Ms. Fahimeh Yavartanoo

Ph.D. student

Seoul National University

Ms. Fahimeh Yavartanoo is a Ph.D. student in the Architectural Engineering Department of Seoul National University in South Korea under Prof. Thomas Kang’s supervision. Her main research study is focused on the preservation and rehabilitation of masonry structures. As a part of her research, she has worked on Korean Pagoda, which is a very important historical monument in Korean history. The results were published in several international conferences and ASCE journal. My future goal is to develop my knowledge and experience in the field of preservation and working on more types of historical structures to find and propose a new practical retrofit method. She thinks that attending this program is a good opportunity to advance her knowledge through communication with many other successful women.


Mireuksaji stone pagoda (the only remaining building in Mireuksaji temple) has existed for 1400 years. More than half of the Mireuksaji stone pagoda has collapsed. Due to the historical, cultural and architectural value of the Mireuksaji stone pagoda, which reflects the style of wooden buildings of that era, it is necessary to evaluate and investigate the cause of collapse for reconstruction and restoration plans and the structural stability of this cultural heritage. For this reason, in the first step, material properties of stones in the pagoda were investigated by taking samples from some of the separated stones that originally constituted the pagoda. Uniaxial and triaxial compressive strength tests, tensile strength tests, and nondestructive tests for the porosity and the absorption rate of the stone were carried out. In the next step, a three-dimensional numerical analysis software for discontinuous modeling based on the distinct element method was utilized to model and analyze the pagoda as accurately as possible. Since the interface between stone blocks is a critical part of the main load-bearing system in the discontinuous structure, some sensitivity analysis was done to consider the effects of structural performance. The analysis also considered different imperfections due to weathering deterioration (material degradation) and irregular shape of remaining stones (surfaces are partially in contact) and their interfaces.