FUTURE BUILDINGS: WHERE DOES STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING FIT?
Kishor C. Mehta, Ph.D.; Dist. M of ASCE, Fellow SEI, NAE
P. W. Horn Professor of Civil Engineering
Texas Tech University
Structural engineering has focused in the past on skeleton of the building to make sure that the building survives in natural hazards of earthquake, hurricane, or tornado. Thanks to the excellent work in updating building codes the focus is pretty well accomplished. In the next two decades we are likely to see definition of structural engineering for buildings change from design of skeleton to design of holistic building that includes foundation-structure-envelope and interior system. The ultimate goal is to enable sustainable buildings that can be continuously occupied and operated during its useful life. Considerations will be given to analysis and design, construction, operation, maintenance, retrofit, and repair of buildings. Research will be pursued in new concepts that will reduce dependence on municipal infrastructure through recycling of water and controlled energy use. To make these goals realized the structural engineers will be working closely with architects, mechanical engineers, material scientists, economists and human factor specialists. The presentation will discuss where we have been, where we are and where we will be going.
About the speaker:
Dr. Mehta is P.W.Horn Professor of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering at Texas Tech University. He was Program Director for the Structural and Architectural Engineering and Co-Program Director for the Engineering for Natural Hazards at the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC during 2011-2015. He received B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan and Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from the University of Texas-Austin. He has been on the faculty at Texas Tech University since 1964. He is former Director of the Wind Science and Engineering (WISE) Research Center (now the National Wind Institute) at Texas Tech. He was elected to the Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2002 and to the National Academy of Engineers in 2004. He has been pursuing research in wind loads on buildings and structures since 1970 when a tornado devastated almost half of the city of Lubbock. He chaired the committee of ASCE which produced the ASCE 7 for wind loads during 1976-1995. At Texas Tech he developed a doctoral degree program in Wind Science and Engineering; the one-of-a kind degree was approved by the State in July 2007. To date twenty students are granted Ph.D. degrees in Wind Science and Engineering.
The presentation is based on his experiences at the National Science Foundation.