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Civil and Environmental Engineering Research

Structural Engineering, Materials, and Sustainability

Structural engineering research includes both numerical modeling and experimental testing to understand and improve structural performance. The materials program is centered on the development of bio-based materials in particular polymers, composites, and nanomaterials. Bio-based materials are researched from various angles including chemistry, processing, and mechanics.

Areas of research emphasis include:

  • Behavior and Design of Structural Wood Components and Systems
  • Design and Manufacture of Wood Composite Materials
  • Behavior and Design of Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete and Masonry Structures
  • Structural Mechanics and Finite Element Analysis
  • Structural Dynamics, Earthquake Engineering, and Infrastructure Improvement
  • Structural Reliability and Probabilistic Analysis and Design
  • Nondestructive Evaluation of Structural Materials and System


CMEC’s Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory (WMEL) houses a 40 ft by 80 ft strong floor equipped with computer controlled loading actuators and electronic data acquisition systems. Structural components up to 12 ft tall, 15 ft wide, and 75 ft long can be tested.

Affiliated Centers, Institutes, and Labs

Composite Materials & Engineering Center (CMEC)

Develops new building materials from recycled and virgin resources, as well as innovative structural systems


Pouria Bahmani
Bahmani, Pouria 335-7607
Karl Englund
Englund, Karl 335-6259
Ji Yun Lee
Lee, Ji Yun 335-3018
Christopher Motter
Motter, Christopher 335-5732
Karl Olsen
Olsen, Karl 335-0373
Vikram Yadama
Yadama, Vikram 335-6261
Hongtao Dang
Dang, Hongtao 335-4271
Don Bender
Bender, Don
Weyerhaeuser Distinguished Professor 335-2829
William Cofer
Cofer, William
Professor 335-3232
J. Daniel Dolan
Dolan, J. Daniel
Professor 335-7849
Rafik Itani
Itani, Rafik
Professor, Chair Emeritus 335-3233
Renee Petersen
Petersen, Renee
Scholarly Professor 335-3227

Theses & Dissertations


  • Investigation of Occupant Induced Dynamic Lateral Loading on Exterior Decks
    James M. LaFave, MS, Chair: Donald A. Bender













  • High Performance Concrete for Use in Concrete Floating Bridges (Abstract)
    Bart Balko , MS, Chair: Rafik Itani
  • The Effects of Row Spacing and Bolt Spacing in 6-Bolt and 4-Bolt Wood-to-Steel Connections
    Michael Dodson, MS, Chair: David Pollock
  • The Development and Use of a Novel Finite Element for the Evaluation of Embedded Fluid Dampers Within Light-Frame Timber Structures with Seismic Loading
    Ying Du, PhD, Chair: Bill Cofer
  • Behavior of Concrete Masonry Shear Walls with Varying Aspect Ratio and Flexural Reinforcement
    Ian Eikanas, MS, Chair: David McLean
  • A Thermodynamic, Spectroscopic, and Mechanical Characterization of the Wood-Polypropylene Interphase
    David Harper, PhD, Chair: Michael Wolcott
  • NDE of Clear Wood Subjected to Environmental and Mechanical Loadings Using Near Infrared Spectroscopy
    Phil Johnson, MS, Chair: Don Bender
  • Use of Near Infrared Spectroscopy Technology for Predicting Bending Properties of Clear Wood Specimens
    Kirk Kludt, MS, Chair: Don Bender
  • Evaluation of Retrofitting Applications on Typical Reinforced Concrete Bridges
    Xin Liao, MS, Chair: Rafik Itani


