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David Sanders

David Sanders

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, 1990
  • M.S., University of Texas, Austin, 1986
  • B.S., Iowa State University, 1984


Dr. Sanders is very active in research in the behavior and design of structural concrete with an emphasis in the seismic performance of bridges. He has conducted extensive research in the seismic evaluation, design, strengthening and repair of bridges including large-scale component and system experiments and analysis.

He has held multiple positions within the American Concrete Institute (ACI) including chair of the Technical Activities Committee, ACI-ASCE Committee on Shear and Torsion and the committee on Earthquake Resistant Concrete Bridges, and served on the Building Code Committee (ACI 318) as well as the ACI Board of Direction.

He has received a Professional Progress in Engineering Award and an Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from Iowa State University.

He is on the board of the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREE).

He has received research funding from FHWA, NCHRP, NSF, NDOT, Caltrans and other Departments of Transportation.

Research interests

  • Behavior and design of structures in structural concrete with emphasis in bridges and connections
  • Seismic evaluation, design, strengthening and repair, including composites
  • Laboratory testing and analysis of large scale components and systems including multi-directional earthquake simulation

Past experience

  • ACI Technical Activities Committee, Member (2002-2010), Chair (2008-2010)
  • Chair of the ACI-ASCE Committee on Shear and Torsion
  • Chair of ACI Committee on Earthquake Resistant Concrete Bridges
  • Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers (2010-present)
  • Fellow, American Concrete Institute (ACI)
  • Elected Member of ACI Board of Directors (2010-2013)
  • Elected Member of CUREE Board of Directors (2011-present)
  • Professional Progress in Engineering Award from Iowa State University (2006)
  • Iowa State University Outstanding Young Alumnus (2000)
  • Member of ACI 318 Main Committee
  • Member of ACI 318E Shear and Torsion and ACI318R Reorganization
  • Earthquake simulation assignment at the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, SUNY, Buffalo
  • Research funding from FHWA, NCHRP, NSF, DOE, NDOT, Caltrans and other DOTs
  • Funded research projects dealing with high performance concrete, retrofitting/repair and new design of concrete columns, beams and connections, prestressed concrete, reducing earthquake damage, field instrumentation, component and system behavior, and analysis using both simplified and finite element methods

Other activities within engineering and teaching professions

  • Graduate Director, Civil and Environmental Engineering department (2012-present)
  • AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) Partner in Education Committee
  • Organizer US - Japan Bridge Workshop (2002-2012)
  • ASCE/AGC Student Chapter advisor, CEE, (1991-present)
  • Senior Scholar Faculty Mentor (1992, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2006)
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Appreciation Award (1995, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007)

Courses taught

  • ENGR 100 Introduction to Engineering
  • CEE/ME 241 Statics
  • CEE 372 Strength of Materials
  • CEE 480 Reinforced Concrete Design I
  • CEE 486/686 Reinforced Concrete Design II
  • CEE 481 Structural Steel Design
  • CEE 483/683 Prestressed Concrete
  • CEE 486/686 Reinforced Concrete II
  • CEE 722 Limit States Design in Steel and Concrete
  • CEE 723 Advanced Reinforced Concrete

Publications and presentations

  • Larkin, A.S, D. H. Sanders, and M.S. Saiidi, "Unbonded Prestressed Columns for Earthquake Resistance," 2012 Structures Congress, Chicago, IL, March 29-31, 2012.
  • H. Wibowo, D.M. Smith, I.G. Buckle, and D.H. Sanders, "Live Load Effects on Response of Bridges during Earthquakes," 2012 Structures Congress, Chicago, IL, March 29-31, 2012.
  • Levi, M.J., D.H. Sanders and I.G. Buckle, "Seismic Response of Columns in Horizontally Curved Bridges," 15th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Lisbon Portugal, September 24-28, 2012.
  • Saad, A. D.H. Sanders and I.G Buckle, "Effect of Rocking Foundations on Seismic behavior of Bridges with Different Horizontal Curvatures," 15th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Lisbon Portugal, September 24-28, 2012.
  • Moustafa, K.F, Sanders, D., Saiid, M.S., and El-Azazy, S., "Seismic Performance of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Bents," American Concrete Institute, ACI Structural Journal, Vol. 108, No. 1, January-February 2011, pp 23-33.
  • Cheng, Z.Y., M.S. Saiidi, and D. Sanders, " Seismic Design Method for Reinforced Concrete Two-Way Hinges," American Concrete Institute, ACI Structural Journal, Vol. 107, No. 5, September-October 2010, pp. 572-579.
  • Gu, H., Y. Moslehy, D. Sanders, G. Song and Y L Mo, "Multi-functional smart aggregate-based structural health monitoring of circular reinforced concrete columns subjected to seismic excitations," Smart Materials and Structures, Vol, 19, No. 6, May 2010, 7 pp.
  • Yamashita, R. and Sanders, D., "Seismic Performance of Precast Unbonded Prestressed Concrete Columns," American Concrete Institute, ACI Structural Journal, Vol. 106, No. 6, November-December 2009, pp. 821-830.
  • Bahen, N. and Sanders, D; "Investigation of Strut Strength Using a Deep Beam Database," Shear and Torsion in Concrete Structures, American Concrete Institute Special Publication SP-265-18, 2009, pp. 385-404.
  • Johnson, N., M. Saiidi, and D. Sanders, "Nonlinear Earthquake Response Modeling of a Large-Scale Two-Span Concrete Bridge," Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 14, No. 6, November 2009, pp. 460-471.

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