Dr. Ali Imanpour et al.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta

Test-based Design Method for Steel Cantilever Beams

The main purpose of this research is to perform a large-scale experimental testing program to evaluate the stability response of overhanging cantilevered beams to achieve more reliable, efficient design guidelines and potentially reduce construction costs. This will complement the lateral–torsional buckling testing program currently underway at the University of Alberta, which investigates the stability response of welded steel bridge girders with doubly- and singly-symmetric sections. The experimental investigation will be complemented with extensive numerical simulations. […]


Dr. Lydell Wiebe
Assistant Professor
Department of Civil Engineering, McMaster University

Experimental Validation of Seismically Resilient Concentrically Braced Frames with Replaceable Brace Modules.

This project is part of a multi-year effort to develop a new replaceable brace module for seismically resilient concentrically braced frames. The overall objectives of this design concept are to: (1) replace field welding with field bolting, (2) avoid out-of-plane buckling that can cause dangerous damage, and (3) simplify post-earthquake repairs. In this phase of the study, the aim is to conduct large-scale system-level experimental testing to capture the interaction of the replaceable brace […]


Dr. Scott Walbridge
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo

Assessment of Fatigue Design
Provisions for Welded Shear Studs in Steel-Concrete Composite Bridges

The shear connection between steel girders and concrete bridge decks is most common commonly made with welded shear stud connectors, primarily due to its ease of installation. However, the detail is fatigue critical because of the presence of the welds. The fatigue design provisions, which nearly always govern for these studs, have not been significantly updated in over fifty years. The aim of this research will be to establish a new endurance […]


2018 H.A Krentz Research Award
Dr. Jeffrey Packer
Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto

HSS Joint Welding

This research project will clarify options available for the fabrication of welded rectangular Hollow Structural Section (HSS) K-connections, and their implications for design. The aim is to liberalize current constraints applied to: member geometric parameters, the relative positions of branches (with regard to gap size, zero gap, or amount of overlap), miter cutting and required welding. The study will focus on truss K- and N-connections with a wide range of eccentricities, gaps and overlaps, with […]


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 […]


Dr. Nicolas Boissonnade
Department of Civil and Water Engineering, Laval University

Design of Beams with Overhanging Segments Against Lateral Torsional Buckling

This research is to investigate the lateral torsional buckling of beams with overhanging segments (commonly known as the Gerber girder system).  Such structural elements are quite popular in Canada, and used widely for multi-bay arrangements.  It has the advantages of maintaining a statically determinate system with an effective and economic balance of hogging and sagging bending moments and reduced deflections, while avoiding complex and costly moment connections. Currently there is a lack of clear, practical […]


Dr. Nathalie Roy
Department of Civil Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke

Analysis of Concentrically Loaded Braced Frame Using Continuous End Plate

The purpose of this research is to examine the behaviour and design of continuous end-plate connections in concentrically braced frames.  This type of connection is not explicitly addressed by the current design standards, thus resulting in designs that are often too conservative. Furthermore, although this connection is usually assumed conceptually to be pinned, the effect of the continuous end plate may qualify this type of connection as semi-rigid resulting in an actual load-resisting system behaviour […]


2017 H.A Krentz Research Award
Dr. Ali Imanpour
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta

Simplified Design Methods for Steel Multi-Tiered Braced Frames in Regions of Low and Moderate Seismicity

Steel multi-tiered braced frames are commonly used in tall single-storey buildings such as airplane hangars, sports facilities or industrial plants to provide lateral bracing when it becomes impractical to use braces that extend the full storey height. Although the multi-tiered configuration offers significant advantages in high seismic areas, it is also the most common […]


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 […]


Dr. Anjan Bhowmick
Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University

Lateral Torsional Buckling of Welded Wide Flange Beams

Lateral torsional-buckling (LTB) is a limit state that can control the flexural capacity of steel beams. The current CSA S16-09 does not make any distinction between welded and rolled shapes when dealing with the flexural strength of the beam. However, welded wide flange (WWF) shapes have significantly higher residual stress than that of rolled shapes, which can affect the flexural behavior of the beam.

The objective of this research is to investigate the behaviour of welded steel […]


Dr. Anjan Bhowmick
Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University

Behaviour of Light-Gauge Steel Shear Walls With Screwed Infill Plate Connections for Regions of Low-

This research programme involves both experimental and numerical investigations of the performance of light-gauge steel shear walls with screwed plate connections. The experimental investigation will include a quasi-static cyclic loading of a large-scale, single storey, light-gauge steel plate shear wall with cold-formed infill plate screwed to a moment resisting frame (see Figure -1 above). The experimental investigation will examine two key aspects: (1) the ductility and strength of the […]


2013 H.A Krentz Research Award
Dr. Robert G. Driver
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta

Solving the Mystery of Double-coped Beams

This research will examine the behaviour of double-coped beams and the potential limit states that can be encountered in the coped region under various loading conditions. Beyond addressing the lack of experimental verification of methods currently being used for designing double-coped beams for shear loading, the project also aims to develop a methodology for determining their capacity when subjected to combined shear and axial load, which is increasingly being asked of […]


Dr. Robert G. Driver, P.Eng.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta

The Increasingly Common Case of Weak-axis End Moments – Eliminating Unnecessary Joint Stiffeners

The proposed research program targets a very common detail, most prevalent in industrial structures, where connection design forces include weak-axis moments from the adjoining member that most often necessitate the addition of stiffeners to the frame joint. The overarching objective of this research project is to provide a simple and widely-applicable method for optimising the design of joints where the loading includes biaxial flexural demands at the ends of […]


Dr. John Gales
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carleton University

