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Joaquin M

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at University of San Diego


Civil Engineering, Structural protective systems, Structural Impacts


I am a structural engineer interested in seismic isolation systems, which are devices that help mitigate the effects of earthquakes on structural systems. More specifically, I have worked on modelling of Lead Rubber Bearings and developing a nonlinear model that more accurately capture the nonlinear effects of such devices. More broadly, I have experience in environmental, water resources, and transportation engineering. In my spare time I love to play soccer and recently picked up mountain biking over the course of the pandemic. I also, recently picked up guitar playing, and really love to learn new things!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Is damage of a building preventable even considering a catastrophic earthquake event?

In this project we could delve into considered a large earthquake, is there a way to avoid collapse, and even damage altogether. How? (Preferred: any coding experience, Calculus, Physics.)

Structural Protective Systems

Strucutral protective systems that reduce the damage in the buildings and look into the benefits of such systems such as Damper devices and Isolation systems. (Preferred: any coding experience, some Calculus, Physics.)

Analyzing Impacts to Structures

In this project researching methods of mitigating impacts to structures whether it is from structural systems or the design of the structure. (Preferred: any coding experience, Calculus, Physics.)

Coding skills

Python, Matlab, C++

Languages I know


Teaching experience

I was an instructor for two undergraduate engineering classes at the University of San Diego, California. I was in charge of creating the class and managing the students and a teaching assistant. These classes were adapted to online due to COVID, so I definitely have some online experience. I have worked in a lot of volunteer programs, one being program being SESI (School Earthquake Safety Initiative) program where we worked with high students doing hands on projects building hand made structures and placing them on mini-shake tables destroying the structures and understanding why the collapse occurred. Similarly, I have worked with K-12 kids and had them build small structures and teach them on the importance of design of the structures. I have also worked with undergraduates under the Graduate Engineering Apprenticeship Research (GEAR) Program at UCSD where I mentored two undergraduate students in creating a 8 ft tall structure and predicting the amount of displacement and accelerations the building would experience during a particular ground motion knowing the properties of the structures and comparing to a theoretical response though some quick coding. Teaching and mentoring has been a realized passion of mine, I definitely love to work with next generation of scholars!



University of California Irvine (UCI)
BS Bachelor of Science (2015)
Civil Engineering
University of California San Diego (UCSD)
MS Master of Science (2017)
Structural Engineering
University of San Diego
PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Structural Engineering

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