Thursday, 28 January 2016

Introduction to my blog

Hello everyone!
My name is Sofia Antonopoulou, I am from Greece, and in particular from Athens, and I am currently working as an Early Stage Researcher at University College Dublin in Ireland under TRUSS project since September 2015.
This is my blog - my first blog ever … - and here, I’m planning to publish some information and news regarding my research, my activities and my future plans.

Firstly, just a few things to know me better.. I graduated from National & Kapodistrian University of Athens with a BSc in the field of Geology & Environmental Science and then, I got my MSc degree in Materials Science & Engineering from National Technical University of Athens. During my studies, I joined in university’s internship program, a really useful experience for my future decisions. Immediately after, I worked as geotechnical engineer in private sector to gain some working experience and decide for my next steps. I also participated as research associate in three scientific projects in UoA & NTUA and I attended four international conferences as part of my work.

My project, ESR1, entitled “Reliability of concrete structures reinforced with braided FRP”, is part of Marie SkÅ‚odowska - Curie ITN Project “TRUSS”, funded by the European Union under Horizon 2020, and will hopefully result in a PhD title in Civil Engineering after three years. The host institution for my fellowship is University College Dublin and the industrial partner for my secondment is Burgmann Packings, both in Ireland. My main academic supervisor in UCD is Dr. Ciaran McNally and my industrial supervisor in Burgmann Packings is Mr. Greg Byrne.
The main objective of my project is to assess the reliability of concrete structures manufactured using braided Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) reinforcement. Experimental testing programmes at UCD (SEM, XPS etc.) planned in collaboration with the design and manufacture of braided composite materials at Burgmann Packings will be the keys for develop reliability models that will determine structural safety of these promising materials.

During the first 4 months in UCD, I conducted a literature review for my project in order to familiarise myself with the topic and set up my short-term goals. Currently, I’m about to start working in the laboratory at Burgmann Packings manufacturing my first FRPs!

My 1st visit in Burgmann Packings laboratory - "128 Carrier Radial Braiding Machine” for the production of braided fibre preforms.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions at

See you soon!