Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fazlur R. Khan Distinguished Lecture - "Renaissance, Rebirth, and Disruptive Innovation" by Charles H. Thornton


Charles H. Thornton & Company, LLC

Renaissance, Rebirth and Disruptive Innovation 

Friday, April 11th, 2014– 4:30 pm
Location: Sinclair Lab Auditorium, Lehigh University, 7 Asa Drive, Bethlehem, PA

After 50 years with Thornton Tomasetti and its prior companies, Dr. Thornton reinvented himself by getting into new technologies, disruptive innovations and  new challenges. Starting in 2005, when  he stepped  down as Chairman, stockholder and founding principal of Thornton Tomasetti, he formed  four new companies – a management and engineering firm called, Charles H Thornton and Company LLC, a  technology and structural health monitoring company called STRAAM LTD, and TTG, an industrialized,  prefabricated construction entity which can build mid- to high-rise buildings in one half the time with a savings of approximately 20 to 30% in cost, and finally  AECOS LTD, a systems integration company which is presently working on many projects utilizing the TTG system and an automated parking system. Dr. Thornton will present information about all four of these companies. Furthermore he has written a memoir entitled “Charles H Thornton: a Life of Elegant Solutions.” This book will be published in the fall of 2013 and will be available on April 11, 2014. All proceeds from book sales generally go to the Ace Mentor Program of America which was founded by Charles H Thornton. Any books sold on April 11 will be at a discounted price  with the proceeds going 50% to ACE and 50% to the Fazlur R. Khan Endowment Fund.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

EERI@LU - From Research to Practice Seminars in Earthquake Engineering

The third presentation organized by EERI@LU will be on Friday February 28th at 1:00PM in Fritz Lab 225, given by Dr. Troy Morgan.

Dr. Morgan is is a Senior engineer working with Exponent in New York and Adjunct Faculty at NYU. Dr. Morgan has performed extensive research on the numerical simulation and experimental behavior of innovative seismic systems and optimization of their use within performance-based engineering frameworks. He consulting experience includes essential structures such as healthcare facilities, laboratories, industrial buildings, and critical infrastructure having enhanced seismic performance criteria. Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Morgan was Assistant Professor at the Center for Urban Earthquake Engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan. He received B.S., M.Eng., and Ph.D. degrees all from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a registered Professional Engineer in CA, NY, NJ, and CT.

The title of Dr. Morgan's presentation is "Technical Consulting: The Intersection of Mythbusters, CSI, and Earthquake Engineering." The modern era of civilization is marked my immense networks of complicated, interdependent systems and rapidly evolving technologies. Many of these technologies, while born from academia, are implemented and refined in the world of industry. As today’s complex ideas are put into practice, there is an increasing tendency for things to fail, and an urgent desire to prevent such failures. This is the realm of technical consulting, and the subject of this talk. Several projects from earthquake engineering, including nuclear reliability analysis, earthquake reconnaissance, and post-event damage investigation are presented to highlight the broader role of technical consultants in a world which increasingly depends on sophisticated engineering to protect itself from natural catastrophe.

CEE undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the seminar.
Coffee will be served at 12:50PM outside Fritz 225.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fazlur R. Khan Distinguished Lecture - "The Evolution of Building Design to Resist Earthquakes" by James R. Harris

Prof. Dan Frangopol, initiator and organizer of the Fazlur R. Khan Distinguished Lecture Series, is honored to invite FERS members to attend the first lecture in the 2014 Series:

The Evolution of Building Design to Resist Earthquakes

Friday, February 21st, 4:10 p.m. Sinclair Auditorium, Lehigh University

Principal, J. R. Harris & Company, Denver, CO

Much of the history of the development of design approaches and building code provisions for seismic resistance in the United States is in direct response to damaging earthquakes. The early work was largely empirical. The fundamentals of an analytical mechanics approach were created in the middle of the 20th century, and over the past half century there has been a considerable amount of theoretical development and laboratory validation. The economic and social impact of large earthquakes is very consequential, and the technical aspects of the problem are challenging. Modern computing power coupled with new analytical techniques and better characterization of the demand from ground shaking are making possible much more realistic approaches to achieving the desired performance in future earthquakes.

To access the complete announcement, please visit:

The lecture is free and open to the public. A pre-lecture reception will be held in the Sinclair Lobby at 4:10 pm.

For additional information about the Khan Lecture Series, please visit or see these links:

· Lecture #1, February 21st -- John R. Harris:
· Lecture #2, March 21st -- Jon D. Magnusson:
· Lecture #3, April 11th -- Charles H. Thornton:
· The Fazlur Rahman Khan Endowed Chair:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

FERS/LVASCE-SEI Seminar: Development of Fatigue Design Provisions of Highway Sign, Signal and High Level Luminaire Support Structures

Wind induced fatigue cracking is one of the primary modes of failure of highway sign, signal and high level luminaire support structures. Although fatalities from failure of these structures have been rare, the potential risk of property damage and safety hazards remain high, and the economic impact of inspecting, maintaining and replacing the sheer volume of existing structures remain paramount. Traditionally, the subject structures were seldom designed against fatigue fracture. In absence of sufficient experimental database, fatigue resistance of the various connection details in these structures were never well established and the existing specifications remain deficient. Recently, a comprehensive research program was conducted at Lehigh University under the NCHRP Project 10-70, where fatigue performance of several critical welded connections in subject structures were evaluated by extensive analytical and experimental studies. As part of these studies, fatigue resistance of connection details in the existing inventory were defined and new cost effective fatigue resistant alternatives were developed. About 80 full size galvanized specimens of sign, signal and high level luminaire support structures containing different welded connections were fatigue tested. Using parametric Finite Element Analyses (FEA) verified by test data, fatigue performance of the connections in both finite and infinite life regimes were evaluated and optimized over the range of applicable geometric dimensions. New specification recommendations were developed based on these research findings for cost effective design of sign, signal and luminaire support structures in highway infrastructure. These revisions to the existing AASHTO specifications were adopted by AASHTO Subcommittee for Bridges and Structures r(SCOBS) in their annual meeting in Austin, TX, in July 2012.

Bio sketch of the speaker:
Dr. Sougata Roy is a Principal Research Scientist with the ATLSS Engineering Research Center, and an Adjunct Faculty with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lehigh University. Sougata received a Baccalaureate degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Calcutta in India, and Masters and Doctoral degrees in Civil Engineering from Lehigh. Dr. Roy is an expert in Structural Engineering with specialization in Fatigue and Fracture of Steel Structures. He is leading funded research in System Performance Evaluation, Deterioration and Damage Assessment, Failure Analysis, Forensic Studies and Life Cycle Prediction of Bridge and Highway Infrastructure, including simulation of large systems by advanced Finite Element Analysis, laboratory experiments and field measurements. Dr. Roy teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses on Bridge System Design, and Fatigue and Fracture of Steel Structures at Lehigh, and supervises doctoral, masters and undergraduate students with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He also offers courses for Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on Fatigue and Fracture Design of Steel Bridges. In addition to 13 years’ experience in the academia, Sougata worked 11 years in structural engineering consultancy designing and managing large bridge projects. Dr. Roy regularly publishes in technical journals and conference proceedings, presents at national and international conferences and committee meetings, and active member of national committees including TRB AFH70: Metal Fabrication Committee; and AISI/NSBA Design Advisory Group/Bridge Task Force, and ASCE/SEI Fatigue and Fracture Committee (current Chair).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Social Hour - Pizza Party 09/13/2012 at 5:30pm,
Location: Packer House, 217 W Packer Av.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012