Liu Passes Prelim

Congratulations to Gaoyu Liu on passing his PhD preliminary exam!  Gaoyu is co-advised by Prof. Larry Fahnestock and Prof. James LaFave, and he is studying approach slab response and performance at integral abutment bridges under thermal and traffic loading as part of a project sponsored by the Illinois Tollway.  Best wishes to Gaoyu as he continues his research!

2021 AISC Educator Workshop

On August 5, AISC is offering a workshop to help educators enhance steel courses. The session will include teaching tips and resources covering topics like the importance of design, how students learn, how to design a steel course, using hands-on demonstrations to help students visualize behavior, learning outside the classroom, and how AISC teaching aids can enhance your course.  Read more and sign up here!

Ahershinge and Dorado Join Bridge Projects

Sanjana Ahershinge and Ricardo Dorado recently joined bridge research projects under the direction of Prof. Fahnestock and Prof. LaFave and supported by the Illinois Center for Transportation.  Sanjana (Shri G.S. Institute of Technology and Science) and Ricardo (Universidad Catolica Boliviana “San Pablo”) both earned Bachelor’s degrees in Civil Engineering in 2018 and spent some time in engineering practice before coming to Illinois to pursue Master’s degrees.  Sanjana is part of the project ICT R27-225 “Strength and Serviceability of Damaged Steel Girders” and Ricardo is a Fulbright Fellow working on the project ICT R27-194 “Evaluation of Spatial and Temporal Load Distribution in Steel Bridge Superstructures.”  Welcome to Sanjana and Ricardo!

Kode Joins Horner & Shifrin

Congratulations to Utkarsh Kode (MS, 2019) for his new position at Horner & Shifrin in St. Louis, Missouri!  Utkarsh contributed to several bridge research projects during his graduate studies in CEE at Illinois and is a co-author on the recent paper:

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.

Best wishes to Utkarsh as he begins his professional career in bridge engineering!

NASCC Next Week

NASCC: The Virtual Steel Conference will be held next week, April 12-16, 2021.  NASCC includes multiple specialty tracks, including the SSRC Annual Stability Conference, and registration to the entire NASCC is free for students.

On Tuesday (April 13), Larry Fahnestock will be part of an international team presenting the session “A Frame-Spine System with Force-Limiting Connections for Seismic Resilience,” and on Thursday (April 15), Aradhana Agarwal will present her paper “Parametric Evaluation of Multi-Tiered Ordinary Concentrically Braced Frames under Seismic Loading,” in the Stability under Seismic Loading session of the SSRC ASC.  Tune in to learn more about these important advances in seismic stability, along with many other great presentations.

Zhou to Speak at SEI Illinois Webinar

On March 25, Sunny Zhou (PhD student) will be speaking about her research at the SEI Illinois Chapter Webinar: Innovative Structural Engineering Research Spotlight.  This webinar will feature three University of Illinois structural engineering PhD students, and registration is free for all students.  Sunny is working on a major field monitoring campaign and she will be presenting on early results for two instrumented skewed steel I-girder bridges.

SEI Illinois Chapter – March Webinar

Sunny Zhou at Mattis Avenue Bridge over I-57

Tao Admitted to PhD Candidacy

Congratulations to Zhuoqi Tao on passing the structural engineering qualifying exam and being admitted to candidacy in the PhD program!  Zhuoqi is studying innovative methods for seismic stability and damage control in steel building systems as part of the NSF-funded project Collaborative Research: Frame-Spine System for Seismic-Resilient Building Performance.  His recent work contributed to a unique full-scale four-story building test that was conducted at E-Defense in December 2020.

IAB Field Monitoring Paper

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.

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.

Bridge Monitoring Started

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!

Testing at E-Defense

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!

Prof. Kurata (Kyoto University), Prof. Okazaki (Hokkaido University) and Dr. Kawamata (E-Defense) with Four-Story Test Building at E-Defense