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.
A paper on field behavior of integral abutment bridges has been published in the ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering:
LaFave, J.M., Brambila, G., Kode, U., Liu, G. and Fahnestock, L.A. “Field Behavior of Integral Abutment Bridges under Thermal Loading,” Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, April 2021, 26 (4): 04021013. dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)BE.1943-5592.0001677
The work described in this paper was part of the project Analysis of Superstructures of Integral Abutment Bridges, which was sponsored by the Illinois Center for Transportation and the Illinois Tollway.
The bridge instrumentation systems on two new Mattis Avenue bridges in Champaign, over I-74 and I-57, are now installed and collecting data. Monitoring over the next several years will provide new knowledge about behavior under daily traffic loading and longer-term structural response due to seasonal temperature changes. This field data collection program is part of Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT) Project R27-194: Evaluation of Spatial and Temporal Load Distribution in Steel Bridge Superstructures, which was recently featured online by ICT and CEE. Thanks to Sunny Zhou (Ph.D. student and lead graduate research assistant) and the dedicated research team for their hard work over the last few months to reach this major milestone!
This week – as part of the NSF-funded project “Collaborative Research: Frame-Spine System with Force-Limiting Connections for Low-Damage Seismic-Resilient Buildings” – researchers from the University of Illinois, Lehigh University, Oregon State University, Kyoto University, Hokkaido University and E-Defense conducted full-scale building earthquake simulations on the shake table at the Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center (E-Defense). The four-story building employed a novel low-damage structural system and the building was furnished with hospital fixtures and equipment to evaluate protection of occupants and building contents. The testing program concluded on December 17 with an earthquake simulation using an input acceleration record from the 1995 Kobe Earthquake (100% JMA Kobe video linked). Due to the pandemic, researchers from the U.S. could not visit Japan for the tests, but with excellent communication and dedicated colleagues in Japan, the program was completed successfully!
As part of Project R27-194: Evaluation of Spatial and Temporal Load Distribution in Steel Bridge Superstructures, sponsored by the Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT), instrumentation is currently being installed on two new bridges on Mattis Avenue in Champaign, over I-74 and I-57. Subsequent monitoring over several years will provide new knowledge about behavior under daily traffic loading and longer-term structural response due to seasonal temperature changes. This four-year grant is being led by Larry Fahnestock (PI), Jim LaFave (Co-PI) and Ph.D. student Sunny Zhou.
The Illinois Center for Transportation has funded a new research project to study damaged steel bridge girders. R27-225: Strength and Serviceability of Damaged Steel Girders will develop fundamental understanding of damage in steel bridge girders due to vehicle strikes and translate that knowledge into a framework for structural inspection, assessment, and decision-making. The research is being conducted by PI Larry Fahnestock and Co-PIs Ahmed Elbanna and Jim LaFave.
Congratulations to Josh Steelman (PhD, 2013) for his recent promotion to Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln! Prof. Steelman’s areas of professional and research interest include: structural risk and reliability at the component, structure, and regional levels; response of structures to extreme events and innovative methods for structural protection; experimental investigation of structural response; performance-based evaluation and design of structures. He is involved with the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility and is the PI for a new NCHRP project related to railing collision loads.
Congratulations to Siang (Sunny) Zhou on passing her PhD preliminary exam! Sunny is co-advised by Prof. Larry Fahnestock and Prof. James LaFave, and she is studying superstructure response and load distribution in skewed steel girder bridges under thermal and traffic loading as part of a project sponsored by the Illinois Center for Transportation. Best wishes to Sunny as she continues her research!
Abstracts are now being accepted for the 2021 SSRC Annual Stability Conference, which will be held in conjunction with the AISC North American Steel Construction Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, April 13-16, 2021.
A new paper, which documents an extensive experimental program that was conducted to characterize the nonlinear response of bolted steel angles, is now available online:
Beland, T., Bradley, C.R., Nelson, J., Sizemore, J.G., Davaran, A., Tremblay, R., Hines, E.M. and Fahnestock, L.A. “Experimental parametric characterization of bolted angle connection behavior,” Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, August 2020, 146 (8): 04020160. dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0002662
A new paper on full-scale testing of steel gravity connections is now available online:
Beland, T., Tremblay, R., Hines, E.M. and Fahnestock, L.A. “Rotational Capacity of Bolted Double-Web-Angle Beam-Column Gravity Connections through Full-Scale Experimental Testing,” Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, July 2020, 146 (7): 04020111. dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0002661