Jun 2015

Eatherton Receives the NSF CAREER Award

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Eatherton received the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grand for his proposal related to developing innovative structural systems for multi-hazard resistance using steel plates with cutouts.  The project will create new enhanced structural systems by strategically removing material (i.e. introducing engineered cutouts) in constituent steel plates.  Structural systems subjected to extreme lateral loads due to earthquake or wind resist collapse when they can sustain large deformation without breaking.  This property, known as ductility, protects the lives of inhabitants because buildings can deform without collapsing.  Typical structural systems that rely on shear deformations in steel plates to develop ductility are challenged by shear buckling and the potential for fracture.  This research attempts to revolutionize structural systems that rely on ductile shear deformations.  The innovative approach is to improve ductility and energy dissipation ability by strategically removing material from the plates rather than adding more material.  This project will develop cutout patterns, and the underlying science, to convert shear deformations into smaller ductile mechanisms that resist buckling. The new structural systems have the potential to improve the performance of the built environment when subjected to extreme lateral loads.