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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 25, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2011

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Volume 25, Number 1, 2011

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Fall 2011 Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series Concludes: Spring Lineup Includes Several New Speakers

The Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series concluded the Fall 2011 semester after featuring 11 presentations on a variety of topics, such as high performance materials, advanced technologies, and foundation engineering. Speakers included Ian G. Buckle (University of Nevada, Reno), Stephen Mahin, (University of California, Berkeley) and T. Les Youd (Brigham Young University), among others.

Held at the University at Buffalo (UB), the sessions are part of a graduate-level class (CIE 580: Emerging Technologies in Bridge Engineering) at UB. An associated graduate course will be offered in Spring 2012, which will feature a mix of speakers and recorded lectures by previous speakers (CIE 579: Bridge and Highway Infrastructure Management and Public Policy). The course is offered through UB’s EngiNet distance learning program ( Professional development credit is also available for individual lectures.

The Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series was established in collaboration with AASHTO’s Subcommittee on Bridges & Structures and the support of the Federal Highway Administration. It is intended to help share the experience and lessons that experts have learned over their careers with graduate students and younger practicing engineers. For more information, visit Speaker_Series.

Fall 2011 Speakers

Sept. 12 - Recent Advances in Steel Fabrication
Ronald D. Medlock, High Steel Structures, Inc.

Mr. Medlock discussed advances in steel bridge fabrication that can lead to improved structural performance and lower costs.

Sept. 19 - Ultra-High Performance Concrete
Benjamin Graybeal, Office of Infrastructure Research & Development, Federal Highway Administration

Dr. Graybeal focused on applications of ultra high performance concrete within the realm of highway infrastructure.

Sept. 26 - Strengthening Bridges with Carbon FRP Composites
Issam Harik, Kentucky Transportation Center, University of Kentucky

Dr. Harik introduced fiber reinforced polymer composites for use on bridges, using past and ongoing research to illustrate successful techniques.

Oct. 3 - Structural Health Monitoring and Diagnostic Technology
Maria Feng, University of California, Irvine

Dr. Feng explored the potential of sensor-based structural health monitoring to assess the structural integrity of a bridge.

Oct. 10 - Seismic Isolation Technology for Highway Bridges
Ian Buckle, University of Nevada, Reno

Dr. Buckle covered the principles of isolation, reviewed its application to bridges, discussed available isolation hardware, and presented a design example that illustrated an application of the technology.

Oct. 17 - Structural Engineering Contributions to Improving the Seismic Resilience of Transportation Systems
Stephen A. Mahin, Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Mahin highlighted recent research related to improving the seismic resilience of bridges and transportation networks, focusing mainly on structural solutions, but also on seismic and tsunami hazards, transportation network design, and structural analysis.

Oct. 31 - Protecting Against Scour, the #1 Cause of Bridge Failure
Kornel Kerenyi, Office of Infrastructure Research & Development, Federal Highway Administration

Dr. Kerenyi explained the mechanisms that cause scour and illustrated an application of the new HEC-18 Pier Scour Equation for coarse bed material.

Nov. 7 - Probability-based Design Approaches, AASHTO’s LRFD Bridge Design Specifications
Wagdy Wassef, Modjeski & Masters, Inc.

Dr. Wassef discussed the development of AASHTO’s LRFD Bridge Design Specifications and what’s involved in its maintenance.

Nov. 14 - Load and Resistance Factor Rating (LRFR)
Dennis Mertz, Center for Innovative Bridge Engineering, University of Delaware

Dr. Mertz introduced participants to AASHTO load and resistance factor rating methods that are used to assess the reliability of existing bridges. He outlined the steps necessary to ensure successful transition to this new highway- bridge rating methodology.

Nov. 21 - Case Studies in Bridge Engineering as Part of Emergency Response
Barton Newton, California Department of Transportation

Mr. Newton discussed three case studies that illustrate how fundamental engineering principles and innovative solutions were used to restore function and service to the California state transportation system after an emergency.

Nov. 28 - Liquefaction Hazard to Bridge Foundations
T. Les Youd, Brigham Young University

Dr. Youd explained liquefaction and other types of ground failure that can occur during earthquakes. He presented case histories to illustrate past examples of liquefactioninduced ground failure, as well as mitigation measures that guard against liquefaction.