Meet Sachin Tripathi

Sachin Tripathi is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Civil Engineering and a new member of the 2022-2023 John Lof cohort. His research focuses on determining the health of steel truss railroad bridges, which are centuries old.

These railroads are the backbones of transportation systems like Amtrak. Tripathi’s goal is to investigate these systems’ health and to inform policy change by spreading awareness of his research to local governments. 

Tripathi’s interests in structural engineering derive from his devotion to building communities. He was fascinated by science in his childhood. He said that his home country Nepal was hit by earthquakes often; it didn’t have sound architecture or the financial resources to bounce back from natural disasters. 

That noble goal transformed into a post-Bachelor’s position as a temporary governor engineer to provide technical support for the construction of buildings that were damaged by a big earthquake in Nepal in 2015. 

“When I worked there, I had to deal with the local people, who had a different background and level of knowledge from me. It was really hard for me to convey the technical thing in a layman language, but my friend could convey the concepts in easy ways and the local people understood him,” Tripathi said.

Tripathi had to act as an unofficial leader and realized that information literacy was an extremely important part of clear communication. After this, he went on to study the applications and preservation of cross-laminated timber during his Master’s, a novel and innovative engineered wood product composed of layers of structural lumber of lumber Products. 

CLT distributes strength more than lumber does, is climate-resistant, and allows for different materials to be used in construction.

He made his way to UConn where he now studies under the tutelage of CE professor Ramesh Malla. Part of this means working on a NASA-funded project studying the resilience of architecture in a lunar habitat.

That brought Tripathi to John Lof. He got an email from the Engineering Department and some of his friends were in a previous cohort.

“I thought that I should get involved in this academy because I excel as a student and as an individual. If I don’t have good literacy, negotiation, or conflict-resolving skills, then it will be hard to compete in the current environment,” Tripathi said. 

Now that a semester has passed, Tripathi said that John Lof has started to boost his morale and communication skills through presentations and workshops with networking experts.