2024 Dennis & Leslie Drag Distinguished Lecture

Becoming a Structural Behaviorist

A Presentation by Thomas Murphy, PhD ,P.E., S.E.,
Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer
Modjeski and Masters

Monday, March 4th, 2024, 4:30pm - FRNY G124
Faculty and Students are invited to a reception in Wood Commons (Hampton Hall) at 3:30 pm before the lecture

An understanding of structural and material behavior is perhaps the most fundamental aspect of what a structural engineer does. This connection between the engineer and the structure allows for the development of efficient, economical designs and the appropriate response to unexpected events or changes to a structural system. When this connection is absent, the risk of unwanted and even disastrous outcomes increases. The importance of developing and maintaining a focus on structural behavior will be highlighted through the use of examples from the field of bridge engineering when things went well, and sometimes when they did not. The paradoxical role that the tools engineers use to analyze and design play in both obscuring and enlightening structural understanding will be explored.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Murphy is a Senior Vice President and the Chief Technical Officer of Modjeski and Masters where he leads the National Bridge Group. His professional experience has included the analysis, design, and detailing of a variety of bridges including cable-stayed, suspension, arch, truss, and girder bridges with special emphasis on seismic analysis and design. Dr. Murphy is also active in bridge research, having led the development of a number of AASHTO design specifications and guidelines.