Welcome to SMARTI lab

The Sychterz (SICK-tesh) Modular Adaptive Resilient Transformable Infrastructure lab combines structural engineering with architecture, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering to study large-scale controllable structures. We build and investigate these structural systems that can undergo large and small shape changes to address the challenges of our ever-evolving environment.


March 28, 2024 – Congrats to Sagnik on his article in Journal of Engineering Mechanics “Multilayered Rondomized Architected Material under Tensile Loading for a Tensegrity Structure”.

March 21, 2024 – Congrats to SEGSO past-president Angshuman Baruah for winning ASCE SEI Student Chapter of the year. Award was presented at SEIcon 2024 in San Antonio, TX.

March 8, 2024 – Ann Sychterz, P.Eng receives her Professional Engineering license from Ontario.

March 1, 2024 – Congrats to Sagnik Paul for willing the Chester P. Siess Award Award for conference travel to an outstanding graduate student in CEE.

May 31, 2023 – Ann is promoted from associate member (A.M.ASCE) to member (M.ASCE).

May 22, 2023 – Ann gives talk at US Army Corps of Engineers ERDC Vicksburg MS “Adaptive and deployable lightweight infrastructure”.

May 15, 2023 – SMARTI lab welcomes visiting PhD researcher, David Forster from the University of Stuttgart for the summer!

May 13, 2023 – Congratulations on your graduation from CEE masters, Kaylee Tucker and Juan Torres. We’ll miss you and look forward to the great things you’ll do!

May 5, 2023 – SMARTI lab attends (Ann moderates and Angshuman presents) at the ASCE Structures Congress 2023 in New Orleans, LA.

March 27, 2023 – Heather Gathman and Kaylee Tucker interviewed by University of Waterloo Women in Engineering 

February 23, 2023 –  Center for Infrastructure Resilience in Cities as Livable Environments (CIRCLE) wins continuation of funding, Ann Sychterz as co-PI in Thrust Integration.

February 21, 2023 – Congratulations to Angshuman Baruah for winning the Chester P. Siess Award for conference travel to an outstanding graduate student in CEE

February 17, 2023 – Ann gives talk at University of Texas at Austin “Adaptive and deployable lightweight infrastructure”.

February 13, 2023 – Congratulations to Angshuman Baruah for winning the Jacob Karol Fellowship.

February 6, 2023 – Ann Sychterz is selected as an Assistant Mentor for the ASCE ExCEEd Teaching Workshop at Colorado State, Fort Collins for summer 2023.

February 3, 2023 – Congrats to Heather Gathman on her first-author paper from her master’s research “Design of a full-scale aluminum plate tensegrity structure” in the Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures

January 23, 2023 – Ann Sychterz wins ASCE SEI Futures Fund Young Professional Tier 1 Scholarship to Structures Congress May 3-6 in New Orleans.

November 4, 2022 – Ann gives talk at Tufts University “Adaptive and deployable lightweight infrastructure”.

October 20, 2022 – Ann Sychterz wins funding from Illinois Department of Transportation with Lesley Sneed and Charlie Catlett “Monitoring Bridge Health and Optimizing Inspections”.

October 11, 2022 – Ann gives talk at University of Stuttgart “Adaptive building and geotechnical infrastructure systems”.

July 16, 2022 – Ann completes the American Society of Civil Engineers ExCEEd Teaching Workshop at West Point, NY.

July 12, 2022 – Ann gives talk at SOM “Adaptive and deployable lightweight infrastructure”.

July 6, 2022 – Ann presents at the 5th International Conference on Structures & Architecture in Aalborg, Denmark.

June 2, 2022 – Congrats Kaylee on winning conference fellowship for 1) Pave the Way Scholarship for the Women Architects Festival and 2)  gradSWE Illinois for the we22 conference!

May 31, 2022 – SMARTI lab attends ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute conference 2022 in Baltimore, MD good luck Anshuman and Sagnik!

