Welcome to the online home of the Fahnestock Research Group within CEE at Illinois.  Led by Prof. Larry Fahnestock, and collaborating with colleagues at Illinois and other universities, the group conducts research broadly related to behavior, design and performance of large-scale structural systems.  We employ laboratory and field testing in conjunction with analytical and numerical models to illuminate critical aspects of behavior that inform advances in system configurations and design methods, ultimately leading to superior performance that contributes to infrastructure resiliency and sustainability.  Research topics span across buildings and bridges, moderate and high seismic design, low and high ductility response, service and extreme load conditions.  Current projects are sponsored by the National Science Foundation, American Institute of Steel Construction, Illinois Center for Transportation and Illinois Tollway.  This site provides a brief overview of the group activities, so please inquire for more details about anything posted here.

Schissler Wins AISC Scholarship

Congratulations to Lauren Schissler for receiving an AISC/Associated Steel Erectors of Chicago Scholarship for the 2023-2024 academic year! Lauren is an M.S. candidate and Lewis Graduate Fellow working on a collaborative research project with Professors Elbanna, Fahnestock and LaFave. The project, Strength and Serviceability of Damaged Steel Girders, is sponsored by the Illinois Center for Transportation.

Fahnestock Visits Bangladesh

In late July, Larry Fahnestock visited Dhaka, Bangladesh for the Second International Conference on Advances in Civil Infrastructure and Construction Materials, where he delivered a keynote lecture and spoke at the closing ceremony about the legacy of Dr. Fazlur Rahman Khan. CICM 2023 focused on the theme of Resilience and Sustainability, and it was organized in honor of Dr. Khan, who earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1955 and went on to design iconic structures around the world. Along with all of his engineering accomplishments, Dr. Khan was known for his heart for people. He said, “The technical man must not be lost in his own technology. He must be able to appreciate life, and life is art, drama, music, and most importantly, people.”

Larry Fahnestock at closing ceremony of CICM 2023.

Zhou Deposits Dissertation

Congratulations to Sunny Zhou for depositing her Ph.D. dissertation! Best wishes to Sunny as she moves to Texas next month and starts a tenure-track Assistant Professor position at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley!

Zhou Defends Dissertation

Congratulations to Sunny Zhou for defending her Ph.D. dissertation! Sunny’s doctoral research, “Evaluation of Superstructure Response and Load Distribution in Skewed Steel I-Girder Bridges,” was co-advised by Jim LaFave and Larry Fahnestock as part of a project funded by the Illinois Center for Transportation.

Sunny Zhou with doctoral committee (Jim LaFave, Jennifer McConnell, Armando Duarte and Larry Fahnestock) after defense.

Liu Receives PhD

Congratulations to Gaoyu Liu for being hooded and receiving his doctoral degree this past weekend!

Larry Fahnestock, Gaoyu Liu and Jim LaFave at CEE Graduation Reception.

Liu Defends and Deposits Dissertation

Congratulations to Gaoyu Liu for defending and depositing his Ph.D. dissertation! Gaoyu’s doctoral research, “Structural Behavior of Integral Abutment Bridge Approach Slabs,” was co-advised by Jim LaFave and Larry Fahnestock as part of a project funded by the Illinois Tollway. Best wishes to Gaoyu in his post-Illinois pursuits, which already have begun as a Software Development Engineer at Amazon in Seattle!

Steel Building Site Visit

Prof. Fahnestock and students in CEE462, Steel Structures II, toured the under-construction University of Illinois Foundation Philanthropy Center and learned about the fast-track design/build delivery that will bring this 60,000 sq. ft. facility online by the end of 2023. Thanks to the project team members from Perkins Eastman and Berglund Construction who made this visit possible!

Steel Structures II class at the new UI Foundation building.
Steel Structures II class in the new UI Foundation building, State Farm Center beyond.

Alumni Spotlight – Riddle at ESi

Joe Riddle (MS, 2014) joined ESi in 2014 and has been a Senior Consultant since 2018.  His work includes investigation, evaluation, and repair of distressed structures across a wide range of building types – residential, commercial, and industrial.  During his graduate studies at Illinois, Joe was involved in field monitoring of two integral abutment bridges on the Illinois Tollway, and the results from that project provided the foundation for the current project funded by the Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT): Evaluation of Spatial and Temporal Load Distribution in Steel Bridge Superstructures
(ICT R27-194).