Machemehl, Clayton Recognized by UT and Industry
Dr. Sharon Wood, Dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering, announced in May the recipients of the 2016–17 Cockrell faculty awards, and CTR is pleased to see two of our faculty researchers included in their number. First, Dr. Randy Machemehl received the Joe J. King Professional Achievement Award, which recognizes a faculty member who has made significant contributions in furthering the profession of engineering. His selection was based on excellence in teaching and research, as well as professional leadership at the state and national levels. Dr. Machemehl was selected from departmental nominations reviewed by a committee of professional engineers, and will be recognized at the 2017 Fall Faculty Meeting. Currently the Associate Chair for Academic Affairs & Professor, and holding the Nasser I. Al-Rashid Centennial Professorship in Transportation Engineering, Dr. Machemehl served as the CTR Director of from 1999 to 2012, contributing to many projects over the years. Since March 2016, Dr. Machemehl has helmed a five-year technical services agreement with the City of Austin, deploying CTR’s research to help the City better allocate their transportation resources, create system improvements that reduce cost and commute time for drivers, and improve mobility and safety. “Our goals are to assist the City of Austin in solving transportation problems, use these opportunities to teach our students the newest methodological approaches to real problems, and develop new methodology to enable solutions to problems that could not previously be solved,” Dr. Machemehl states. This arrangement will facilitate data collection that can inform the City’s decision making and improve traffic flow in the Austin roadway network.
The other faculty award winner was Dr. Tricia Clayton, who received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Engineering Teaching by an Assistant Professor. Dr. Clayton’s selection was based on demonstrated excellence in teaching, and departmental nominations that were reviewed by a committee of Cockrell faculty members and student leaders. Dr. Clayton will also be recognized at the 2017 Fall Faculty Meeting.
This honor follows on the March announcement that Dr. Clayton was named AISC’s 2017 Milek Fellow, a four-year fellowship providing $50,000 per year (for a total of $200,000) for her research. AISC selected Dr. Clayton based on her proposed research, which will focus on evaluating the seismic performance and design of steel moment resisting frames (SMRFs) that employ partial-strength fuse-type connections. The research will address concerns about the ability of these connections to provide the same level of life safety and collapse prevention performance as conventional SMRFs that may have significantly higher over-strength. It will also investigate alternative partial-strength fuse connection concepts that can be employed in performance-based seismic design frameworks to provide enhanced performance at different seismic hazard levels. “Clayton’s application was highly rated by the AISC Committee on Research and she is known for the quality of her work and her enthusiasm,” said Dr. Thomas Sabol, chair of the AISC Committee on Research. Indeed, Dr. Clayton won an AISC Early Career Faculty Award earlier this year as well. Her current CTR project is TxDOT’s 0-6916, Seismic Vulnerability and Post-Event Actions (see project summary).