  • Development of a Method to Analyze Structural Insulated Panels Under Transverse Loading (Abstract)
    Heming Alwin, MS, Chair: John Hermanson
  • Spatial Variation of Wood Composites (Abstract)
    Alejandro Bozo, PhD, Chair: Michael Wolcott
  • Dowel Bearing Strength and Bolted Connection Behavior of Oriented Strand Lumber (Abstract)
    Peter Cates, MS, Chair: David Pollock
  • HDPE Wood-Plastic Composite Material Model Subject to Damage (Abstract)
    Guibin Lu, MS, Chair: Bill Cofer
  • Experimental Response and Analysis of the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge (Abstract)
    Scott Peterson, PhD, Chair: David McLean
  • Performance of Anchor Bolts in Concrete Block Masonry (Abstract)
    Joel Tubbs, MS, Chair: David McLean
  • Effect of Manufacturing Temperature of Laminated Veneer Lumber on Duration of Load Behavior (Abstract)
    Melissa Verwest, MS, Chair: Ken Fridley
  • Characterization and Modeling of Oriented Strand Composites (Abstract)
    Vikram Yadama, PhD, Chair: Michael Wolcott


  • Load-Duration Behavior of Extruded Wood-Plastic Composites (Abstract)
    Christopher Brandt, MS, Chair: Kenneth Fridley
  • The Mechanisms of Consolidation and Friction of Wood Composites and Their Influence on Pultrusion Processing (Abstract)
    Karl Englund, PhD, Chair: Michael Wolcott
  • Combined Tension and Shear Loading of Anchor Bolts in Concrete Masonry (Abstract)
    Anne Fabrello, MS, Chair: David Pollock
  • Rapid Repair Design of Temporary Support Systems for Bridges Damaged by Earthquakes in the State of Washington (Abstract)
    Luke Heath, MS, Chair: Rafik Itani
  • Development of an Energy-Based Procedure for the Analysis and Design of Wood Structures Subjected to Seismic Loads (Abstract)
    Bradley Martin, MS, Chair: Michael Symans
  • Assessment and Modeling of Properties of Oriented Strand Composites for Multiple Strand Geometries and Orientations (Abstract)
    Kristin Meyers, MS, Chair: Michael Wolcott
  • Energy-Based Modeling ofDowel-Type Connections in Wood-Plastic Composite Hollow Sections (Abstract)
    William Parsons, MS, Chair: Don Bender
  • Inter-Story Shear Transfer in Wood-Frame Buildings (Abstract)
    Thaddeus Ryan, MS, Chair: Kenneth Fridley
  • Maximum Vertical Steel Ratio for Reinforced Masonry Shear Walls Loaded Flexurally In-Plane (Abstract)
    Casey Tallon, MS, Chair: David McLean
  • Ultrasonic Plate Waves in Wood-Based Composite Panels (Abstract)
    Brian Tucker, PhD, Co-Chairs: Donald Bender and David Pollock
  • Development of Adaptive Base Isolation Systems for Seismic Response Control of Structures (Abstract)
    Nat Wongprasert, PhD, Chair: Michael Symans


  • Diaphragm Behavior of Structural Insulated Panels
    Nicholas Bilunas, MS, Chair: Kenneth Fridley
  • Ultrasonic Inspection of Plastic Hinge Formation in Steel Bolts for Diagnostic Purposes
    Joseph Galloway, MS, Chair: David Pollock
  • Performance and Design of Prototype Wood-Plastic Composite Components
    Kevin Haiar, MS, Chair: David McLean
  • Interactive Internet-Based Education in Structural Design and Behavior of Wood-Framed Lateral Force Resisting Systems
    Aaron Henson, MS, Chair: Kenneth Fridley
  • The influence of a Horizontal Density Distribution on Moisture-Related Mechanical Degradation of Oriented Strand Composites
    Jeffrey Linville, MS, Chair: Michael Wolcott
  • Duration of Load and Creep Effects in Laminated Veneer Lumber Under Combined Loads
    David Nelson, MS, Chair: Kenneth Fridley
  • Dimension Effects on Dowel Bearing Strength for Wood and Wood-Based Composites
    Thanadon Sattabongkot, MS, Chair: David Pollock
  • Probabilistic Finite Element Methods in Wood Composites
    Wei Yang, MS, Chair: William Cofer


