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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 Joins Group

Welcome to new MS candidate Lauren Schissler, who is joining the research team for the project Strength and Serviceability of Damaged Steel Girders (sponsored by the Illinois Center for Transportation)! This project is a collaborative effort including Professors Elbanna, Fahnestock and LaFave and graduate students Ahmed Ibrahim and Sanjana Ahershinge. In May, Lauren graduated with a BS in CE from Illinois and was awarded a first-place Ira O. Baker Prize and a Lewis Graduate Fellowship for study in the field of structural engineering.

Zhou Presents at IBC 2022

Congratulations to PhD candidate Sunny Zhou for presenting today at the International Bridge Conference in Pittsburgh! Sunny’s presentation, “Construction and Live Load Behavior of a Skewed Steel I-Girder Bridge,” describes a portion of the ongoing project “Evaluation of Spatial and Temporal Load Distribution in Steel Bridge Superstructures,” which is sponsored by the Illinois Center for Transportation. Accompanying the IBC presentation is a peer-reviewed paper in Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, which is now available online:

Zhou, S., Fahnestock, L.A., LaFave, J.M. and Dorado, R. “Construction and Live Load Behavior of a Skewed Steel I-Girder Bridge,” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board (published online July 14, 2022) https://doi.org/10.1177/03611981221105276

Zhou Selected as Mavis Fellow

Congratulations to Siang (Sunny) Zhou for being selected as one of the Mavis Future Faculty Fellows (MF3) for the 2022-2023 academic year!  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.

The MF3 program is designed to prepare Ph.D. students for becoming the next generation of engineering professors through instruction and mentorship in teaching, research and service.  This program is made possible by a generous bequest of Frederic T. and Edith F. Mavis. Prof. Mavis received B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois.  During his career, he was a Civil Engineering faculty member at several universities and Dean of Engineering at the University of Maryland from 1957 until 1967.

Dorado Receives MS and Enters PhD Program

Congratulations to Ricardo Dorado on receiving his MS in Civil Engineering this past weekend!  Ricardo was a Fulbright Fellow during his MS program and he is continuing his research, under the direction of Larry Fahnestock and Jim LaFave, on a project supported by the Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT R27-194 “Evaluation of Spatial and Temporal Load Distribution in Steel Bridge Superstructures”).

Jim LaFave, Ricardo Dorado and Larry Fahnestock at CEE Graduation Reception (May 2022).

Shi Admitted to PhD Candidacy

Congratulations to Shitao Shi on passing the structural engineering qualifying exam and being admitted to candidacy in the PhD program!  Shitao is studying stability design of steel building systems and his work is contributing to projects funded by the American Institute of Steel Construction and the National Science Foundation.

Deierlein Delivers Newmark Lecture

This week the structures faculty hosted Prof. Greg Deierlein, Blume Professor of Engineering at Stanford University, as he delivered the Newmark Distinguished Lecture, “Informing Strategies to Promote Earthquake Resilience through Performance-based Simulations.”  Thanks to Prof. Deierlein for visiting and giving an excellent talk!

Illinois Structures Faculty, Staff and Students with Prof. Greg Deierlein during his Newmark Lecture Visit (photo by Prof. Bill Spencer via Drone)