May 25, 2022 – SMARTI lab attends Canadian Society for Civil Engineers annual conference 2022 in Whistler, BC good luck Heather and Kaylee!

May 3, 2022 – Angshuman has been elected president of the UIUC Structural Engineering Graduate Student Organization. Congrats!

May 1, 2022 – Ann wins NSF Engineering Civil Infrastructure #2207296 “Collaborative Research: Analyzing Deployable Torque-Activated Structural Mechanisms for Enhanced Tension Capacity of Geosystems” as lead-PI with Joe Tom (UIUC) and Ryan Beemer (UMassD)

April 28, 2022 – Ann gives talk at Johns Hopkins University “Adaptive and deployable lightweight infrastructure”.

April 14, 2022 – Ann gives talk at University of Waterloo “Path-planning for large-scale shape-changing civil structures”

March 11, 2022 – Congratulations to Angshuman Baruah on his first PhD-lead article “Assessment and Comparison of Cable-Actuation of Pill Bug Inspired Adaptive Origami Structure Using Computer Vision and Dynamic Relaxation” 

November 3, 2021 – Ann, Isabella, Joe, and Ryan have journal paper published in Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering “Nonlinear soil-structure behavior of a deployable and compliant anchor system”

August 30, 2021 – Ann (lead-PI) wins Discovery Partners Institute grant with Dr. Hajj, Dr. Sneed, and Dr. Shaffer.

August 25 – SMARTI lab attends the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2020/2021 with papers by Heather, Angshuman, and Sagnik

August 20 – SMARTI lab welcomes new MS students Kaylee Tucker, Matt Grendzinski, and Juan Torres!

August 4, 2021 – Ann wins the Gies College of Business ORMIR faculty fellow award

July 1, 2021 – Ann (co-PI) wins Illinois Center of Transportation grant with Dr. Baser and Dr. Tom to study Measurement While Drilling (MWD)

June 8, 2021 – Ann (lead-PI) wins the Academy of Excellence for Engineering Education  Strategic Instructional Innovations Program (SIIP) with Dr. Uihlein, Dr. Henschen, and Dr. Garg

May 26, 2021 – Ann presents work at EMI/PMC 2021 conference on pill bug-shaped origami structures

May 26-29, 2021 – SMARTI lab attends Canadian Society for Civil Engineers virtual annual conference 2021 in full force, good luck Heather, Angshuman, and Sagnik!

April 27, 2021 – Ann gets interviewed as external reviewer for Wired magazine [see article here]

April 25, 2021 –  SMARTI lab’s first accepted journal paper “Active Control for Adaptive Origami Structures Undergoing Damage” in Engineering Structures by Sychterz and Baruah [see article here]

March 29, 2021 – Ann gives talk at ENAC EPFL, Switzerland

March 12, 2021 – Ann gives talk at Beckman Institute Autonomous Materials Systems Group

March 10, 2021 – Ann gives talk at Construction Materials Seminar

March 4, 2021 – Ann gives talk at Illinois Transportation and Highway Engineering Conference

February 19, 2021 – Ann gives talk at UIUC Structures Conference

February 12, 2021 – Ann awarded Levenick Sustainable Teaching Fellow

February 12, 2021 – Ann gives talk at Carnegie Mellon University Advanced Infrastructure Systems group

January 1, 2021 – Angshuman continues with SMARTI lab for his PhD

October 29, 2020 – Ann Sychterz named Beckman Institute Faculty Affiliate

September 2, 2020 – SMARTI lab’s new Stratasys Object 500 Connex3 multi-material 3D polymer printer is up and running

August 15, 2020 – Heather Gathman joins SMARTI lab for her masters, welcome

August 15, 2020 – Sagnik Paul joints SMARTI lab for his PhD, welcome

August 1, 2020 – Angshuman Baruah joins SMARTI lab as a master’s RA, welcome

July 27, 2020 – Ann Sychterz and Nishant Garg to work on an aluminum tensegrity bike canopy SEE Campus as a Living Lab

July 14, 2020 –  Ann Sychterz named NCSA Faculty Fellow