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, Subcommittee 318E, Sectional and Member Strength, ACI-ASCE Committee on Shear and Torsion and the committee on Earthquake Resistant Concrete Bridges. He has been a member of the Building Code Committee (ACI 318) and the ACI Board of Direction.
  • He was elected as Chair of the University of Nevada, Reno Faculty Senate.
  • He has received research funding from FHWA, NCHRP, NSF, NDOT, Caltrans and other Departments of Transportation.
  • He was Chair of the ASCE/SEI Committee on Concrete and Masonry Structures (CCMS) and the ACI-ASCE/SEI Coordination Task Group.

Selected honors and awards

  • Joe W. Kelly Award, American Concrete Institute (2017)
  • Fellow, Structural Engineering Institute (2016)
  • University of Nevada Foundation Professor (2014)
  • Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers (Spring 2010)
  • Professional Progress in Engineering Award from Iowa State University (2006)
  • Iowa State University Outstanding Young Alumnus (2000)
  • Fellow, American Concrete Institute (ACI) (Spring 2000)
    • Faculty Appreciation Award by CEE Students (1995, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007)
  • Selected by the College of Engineering Senior Scholar as the Faculty Member that Most Significantly Influenced their Academic Achievements (1992, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2006, 2012)
  • Appreciation Awards from Student Chapter of ASCE (1991 and 1992)

Past University experience

  • Member, University Faculty Senate Diversity Committee (2016 to present)
  • Member (UNR Faculty Representative), Chancellor/System President's Periodic Review Committee (2016)
  • Chair, Faculty Senate Committee on Nevada Medical School Reorganization (2016)
  • Member, University Faculty Senate Early Career Academic Faculty Committee (2016 to present)
  • Member, Department Undergraduate Committee (2016-2017)
  • Member (elected), University Tenure and Promotion Committee (2010 to 2013, 2016 to 2019)
  • Member, Department, Graduate Program Committee (2010 to present), Chair (2012 to 2014, 2016)
  • Director, CEE Department Graduate Program (2012 to 2014, 2016)
  • NSHE Compensation Committee (2015-2016)
  • Member, NSHE Council of Chairs (2015-2016)
  • Member, President's Council (2015-2016)
  • Member, College Graduate Committee (2013 to present)
  • Member, University Facilities Resource Committee (2014-2015)
  • Member, University Academic Leadership Council (2014-2015)
  • Chair, College of Engineering Personnel Committee (2013 to 2015)
  • Member, University Salary and Benefits Committee (2011- 2015), Chair (2012)
  • Member, Department, Curriculum Committee (2010 to 2013)
  • ASCE/AGC Student Chapter Advisor, Department (1991 to present)

Courses taught

  • Graduated as Main Thesis Advisor: 10 PhD and 25 MS
  • Graduated as co-Thesis Advisor: 9 PhD and 11 MS
  • Undergraduate Researchers: 16

  • 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

  •  Biasi, G., M.S. Mohammed, and D.H. Sanders (2017). "Earthquake Damage Estimations: ShakeCast Case Study on Nevada Bridges," Earthquake Spectra, EERI, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1193/121815EQS185M (published online).
  • Mohebbi, A, K. Ryan, and D.H. Sanders (2017). "Seismic Protection of the Piers of Integral Bridges using Sliding Bearings," Journal of Earthquake Engineering, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13632469.2016.1211567 (published on line 10/14/2016
  • Motaref, S., M Saiidi, D.H. Sanders, and A Mirmiran (2016). "Shake Table Studies of a Precast Bridge Pier with Advanced Materials," International Journal of Bridge Engineering, Special Issue, 2016, pp 135-162.
  • Mantawy, I., T. Thonstad, D.H. Sanders, J. Stanton, M. Eberhard (2016). "Seismic Performance of Precast, Pre-Tensioned and Cast-in-Place Bridges: Shake Table Test Comparison," Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, Vol 21, Issue 10, October 2016, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)BE.1943-5592.0000934, pp 040160711-1 to 14. 
  • Thonstad T., I. Mantawy, J.F. Stanton, M.O. Eberhard, D.H. Sanders (2016). "Shaking Table Performance of a New Bridge System with Pre-Tensioned, Rocking Columns," Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, Vol 21, Issue 4, April 2016, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)BE.1943-5592.0000867, pp 04015079-1 to 14.
  • Haber, Z, M.S. Saiidi and D.H. Sanders (2015). "Behavior and Simplified Modeling of Mechanical Reinforcing Bars Splices," ACI Structural Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol 112, No 2, pp 179-188.
  • Motaref, S., M.S. Saiidi, and D.H. Sanders, (2014). "Shake Table Studies of Energy-Dissipating Segmental Bridge Columns." Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, Vol 19, No 2, 186-199.
  • Haber, Z, M.S. Saiidi and D.H. Sanders (2014), "Seismic Performance of Precast Columns with Emulative Column-Footing Connections," ACI Structural Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol 111, No.4, pp 639-650.
  • Larosche, A, M. Cukrov, D.H. Sanders, D.H., and P. Ziehl (2014). "Prestressed Pile to Bent Cap Connections: Seismic Performance of Full Scale 3-Pile Specimen," Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE Vol 19, No. 3, 10 pages.
  • Wibowo, H., D.M. Sanford, I.G. Buckle, and D.H. Sanders (2012). Effects of Live Load on Seismic Response of Bridges: A Preliminary Study. Civil Engineering Dimension, 14 (3), pp. 166-172.
  • Moustafa, K.F, D.H. Sanders, M.S. Saiidi, and S. El-Azazy (2011). "Seismic Performance of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Bents," American Concrete Institute, ACI Structural Journal, Vol. 108, No. 1, January-February 2011, pp 23-33.
  • Yamashita, R. and D.H. Sanders (2009). "Seismic Performance of Precast Unbonded Prestressed Concrete Columns," American Concrete Institute, ACI Structural Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol. 106, No. 6, November-December 2009, pp. 821-830.
  • Bahen, N. and D.H. Sanders (2009). "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.
  • Laplace, P., D.H. Sanders, M.S. Saiidi, B. Douglas, S. El Azazy (2005). "Performance of Concrete Bridge Columns under Shake Table Excitation," ACI Structural Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol. 102, No. 3, May-June 2005, pp. 438-444.
  • Laplace, P., D.H. Sanders, M.S. Saiidi, B. Douglas, S. El Azazy (2005). "Retrofitted Concrete Bridge Columns under Shake Table Excitation," ACI Structural Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol. 102, No. 4, July-August 2005, pp. 622-628.