Dr. Shahria Alam
School of Engineering, University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Dr. Robert Tremblay
Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal

Performance Based Seismic Design of Innovative Damage Free Rocking Steel Bridge Piers

The objective of this research is to investigate, through experimental and numerical studies, the concept of self-centering mechanism in steel bridge piers. Since any damage to a transportation system could have significant impacts on society and economy, the need for the design and development of new bridge components and systems with damage avoidance mechanisms has been increasingly highlighted over the recent years.  The use of steel rocking bridge piers, where energy dissipating elements can be easily removed after an earthquake, can significantly reduce construction time and expenses, seismic damages and corresponding economic losses. However, currently there is no proper guideline for designing such piers. This research will examine the various damage states and performance of steel rocking bridge piers to eventually develop performance-based design guidelines for inclusion in the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code (CSA S6).

This project is co-directed by Dr. Shahria Alam (UBC) and Dr. Robert Tremblay (ÉPM)


Dr. Shahria Alam is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus, Kelowna, Canada. Dr. Alam’s research interests include performance based seismic design of steel, concrete and timber structures, repair and retrofitting of structures, self-centering structures and seismic applications of Shape Memory Alloys, large-scale testing and nonlinear finite element analysis, and response of structures to extreme loading. Dr. Alam is the Chair of the Engineering Mechanics and Materials Division of CSCE. He is the lead researcher in device and materials testing and impact assessment for Survive Thrive in Applied Research STAR-UBC facility. He is also the director of Smart Materials and Structures Lab and the Structural Health Monitoring and Non-Destructive Testing Lab at UBC, Okanagan.

>> Dr. Shahria Alam


Dr. Robert Tremblay is Professor of Structural Engineering and Canada Research Chair in Earthquake Engineering at Polytechnique Montreal, Canada. He received his Bachelor (1978) and Master (1988) degrees from Université Laval and completed his Ph.D. in 1994 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Before undertaking his doctoral studies, Prof. Tremblay worked for 10 years in the industry. His current research work is mainly directed towards the seismic design and response of steel structures. He is a member of the Standing Committee on Earthquake Design for the National Building Code of Canada, the CSA-S16 Technical Committee on Steel Structures for Buildings, the CSA S6 Technical Sub-Committee on Seismic Design of Bridge Structures, the AISC Task Committee 9 on seismic design of steel structures and the AISC Adhoc Task Group on Non-Building Structures and Industrial Buildings.

>> Dr. Robert Tremblay