Elham Mousavian

Job title:

Lecturer in Architectural Structures


Minto House, Room 1.308


I am an expert in structurally-informed architectural design and form-finding of architectural structures with complex geometries and my research focuses on the development of structurally-informed and construction-aware computer aided design tools. I earned my PhD in Architectural Engineering from School of Architecture and Environmental Design of Iran University of Science and Technology. After working for two years at Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms CG of TU Wien (Austria), I was awarded a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship grant to coordinate the project “SiDMACIB: Structurally-informed Design of Masonry Assemblages Composed of Interlocking Blocks (MSCA-IF Grant 791235)” at the Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture (DiSt) of the University of Naples Federico II - UNINA (Italy).


I am currently the course organizer of the course Technology and Environment 3. The main goal of this course is to empower students to embed structural shape and material exploration in early stages of architectural design. The course presents a framework for the critical review of contemporary advanced structural systems. It demonstrates computationally efficient methods for structural shape explorations and understanding of form and force interaction. It also provides a project-based platform for stating and solving integrated structural-architectural design problems.


Research Projects:

1. Joint Layout Design (JLD): finding the strongest discrete element layout within interlocking assemblies

  • Employing Limit Analysis (LA) and Discontinuity Layout Optimization (DLO) methods to segment a continuum into interlocking discrete elements;
  • Developing python-based tools for stereotomic design of quasi-brittle discrete assemblies

2. Structurally informed Design of Masonry Assemblages Composed of Interlocking Blocks (SiDMACIB) - Marie Sklodowska-Curie individual Fellowship  grant no. 791235 -  Finished

  • Extension of Limit Analysis (LA) to discrete element assemblies with orthotropic contact behaviour;
  • Employing Discrete element method (DEM) to analyse interlocking masonry assemblages;
  • Parametric analysis of the shear-torsion behaviour of interlocking contacts with quasi-brittle behaviour (experimental and numerical models);
  • Developing form-finding optimization algorithms to minimize the structural infeasibilities through automated adjustment of the interlocking block geometries.
  • Developing .NET form-finding tools to design structurally-informed interlocking masonry assemblages

International Collaborations: 

1. Mechanics of Stone Assemblies  – Department of Structural Mechanics of TU Budapest, Hungary National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NRDIO)

2. Artificial Intelligence to assess the structural/seismic DAmage to historic heritage in BIM environment (AIDaBIM) – University of Naples Federico II – Italian PRIN 2022 PNRR – Grant P20225NAMF

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