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.

AISC Internships – Summer 2024

AISC is now accepting applications from students enrolled in structural, architectural, or civil engineering programs for a full-time paid summer internship at AISC’s headquarters in downtown Chicago. AISC interns support both the AISC Engineering and Research Department and the Education Department in developing technical resources for structural steel design and education.

Qualified applicants:

  • Will be enrolled in either a master’s degree curriculum or at least the third year of a Bachelor of Science curriculum.
  • Will have completed at least one course in structural steel design.
  • Should be planning to continue with their education full-time in Fall 2024.
  • Are authorized to work in the United States.

Interested students can learn more about the position and application process here. Any questions can be directed to hr@aisc.org.

Shi Receives AISC Travel Grant

Congratulations to Shitao Shi for receiving a Student Travel Grant from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) to attend the November Task Committee and Committee on Specifications meetings in Chicago! This program connects students with AISC Staff mentors and provides the opportunity to meet some of the leading engineers and researchers in the industry and to see firsthand how AISC’s specifications and standards are made. Shitao’s Ph.D. research on seismic stability assessment and design of steel buildings is partially funded by AISC.

Journal Special Issue Opportunities

Submissions are currently being accepted for two journal special issues related to innovations in earthquake engineering:

Journal of Structural Engineering is seeking papers for a Special Issue on “Innovations in Energy Dissipation Devices for Seismic Protection.”

Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics is seeking papers for a Special Issue on “Large-scale testing of earthquake-resistant structures: Accomplishments and future challenges.”

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.