Ashley P. Thrall
John Cardinal O'Hara, C.S.C. Assistant Professor
University of Notre Dame
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
and Earth Sciences



Dr. Thrall’s primary research interest is the design and optimization of kinetic structures. Her Ph.D. dissertation, entitled “Design and Optimization of Linkage-Based Movable Bridge Forms,” focused on developing new forms for movable bridges utilizing linkages as the main structural and kinematic elements. At Notre Dame, Dr. Thrall and her Kinetic Structures Laboratory are investigating the behavior, design, and optimization of a wide variety of kinetic structures. Current and recent projects including finding new forms for movable bridges, designing rapidly deployable shelters, and optimizing deployable bridges with applications for the military, the developing world, and disaster relief.


Dr. Thrall is currently recruiting graduate students and post-doctoral research associates. If you are interested in pursuing research in this field, please contact her directly.




Professor Thrall awarded an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant to study Transitional Bridging.


Angelene Dascanio awarded International Sharon D. Banks Memorial Scholarship by the WTS. Congratulations, Angelene!


Paper accepted for publication in Automation in Construction: Alegria Mira, Lara, Ashley P. Thrall, and Niels De Temmerman. "Deployable Scissor Arch for Transitional Shelters."


Paper accepted for publication in Engineering Structures: Martinez-Martin, Francisco J. and Ashley P. Thrall. "Honeycomb Core Sandwich Panels for Origami-Inspired Deployable Shelters: Multi-objective Optimization for Minimum Weight and Maximum Energy Efficiency"


Paper accepted for publication in Engineering Structures: Thrall, Ashley P. and Chad P. Quaglia. "Accordion Shelters: A Historical Review of Origami-like Deployable Shelters Developed by the US Military."


Paper accepted for publication in ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering: Russell, Brittani. R., Ashley P. Thrall, Joseph A. Padula, and Jimmy E. Fowler. “Re-Conceptualization and Optimization of a Rapidly Deployable Floating Causeway.”


Brittani Russell successfully passed her Comprehensive Master's Examination. Congratulations, Brittani!


Chad Quaglia has been awarded a 2013 American Council of Engineering Companies of Indiana Scholarship. Congratulations, Chad!


Prof. Ashley Thrall collaborated with Prof. Niels de Temmerman and Ir. Lara Alegria Mira at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel to build a transitional shelter for disaster relief comprised of deployable scissor arches. Watch the video to see the construction and deployment process. Prof. Thrall's participation in this project was supported by the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Structural Engineering Traveling Fellowship.











Hoberman Sphere at the Liberty Science Center (top), Willis Avenue Bridge (middle), and Tipi (bottom).