Project Description

Dr. Michael Bartlett
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Western Ontario

Design of Partial-Length Cover Plates to Strengthen Steel Columns

This research project will investigate the inelastic behavior, strength and design of steel columns reinforced with partial-length cover plates (see Figures 1 and 2 above, courtesy of Morgan Herrell, M.E.Sc. candidate and assistant researcher on this project). The specific objectives of this research are:
(1) To develop a numerical analysis model to determine the capacity of a short, intermediate or long steel column strengthened with partial-length reinforcement plates;
(2) To validate the numerical analysis model experimentally with tests of reinforced steel columns;
(3) To conduct a sensitivity analysis to relate capacity and optimum reinforcement lengths based to the yield strengths and lengths, etc., of the plate and member, using the validated model.
(4) To develop an accurate simplified method, suitable for Design Office use, to compute the critical minimum reinforcement length and, based on this value, proportioning near-minimum-cost reinforcement.
Ultimately, the goal of the research is to develop practical design recommendations for steel columns reinforced with partial length cover plates.


Dr. Michael Bartlett received his B.Sc. (Hons) in Civil Engineering from Queens University in 1979 and a M.A.Sc. in Structural Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 1982. He then worked for almost eight years with Buckland & Taylor Ltd. in Vancouver before completing his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Alberta in 1994. He began his academic career at the University of Western Ontario in 1995 where he is now Professor.

Dr. Bartlett’s research interests are in code calibration and structural reliability, evaluation and rehabilitation of existing structures, especially bridges, and the testing of full-scale light-frame construction. He is the designated project leader for research team implementing the “Three Little Pigs” facility at Western, a $6.8 M laboratory to subject full-scale houses and light frame construction to simulated hurricane-force winds that received Canada Foundation for Innovation funding in 2004.

Since 1992 he has received the P.L. Pratley Medal for best paper on bridge engineering five times. In 2002 he received the Sir Casimir Gzowski Medal, Canada’s oldest engineering award. Dr. Bartlett is a registered Professional Engineer in British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and Ontario.

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