There is an imprudent tendency around the world to construct structures using disposable technology. In the United States, buildings are traditionally designed to protect life during large earthquakes by allowing distributed structural damage and permanent drifts that can be unrepairable. In developing countries, many buildings are incapable of withstanding even moderate earthquakes without significant damage and danger to life. The construction industry consumes nonrenewable natural resources while producing waste and pollution at an alarming rate with little apparent consideration for how long those practices can be maintained. Our research group addresses the clear need to move away from short-sighted disposable technology and develop structural systems with enough resilience to endure extreme events in a way that can be sustainably continued in the future.

Structures that will satisfy improved structural repairability after large earthquakes require an inherent ability to limit residual drifts and concentrate structural damage in replaceable elements.  Since traditional seismic force resisting systems do not economically offer these capabilities, it is necessary to innovate new structural systems.  Our research group is investigating self-centering resilient structural systems and systems that limit the amount of structural and nonstructural damage a building experiences during earthquakes.  At the same time we recognize the need to offer seismic force resisting systems that can fit the needs of a particular site, seismic hazard, and building configuration.  For that reason, our research group is also developing seismic force resisting systems with improved flexibility and tunability.  Please see our research page for more information about some of our current projects.

Our group consists of graduate and undergraduate students from a range of different backgrounds.  Please visit our people page for more information.    We have expertise in a wide array of experimental and computational investigation techniques such as large scale structural testing, hybrid simulation tests, instrumentation, data acquisition, test control, and computational modeling techniques.

By enhancing the seismic performance of structural systems, creating repairability after earthquakes, and applying sustainability concepts, we hope to develop structural systems that can endure extreme events, but are constructed in a way that is sustainable for years to come.  In this manner, we hope to move past the disposable technology paradigm that is pervasive in current structural systems. 

Our group seeks to develop resilient and sustainable structural systems for dynamic loading such as earthquakes and wind. Our research focuses on high performance seismic lateral force resisting systems, understanding structural response due to earthquakes, and analysis and design of steel structures.


Nov 2012

Self-Centering Beams for Resilient Earthquake Resistance