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Upcoming Seminars

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Past Seminars

Photo of Alvaro Celestino

The Seismic Compliance Options for California Hospitals, an Update on SPC and NPC Requirements

June 07, 2023 - 12:00 pm

Speaker: Alvaro Celestino

California hospitals need to be seismically compliant per the requirements of the CAC by January 1, 2030.  The CAC contains seismic compliance requirements for structural and non-structural elements.  This presentation will discuss those requirements, progress done so far, the work ahead, possible extensions being discussed at the state level. Case studies will be discussed to highlight the process of seismic compliance.

Photo of Patrick Chang

Moffatt & Nichol – Overview of SD Projects

May 31, 2023 - 12:00 pm

Speaker: Patrick Chang & Valentina Vasquez

In 1941, John G. Moffatt and Frank E. Nichol formed partnerships in California to provide engineering and design services to the growing marine infrastructure of the West Coast of the United States. Initially, Moffatt & Nichol concentrated on harbor works and waterways, bridges, buildings, industrial facilities, military installations, and public works.

Photo of Dr. Dimitrios Kalliontzis

Utilizing Universal Panel Tester to Study Shear Behavior of Ultra-High-Performance Concrete

May 24, 2023 - 12:00 pm

Speaker: Dr. Dimitrios Kalliontzis

To prevent brittle failures of Ultra-High-Performance Concrete (UHPC) members due to diagonal shear cracks, it is crucial to better understand the shear-dominated mechanisms of UHPC. These mechanisms can be affected by the tension and compression fields developed in UHPC, which is investigated in this study through experiments of combined shear and axial loading. The experimental work is carried out with the Universal Panel Tester (UPT) at the University of Houston, where four unreinforced UHPC elements are tested, representing web elements cut out from large-scale UHPC beams.

Photo of Tracy Becker

Using ML to aid in True Performance Based Design of Isolated Buildings

May 22, 2023 - 12:00 pm

Speaker: Dr. Tracy Becker

Base isolation systems are often chosen in structural engineering to outperform conventional structural designs, allowing designers and owners to achieve high performance goals. However, achieving specific performance targets requires numerous high-fidelity analyses and often involves iteration in design, and analyzing their behavior in extreme events remains a difficult and computationally expensive task, especially when exploring diverse design options.

Photo of Dr. Roman Makhnenko

Coupled Processes in Subsurface Shales

May 15, 2023 - 12:00 pm

Speaker: Dr. Roman Makhnenko

Tight shale-like formations are often considered as barriers for fluid flow in geo-energy projects, such as CO 2 and H 2 storage or deep disposal of nuclear waste. The appropriate shale formations should have high clay content and dominant pore sizes on the order of nanometers. Their sealing capacity is determined by high non wetting fluid entry values, low permeability, high ductility, and it varies with physical, thermal, and chemical disturbances over time.

Photo of Professor Amit Kanvinde

Weak Column Base Connections for Steel Moment Frames

May 08, 2023 - 12:00 pm

Speaker: Professor Amit Kanvinde

Column base connections are arguably the most important connections in steel buildings, transferring loads from the entire structure into the foundation. At the interface of steel and concrete, these connections are complex in terms of behavior, design, as well as structural interactions with the building frame. This lecture will address “Weak” column base connections for seismic conditions, wherein the base connections can be designed to sustain large inelastic rotations. This contrasts with the common practice of designing the base connections to be stronger than the attached column.

Photo of Dean Schoenberg

Building Tall in Today’s Environment

May 03, 2023 - 12:00 pm

Speaker: Dean Schoenberg & Mack Conachen

The presentation will focus on some of the more unique challenges that Thornton Tomasetti is facing in our industry today related to revisions in code provisions, an increased scrutiny on green building and the desire to use more sustainable construction materials such as mass timber as well as the tools we use to execute projects with complex geometry.

Photo of William Bruin

Design Considerations for Waterfront and Near Shore Structures

April 10, 2023 - 12:00 pm

Speaker: William Bruin

Located in harsh marine environments, coastal and waterfront developments require special considerations to ensure resilience over the project’s design life.

Photo of Dr. Aaron Freidenberg

Structural Forensics Case Studies

April 03, 2023 - 12:00 pm

Speaker: Dr. Aaron Freidenberg

Structural collapses can occur due to extraordinary events as well as design or construction errors.  The presentation will include a case study of a partially collapsed reinforced concrete bridge and a separate case study of a badly damaged house, both of which occurred for reasons that are not immediately obvious. With help from the audience, we’ll present convincing arguments of the root causes of the failures and the parties at fault for those two case studies.

Andrew Whittle

Some Scale Effects in Modeling Soil Behavior

March 15, 2023 - 12:00 pm

Speaker: Andrew Whittle

This lecture will summarize recent progress that addresses three different topics associated with  modeling scale effects in soils: The first concerns the classic problem of physical scaling of foundation bearing  resistance on sands: Here, advances in elasto-plastic modeling of compression and shear properties (using the  MIT-S1 model) can explain the effects of relative density and foundation length scale on the bearing  mechanisms, while further work is needed to predict shear banding at large deformations.

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