Progressive Collapse Resistance of Reinforced Concrete Structures

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Structures Seminar

Featuring Mehrdad Sasani, Ph.D., P.E.
Assistant Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Location:  California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), Room 3008

Through human-made hazards or natural hazards, structures may be subject to conditions that lead to progressive collapse.  Progressive collapse denotes a failure of a major portion of a structure that has been initiated by failure in a relatively small portion of the structure.  Analytical and experimental evaluation of progressive collapse resistance of reinforced concrete (RC) structures will be presented.  The experimental program included laboratory tests as well as evaluation of responses of actual structures, following explosions of their columns.  In the analytical program, in addition to the results obtained from the analysis of actual structures and test specimens using different analytical methods, progressive collapse resistance of structures will be evaluated with a multi-hazard perspective.  Some shortcomings of integrity requirements in the current provisions will be discussed.  Information about the initiation of an educational program involving the prediction of progressive collapse resistance of physical RC models will be briefly presented.  The goal of the program is educate current and future engineers through a National Competition on Progressive Collapse Resistance of RC Structures.  The competition questions are available online ( and the registration will be open until Oct. 12, 2007.  The award ceremony will be held at the 2008 Structures Congress in Vancouver.

About the Speaker:
Mehrdad Sasani, Ph.D., P.E., is an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at NortheasternUniversity in Boston, Mass. After receiving his B.Sc. degree in civil engineering and M.Sc. degree in structural engineering from Tehran Polytechnic, he obtained his Ph.D. in structural engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001. Sasani is a registered professional engineer in California. He is also a member of the Progressive Collapse Committee of Structural Engineering Institute, as well as a member of American Concrete Institute Committees 369, Seismic Repair and Rehabilitation, and 374, Performance-Based Design of Concrete Buildings, where he leads a task group on development of methodology for analysis, design, and assessment of reinforced concrete structures.  

His primary research areas include the behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) structures subjected to extreme natural and manmade hazards, as well as structural reliability. He has initiated a research program on experimental and analytical evaluation of system level collapse resistance of actual buildings. Sasani’s research on progressive collapse evaluation of RC structures is supported by the National Science Foundation (Including the NSF Early Faculty Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2006), as well as by the General Services Administration.  He has also initiated the Progressive Collapse Resistance Competition (PCRC), which began on September 11, 2007.