Smitha Gopinath is a scientist at CSIR-Structural Engineering Research Centre in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, since 2006. She obtained her B.Tech (Honours) in Civil Engineering from Government Engineering College, Thrissur, Kerala, in 1999, and M.E. in Structural Engineering from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, in 2001. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in the area of textile reinforced concrete.
At CSIR-SERC, Smitha has presented many research papers and has been involved I technology development. She received the Dr. Ramaiah prize award in CSIR-SERC for the best technical paper. She is a senior member of RILEM, the International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures based in France, and is a member of two of its technical committees.
Smitha has 56 research papers to her credit including 24 international journal papers. She won the ‘L&T DR. A. Ramakrishnan Young Engineer Award – 2012’ from the Institution of Engineers for her contribution in the field of computational modelling of reinforced concrete structures. Currently, she is one of the project coordinators for an international collaborative project.
Recently, Smitha developed a new construction material called fabric reinforced concrete (FABcrete), which is a type of textile reinforced concrete and has shown many applications of this material for standalone and retrofitting purposes. She has developed a prefabrication technology for the production of textile reinforced concrete, through which many structural and non-structural components can be produced by making use of single technology. This is the first of its kind technology in the field of construction wherein textile reinforced concrete members can be produced without the use of moulds.
Smitha’s contribution to the field of computational modelling of reinforced concrete structures by developing methodologies and constitutive models for nonlinear finite element analysis is immense. Other innovating models presented by her addressed some of the most challenging behaviours like tensile behaviour, bond-slip, crack rotation, tension softening, tension stiffening, corrosion, time dependent behaviour etc. which contribute towards nonlinearity in reinforced concrete structures. These models provide valuable insight into the underlying physics and also support the scale-up of micro, meso and macro behaviour.
Besides, Smitha has also developed a novel crack width prediction model to use in finite element analysis. She developed material models leveraging damage mechanics based concepts to predict the local and global response of real life structures such as chimney and cooling tower. She has also developed methodologies to predict the remaining life of reinforced concrete structural components accounting for the corrosion effects.
Smitha Gopinath’s constitutive models have been integrated with a CSIR-SERC developed software FINEART for performing finite element analysis of real life reinforced concrete structures. These assessment models and methodologies are a significant stride in the space of computational modelling and also of immense help to practicing engineers for improved understanding of structural behaviour and also to arrive at cost-effective structural solutions for many complex real life structural problems.