Towards a Performance Based Fire Design Framework for Composite Steel Deck Construction in Canada

Traditional structural design for fire safety of composite steel deck construction in Canada is prescriptive. This design procedure relies on simplification with isolated building components being designed based on implicit fire relations. In light of advances in Europe, this design procedure can be viewed as restrictive, under-utilising of structural materials, wasteful of fire protection material, and even at times unsafe. The Performance Based Fire Design (PBFD) methodology relies on the fire […]


Dr. Dimitrios Lignos
Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, McGill University

Development of Ry, Rt Factors and Probable Brace Resistance Axial Loads for the Seismic Design of Bracing Connections and Other Members

In the CSA S16-09 limit state design approach, brace connections must be designed to resist brace axial loads that correspond to the probable (expected) buckling strength and tensile yielding of the steel braces. In order to ensure that within these elements, the desired ductile mode of yielding governs and other undesirable brittle failure modes are precluded from the “capacity design” methodology, the true […]


Dr. Jeffrey A. Packer
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto

Offset HSS Connections

The objective of this research is to investigate the behaviour of offset HSS connections where HSS branch members are offset from the chord centreline and where connections are offset towards an open chord end (HSS branch members near the end of an open-ended chord) (see Figure 1 above). Such “irregular” connections are not covered in current design recommendations.

In the first phase of this investigation, a set of 12-16 isolated square/rectangular HSS, T-, Y- and X-connections experiments will be tested. In a second […]


Dr. Jeffrey A. Packer
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto

Effective Weld Properties for Connections of Round HSS

Currently, the design of welds in round HSS-to-HSS connections is invariably performed using a design philosophy whereby welds are proportioned to develop the capacity of the connected branch member walls, which could lead to inefficient and costly connections.

The goal of this research project is to determine the effective lengths of fillet welds in round-to-round HSS T-, Y- and X-connections under branch axial loading. A set of fillet-welded, isolated connection tests – designed to be weld-critical – will […]


Dr. Khaled Sennah
Department of Civil Engineering, Ryerson University

Promoting Steel as a Material of Choice in Bridge Infrastrucutres: Current and Future Innovations

With increased prices of steel, bridge owners and design engineers have become more reluctant to using steel in bridge superstructure, as it may be cost prohibitive. In this research, some countermeasures and innovative techniques are proposed that can be considered to (i) reduce the steel material content in bridge superstructure; (ii) enhance the constructability of steel I-girder and box-girder bridge systems in both straight and curved alignments, leading to a significant cost saving; […]


Dr. Min Sun
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Victoria

Hot-Dip Galvanized Hollow Structural Sections – Crack Prevention and Mechanical Behaviour

The application of hot-dip galvanized cold-formed Hollow Structural Sections (HSS) in exposed steel structures (e.g. bridges, transmission towers and sign supporting structures) is extremely popular due to their superior strength-to-weight ratio, low initial cost, sustainability and aesthetics. Both HSS manufacturing and hot-dip galvanizing techniques have evolved over the years. However, the use of newly developed zinc bath mixtures together with thick-walled HSS resulting in significant damage in the latter in the form of cracking during […]


2016 H.A. Krentz Research Award
Dr. Carlos Ventura
Department of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia

Performance Based Seismic Design of Steel Bridges According to CHBDC S6-14

The latest release of the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code S6-14 incorporates for the first time Performance Based Seismic Design (PBD) provisions for bridges in Canada. As this is a significant departure from the traditional Force-based design approach, practicing engineers are facing a number of challenges associated with the implementation of PBD for seismic design of bridges. Although the decision to incorporate PBD requirements on the bridge code […]


Dr. Scott Walbridge
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo

Fatigue Behaviour and Design of Shear Connectors in Steel-Precast Composite Girders

The objectives of this research are: 1) to perform laboratory tests to study the fatigue behaviour of pocketed and through-bolt shear connectors in steel- precast composite bridge girders (see “Figure 2” above), and 2) to perform finite element (FE) and reliability analyses to investigate the consequence of failure of these connectors, so that design factors can be established for various bridge girder configurations, resulting in a uniform level of risk that is consistent […]


Dr. Lydell Wiebe
Department of Civil Engineering, McMaster University

Completing the Load Path for Controlled Rocking Steel Braced Frames

The aim of this research is to develop and validate feasible connection details between floor diaphragms and Controlled Rocking Steel Braced Frames (CRSBFs). Connection details will be designed to achieve desired performance criteria while also minimizing costs associated with construction and fabrication, and the proposed connections will be tested experimentally under cyclic loading. The laboratory results will be used to validate the finite element models that were used to design the connections, and to develop simplified design […]


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 […]


Dr. Lydell Wiebe
Department of Civil Engineering, McMaster University

Reducing Construction Costs by Improving Seismic Performance: Controlled Rocking Steel Braced Frames

Controlled Rocking Steel Braced Frames (CRSBFs) are an emerging new seismic force resisting system. Through the selection of post-tensioning and energy dissipation technologies, a CRSBF can be designed to avoid structural damage and to return the structure to the initial plumb position. The long-term goal of this research project is to develop CRSBFs into a cost-competitive seismic force resisting system that can be codified in a future edition of S16. The objectives of this project […]


Dr. Tony Yang
Department of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia

Development of Innovative Steel Diagrid High-Rise Structures for Seismic Applications

This research aims to create an innovative steel diagrid structure for high-rise building applications in areas of high seismicity. This system utilizes the high stiffness and strength of steel to create a diagonally integrated mega steel grid structure that can transfer lateral loads to the foundation efficiently and effectively. The combination of the mega steel grid system with the gravity system allows the designers to create new architectural flexibility, achieving new buildings heights and shapes […]