Current Projects

Majid Jarrah is working with Dr. Christopher Motter to conduct research on the anchorage of hooked and headed steel reinforcement in concrete masonry. The building code for masonry does not permit the use of headed reinforcement, and research on hooked reinforcement is limited. The use of hooked and headed reinforcement in masonry can reduce congestion in masonry cells to simplify construction. Majid’s research is focused on characterizing the anchorage behavior of hooked and headed steel reinforcement in masonry through large-scale testing and numerical simulations.

Deformation Capacity of Bridge Columns

Zachary Quesnel is  working with Dr. Christopher Motter and Dr. Adam Phillips on a research project to study the deformation capacity of circular reinforced concrete bridge columns seismically retrofit with steel jackets. Many in-service bridges in western Washington were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s and have retrofitted columns. The steel jacket significantly enhances the deformation capacity of the column, with failure occurring due to fatigue of longitudinal reinforcement. While previous research has primarily focused on shorter duration strike-slip earthquakes, this research is focused on characterizing column deformation capacity under long-duration earthquakes characteristic of the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ). Zach is focused on characterizing the fatigue behavior of longitudinal column reinforcement. Test results are being used to calibrate column models used to make predictions of bridge column fragility under CSZ demands. Research results will better inform decisions made by WSDOT regarding bridge column retrofit.

Axial Restraint Research

Baha’a Al-Khateeb is working with Dr. Christopher Motter on a research project to study the effect of axial restraint on reinforced concrete coupling beam behavior. The research project involves testing of eight half scale coupling beams under cyclic loading with various levels of axial restraint. Test results will be used to characterize the influence of axial restraint on coupling beam strength and deformation capacity and to provide data for calibration of numerical models. Results will also be used to assess and refine current provisions in ACI 318-19 for coupling beam design.

Predicting Mechanics of Materials

Dallison Silva Do Carmo is working with Dr. Karl Englund in research that aims to create a powerful prediction model based on mechanics of materials to determine how much pressure is required to make low-quality lumber flat. This is particularly useful information for manufacturing of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) where the pressure applied to a CLT stack is directly related to its bond strength. As a desired outcome, this could minimize losses, optimize the manufacturing process, and could increase the usage of out-of-grade material like small diameter timber which has been a major issue.