Shiho Kawashima Named to Forbes 30 Under 30 List

Jan 28 2015 | By Holly Evarts

Shiho Kawashima, assistant professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics, is one of the “young game changers, movers, and makers” named to the annual Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the Science category. Recognized for her work in experimental cement and concrete research, she joins an accomplished group of young researchers changing the world.

Shiho Kawashima

“This is pretty cool—I’m happy civil engineering and especially concrete research are getting some visibility,” says Kawashima, whose research focuses on cementitious materials at the nano-/microscale. Her main focus is characterizing the rheological properties of “fresh” cement-based systems: studying the deformation and flow of these materials is critical in determining the efficiency of the placement process during construction, suspension stability up until setting, and the eventual performance of the structure in place. During construction, concrete mixes undergo a wide range of deformations—very large during processes such as mixing and pumping, but then diminishingly small after placement when it is at rest.

Kawashima’s work aims to experimentally probe and then model its linear and nonlinear viscoelastic properties through a wide range of timescales and magnitudes of deformations and rates. She is also investigating the use of different additives, including clays, and the effect of elevated temperatures/pressures to tailor their performance for select applications, including reducing formwork pressure and oil well cementing.

Kawashima, who joined Columbia Engineering in 2013, earned her BS in civil engineering and engineering mechanics at the Engineering School, and both her MS and PhD in structural engineering and infrastructure materials at Northwestern University.