Student Profile: Dante Guzzi

BS Civil Engineering, 2017
MS Structural Engineering, PRESENT
Position: Graduate Research Assistant
Research Interests: Composite Materials in Infrastructure Materials
Advisor: Dr. Bill Davids
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Dante is a UMaine grad student from New Jersey, and he is currently studying structural engineering. After he graduated in the spring semester of 2017, Dante wasn’t initially sure that he wanted to remain at UMaine for his graduate education. Upon touring four other college’s engineering laboratories, however, he found that their facilities were “absolutely nothing in comparison” to UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center’s. He then applied for a graduate research assistantship at the Center, was approved in June 2017, and has been working with the Center since.

When Dante was asked why he selected the Center, he stated that “It’s a world-class facility, it wouldn’t make sense to go anywhere else.” While Dante joined the Center for its resources, he most enjoys working alongside fellow students and Center staff members. Dante feels that these interactions, and his experiences on his current project, have improved his project management and communication skills. Dante is also thankful that he has been able to conduct research on a project that will be utilized by the Maine DOT in the construction of bridges, as he feels that it will have a tangible, positive impact on Maine infrastructure.

Dante is now working on a federally-funded project funded by the military which is utilizing light weight, low logistic materials for the production of infrastructure. The project is currently focusing on constructing bridge girder technology with glass and carbon fiber composites. The girder they’ve designed is u-shaped and measures 40 feet long. The composite girder retains all of the structural strength of a steel girder, but weighs over 50% less (the composite girder weighs 1,300 pounds and a steel girder weighs 2,600 – 3,250 pounds).

Dante is specifically in charge of determining the durability of the interface between the concrete deck of a bridge and the girder itself. He is doing this through long-term static and fatigue testing on the girder. He is also determining how many studs (which are used to connect a girder to the concrete deck of a bridge) are needed to safely and cost effectively utilize the girder.

Currently, Dante is working towards his Master’s. His thesis concerns the sheer connection in FRP concrete bridge girders. Once he graduates, Dante hopes to remain in Maine and work for a company (that is contracted by the Maine DOT) as a bridge structural designer.

Activities and Honors

– Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers

– Captain of the UMaine ASCE Steel Bridge Team

– Certified ACI Concrete Field Testing Technician – Grade 1

– Received EIT Certification