Civil engineering postdoctoral researcher receives prominent fellowship

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Hailong Ye, a postdoctoral researcher in civil engineering at Penn State, was recently selected to receive the prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) fellowship. 

The MSCA fellowship enables research-focused organizations to host talented foreign researchers and to create strategic partnerships with leading institutions worldwide by providing researchers with the necessary skills and international experience for a successful career, whether they choose to work in the public sector or the private sector. The grant covers two years’ salary, provides a mobility allowance, and assists in research costs and overhead for the host institution. 

“I was very excited about the news,” Ye said. “The MSCA fellowship will provide me with a great opportunity to collaborate with many researchers within and beyond Europe.”

In order to apply for the MSCA fellowship, individual researchers must submit proposals for funding in liaison with their planned host organization. Proposals are judged on their research quality, the researcher’s future career prospects and the support offered by the host organization. 

Ye’s current research focuses on improving the fundamental understanding of the mechanisms behind shrinkage cracking in alkali-activated concrete, as well as designing novel shrinkage mitigation techniques.

“The alkali-activated concrete — sometimes called geopolymer concrete — has the potential to reduce the CO2 emissions associated with concrete production, in comparison to traditional Portland cement concrete,” Ye said. “However, the large shrinkage and high vulnerability to cracking limit its industrial application.”

During his fellowship, Ye would like to broaden his focus and move into structural fire engineering, which deals with specific aspects of structural fire protection. He would then like to find a position within academia.

“Becoming a professor, conducting high-quality research and teaching at a research university has been my career goal since I was a graduate student,” Ye said. “I believe this fellowship will allow me to be in a position to apply for a tenure-track position in any research institution worldwide.” 

Ye received his bachelor of science in civil engineering from Southwest Jiao Tong University, his master of science in structural engineering from Zhejiang University, and his doctorate in civil engineering from Penn State. 

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated May 18, 2017