Speakers & Bios


Learn More About the Speakers

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BIO

Amit Kanvinde is a professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Davis. His research is focused on the seismic response of steel structures and connections.  He is the recipient of the 2022 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award from AISC, and has previously received AISC’s Special Achievement Award (2017) and various awards from ASCE, including the Walter Huber Research Prize (2016), and the State of the Art of Civil Engineering Award (2018), and the Norman Medal (2008). He is the lead author of the next edition of AISC's Design Guide One on column base connections. 

PRESENTATION

Column base connections: Research, design, and a look to the future

Column base connections are arguably the most important connections in steel buildings, transferring loads from the entire structure into the foundation. At the interface of steel and concrete, these connections are complex in terms of behavior, design, as well as structural interactions with the building frame. The lecture will present our current understanding of these connections based on numerous studies, with an emphasis on AISC-funded studies conducted over the last 15 years. Exposed, slab-overtopped, and embedded connections will be discussed, addressing their response (strength, failure modes, stiffness, and deformation characteristics). Implications for design of the connections as well as the building will be presented. Prospective developments in base connection design will be foreshadowed, including a revision of the AISC Design Guide One, and the use of dissipative base connections in seismic design. 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

- Learn about base plate design and behavior

- Learn about seismic response of base connections

- Learn about upcoming edition of Steel Design Guide 1

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BIO

Matthew Fadden joined WJE in 2018 and is an Associate Principal in their South Florida Office. He earned his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2007), and MS and PhD from the University of Michigan (2008,2013). Before joining WJE, Dr. Fadden was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Kansas. His primary areas of expertise include evaluating, analyzing, and designing steel and reinforced concrete structures. In addition, his project experience includes failure investigations, structural repair and retrofit, high-fidelity finite element modeling, and full-scale experimental testing. Dr. Fadden is a member of the American Institute of Steel Construction Committee on Specifications Task Committee 4 – Member Design.

PRESENTATION

Champlain Towers South – WJE Collapse Investigation

In the early morning of June 24, 2021, the eastern half of the 12-story Champlain Towers South Condominium collapsed, killing 98 residents of the 40-year-old building in Surfside, Florida. WJE was retained by attorneys representing the condominium association to determine the cause of the collapse and provide litigation support. WJE’s scope included a review of design and construction records, videos, and photographs taken before, during, and after the collapse; site inspections at the Champlain Towers South collapse site and NIST primary evidence facility; testing of construction materials and subsurface conditions (in coordination with the involved parties); review of relevant codes and standards; and structural analyses. Our investigation found that the flat plate slab supporting the pool deck above an underground garage was underdesigned, with significant structural distress apparent before the collapse. WJE determined that the collapse was initiated by punching shear failures in the pool deck slab. Six to ten minutes later, columns at the south face of the L-shaped building, damaged by the pool deck collapse, failed and the eastern half of the building collapsed. The western half of the building survived but was subsequently demolished. This presentation details WJE’s investigation and findings, including our collapse theory.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe the conditions the significant conditions observed before the collapse of Champlain Towers

2. Recognize punching shear-related distress and parameters affecting flat plate slab performance.  

3. Explain WJE’s theory of the collapse based on evidence, material testing, and analysis

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