2015 Nevada Medal for Bridge Engineering Winner Announced

6/11/2015 | By: Staff Report  |

The recipient of the 2015 Nevada Medal for the Distinguished Graduate Student Paper in Bridge Engineering is Jason Chad Goodnight, a doctoral student at North Carolina State University.

The Nevada Medal, which has been given since 2001, is intended to recognize graduate student contributions to state-of-the art bridge engineering.

Goodnight's paper, Strain Limits for RC Circular Bridge Columns, employed an optical three-dimensional position measurement system to assess the effect of several variables on strains in 30 column test models subjected to simulated earthquake loading. Goodnight also developed empirical equations to estimate material strains for different limit states. Goodnight's research has been directed by Dr. Mervyn Kowalsky and Dr. James Nau.

"I am honored to receive the 2015 Nevada Medal for Distinguished Graduate Student Paper in Bridge Engineering," said Goodnight. "I am also grateful for the opportunity to share our research. I would like to extend my thanks to the sponsor of the award."

The winner of the Nevada Medal is selected by a group of experts in bridge engineering research and design, and the competition is coordinated by Mehdi "Saiid" Saiidi of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Award recipients receive a plaque, an engraved 14-K gold pin, and a $1,500 check. Funding for the award was initially provided through an endowment established by Simon Wong Engineering of San Diego, California. Wong completed a bachelor's degree ('79) and a master's degree ('84) in civil engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. The award is currently sponsored by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University.

Goodnight intends to pursue an academic career to continue experimental and computational research in earthquake engineering, teach/mentor graduate students, and educate and inspire future engineers.

Paper Abstract

Strain Limits for RC Circular Bridge Columns

Jason Chad Goodnight
North Carolina State University, Email: jcgoodni@ncsu.edu


A research program was devised to assess the performance of thirty circular well-confined bridge columns. The goal of the experiments was to investigate the impact of load history and other design variables on the relationship between strain and displacement, performance strain limits, and the spread of plasticity. As a result, empirical expressions to predict material strains at key performance limit states were either confirmed or developed based on measured data. In design, an equivalent curvature distribution is used to translate limit state strains to column deformations. A new equivalent curvature distribution was formulated to increase the accuracy of both tensile and compressive strain-displacement predictions. These recommendations can be used as input into a displacement-based design procedure to achieve a prescribed level of performance under a specific seismic hazard.


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