  • Evaluation of Bolted Connections in Wood Plastic Composites
    David Balma, MS, Chair: Don Bender
  • Reliability-based Performance Criteria of Wood-Plastic Composite Fender Systems for Waterfront Facilities
    Steven Davidow, MS, Chair: Kenneth Fridley
  • Seismic Assessment and Retrofit of Split Reinforced Concrete Bridge Columns
    Maein El-Aaarag, MS, Chair: David McLean
  • Nondestructive Evaluation of Timber Bridges
    Robert Emerson, PhD, Chair: David Pollock
  • Behavior of Structural Insulated Panels under Transverse Loading
    Juleen Esvelt, MS, Chair: Kenneth Fridley
  • Creep Induced Secondary Moments in Timber Beam Columns
    Kristine Fromhold, MS, Chair: Kenneth Fridley
  • Analytical Creep Model of Wood Beam-Columns
    Tamara Godina, MS, Chair: Kenneth Fridley
  • Mechanical Analysis of Transversely Loaded Wood/Plastic Sections
    Scott Lockyear, MS, Chair: Mike Wolcott
  • Adaptive Sliding Base Isolation Systems for Seismic Protection of Buildings
    Glenn Madden, MS, Chair: Michael Symans
  • Selected Engineering Properties of Hybrid Poplar Clear Wood and Composite Panels
    Jeffery Peters, MS, Chair: Don Bender
  • Application of Dynamic System Identification to Timber Beams
    Scott Peterson, MS, Chair: David McLean
  • Composite Material Retrofitting of Split Reinforced Concrete Bridge Columns
    Paul Rogness, MS, Chair: David McLean


  • Bolt Bearing Behavior of Engineered Wood Composites from Yellow Poplar Lumber
    Stephen Carstens, MS, Chair: David Pollock
  • Five-Point Test for Determination of Racking Shear in Structural Panels
    Lee French, MS, Chair: Kenneth Fridley
  • The Evaluation of 4-4′ Diphenylmethane Diisocyanate Cure in a Saturated Steam Environment
    David Harper, MS, Chair: Michael Wolcott
  • Wood-Based Composite Members for Waterfront Fendering Systems
    Monique Paynter, MS, Chair: David McLean
  • Analytical and Experimental Identification of a Uniaxial Seismic Simulator
    Brian Twitchell, MS, Chair: Michael Symans
  • Strength Evaluation of Solid Sawn Lumber with Fastener Holes
    Judd Williams, MS, Chair: Kenneth Fridley
  • A Finite Element Model of Oriented Strand Board in Bending
    Tom Merz, MS, Chair: William Cofer


  • DesignCriterion for Wood Floor Vibrations Via Finite Element and Reliability Analyses
    Arshad Ahmed Al-Foqaha’a, PhD, Chair: William Cofer
  • Roosevelt Plaza (Structural Steel Design)
    Michael Axthelm, MS, Chair: David McLean
  • Vibration of Wood Joist Floors Due to Occupant Loading
    Diane Earnest, MS, Chair: Kenneth Fridley
  • Creep Mechanisms in Oriented Strand Board
    Wenhua Hua, MS, Chair: Michael Wolcott
  • Seismic Protection of Structures Using Hybrid Control Systems
    Steven Kelly, MS, Chair: Michael Symans
  • Alternative Retrofit Strategies for Multi-Column Bridge Bents
    Scott Kuebler, MS, Chair: David McLean
  • Seismic Performance and Retrofit of Multi-Column Bridge Bents
    Timothy Mealy, MS, Chair: David McLean
  • Lap Splice Behavior in Reinforced Concrete Masonry Under Tensile Loading
    Jason Thompson, MS, Chair: David McLean
  • Parametric Study of Wood Floor Vibration Due to Occupant Activities
    Nat Wongprasert, MS, Chair: William Cofer