Henry Sweat

Reinforced Concrete Analysis

Currently, many structural engineers do not take masonry (or more technically infill walls) into account when they design a structure. In other words, they assume that the masonry that goes in between the structure has no effect on the building. The problem with this approach is during an earthquake, the bricks can affect the fundamental manner in which the structure reacts because, contrary to the design philosophy, they carry load and increase the stiffness of the building. My research is based on using a computer simulation called OpenSees to discover the effect of masonry walls on a building during an earthquake and trying to figure out how they affect the structures performance during a variety of different earthquakes. The goal of this is to determine whether we need to change the structural design philosophy, or whether the deficiencies of the philosophy are marginal and will have a small impact in the long run.

Message to Sponsor

The SURF/Rose Hills fellowship has allowed me to find a viable way to contribute to my community while gaining an understanding of the research world. I have learned how to teach myself and attack a problem that seems impossible without the classic handholding guidance provided by GSIs and professors in a typical classroom setting. Essentially, the fellowship has given me the opportunity to find the belief in myself that if I want to figure something out, I just need to spend the time and grind through the problem until I reach a result.
  • Major: Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
  • Mentor: Khalid Mosalam, Civil and Environmental Engineering