Project Description

2015 H.A. Krentz Research Award
Dr. Lydell Wiebe
Department of Civil Engineering, McMaster University

An Improved Connection for Seismically Designed Concentrically Braced Frames

Concentrically braced frames are a common seismic force resisting system because of their good ductility, together with their ability to meet code-mandated drift limits. To ensure good ductility, the HSS brace is commonly slotted and field welded to the gusset plate (see figure). This is expensive and complicates quality control, and the damage to this connection from a design-level earthquake is likely to be difficult to repair.

The objective of this research project is to develop an alternative connection that avoids field welding and that also confines seismic damage to a replaceable assembly. The detail will be defined in consultation with a local steel fabrication shop and will be validated by laboratory testing. A finite element model will be calibrated, and the experimental and numerical results will be used to develop a recommended design procedure.


Dr. Lydell Wiebe was the recipient of the G.J. Jackson Fellowship in 2005. He received his B.A.Sc. (2005) and Ph.D. (2013) from the University of Toronto, and his M.Sc. (2008) in Earthquake Engineering from the ROSE School in Pavia, Italy. Before joining the faculty of McMaster University, he worked as a consultant with Aurecon New Zealand to draft a Design Guide for Controlled Rocking Steel Braced Frames. Dr. Wiebe’s primary research focus is on predicting and mitigating damage to steel structures due to earthquakes.

2015 H.A. Krentz Research Award

Lydell Wiebe (C) was the recipient of the H.A. Krentz Research Award for having the top ranked research topic in the 2015 Grant Competition. Presenting the award is Rob Third, Chair, CISC Education and Research Council (R) and Mike Holleran, Chair, University Research Committee (L).