquefaction case histories in Christchurch, New Zealand. After graduation, Kaleigh joined Langan Engineering’s Arlington, Virginia office as a staff engineer where she provided field and design support for mid-Atlantic and international projects. Kaleigh is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Virginia Tech. Currently, she is working on MPM simulation of cone penetration in interlayered soil profiles for application to liquefaction prediction.