Charlie Gardner

Degrees:Charlie Gardner
BS Civil Engineering, 2017
MS Structural Engineering, PRESENT
Position: Graduate Research Assistant
Research Interests: Structural Engineering and Cross-Laminated Timber
Advisors: Dr. Bill Davids and Dr. Roberto Lopez-Anido


Charlie is a civil engineering grad student who has been working with the Advanced Structures and Composites Center (the Center) for the past year. Charlie’s interest in the Center began while he was still in elementary school thanks to his father, professor Douglas Gardner. Since Professor Gardner conducted research at the Center, Charlie was able to visit it periodically when his father brought him to campus. This led Charlie to begin working at the Center when he was 16 as a laboratory custodian. His experience with the Center’s facilities allowed Charlie to join the Center as a research assistant once he began his freshman year, despite being a new student.

In regards to what Charlie enjoys the most about working at the Center, he cites the diverse nature of the research being conducted; his favorites included the wind energy, space flight, and mass timber projects. Charlie also feels that he has learned how to operate more effectively in a professional environment and communicate more efficiently with his fellow researchers. He has stated that these experiences have made him more prepared for entering the workforce after he receives his Master’s.

Charlie has spent the past year researching ways to implement gaps in cross-laminated timber without significantly reducing its structural durability. The timber is comprised of composites using wood from Spruce Pine Fir South trees; this type of wood was utilized in another cross-laminated timber project with the Center last year. These gaps can be filled with insulation, utilities, wiring, or other construction materials. The gaps also reduce the weight of the timber, the amount of material needed to create it, and its production cost.

Charlie is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Structural Engineering through his work with cross-laminated timber project. After he completes his education, Charlie hopes to enter the growing mass timber industry in Maine. Prior to this past year, Charlie was not aware of the mass timber industry, and thanks the Center for bringing it to his attention.