|Dr. N. Subramanian
Joined: 21 Feb 2008
Location: Gaithersburg, MD, U.S.A.
|Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:03 pm Post subject: Prof. Thomas T. C. Hsu-Pioneer in Torsion Design
|Prof. Thomas T. C. Hsu-Pioneer in Torsion Design
A John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering, Thomas T.C. Hsu is an internationally known researcher in the field of structural engineering.
Though he has conducted research in multiple areas since 1986, Hsu has focused efforts on studying shear and torsion using his Universal Element Tester—a machine he designed and built using funding from the National Science Foundation.
Hsu earned his bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering at China’s Harbin Institute of Technology & received his MS and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. He joined the Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Illinois, as a structural engineer in 1962.
He was a professor and then chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, 1968–79. After joining UH, he served as the chairman of the
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, 1980–84, built a strong faculty and became the founding director of the Structural Research Laboratory, 1982–2003, which later bears his name. In 2005 he and his wife, Dr. Laura Ling Hsu, established the “Thomas and Laura Hsu Professorship in Engineering” at UH.
Awards and Honours
Dr. Hsu is distinguished by his research in construction materials and in structural engineering. The American Concrete Institute (ACI) awarded him its Wason Medal for Materials Research, 1965; Arthur R. Anderson Research Award, 1990 and Arthur J. Boase Award for
Structural Concrete, 2007. Other national awards include the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE)’s Research Award, 1969, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)’s Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, 1974.
In 2009, the American Concrete Institute (ACI) as well as the American Association of Civil Engineers (ASCE) jointly honored his contributions to the field of structural engineering with a symposium in New Orleans, La. Nov. 8-10. The four-part symposium titled, “Thomas T.C. Hsu Symposium on Shear and Torsion in Concrete Structures” included 32 presentations from researchers around the world.Each shared their own research related to shear and torsion, which has been heavily influenced by the accomplishments of Hsu.
At UH, Professor Hsu’s many honors include the Fluor-Daniel Faculty Excellence Award, 1998; Abraham E. Dukler Distinguished Engineering Faculty Award, 1998; Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship, 1996; Senior Faculty Research Award, 1992; Halliburton Outstanding Teacher, 1990; Teaching Excellence Award, 1989.
Books & Publications
Professor Hsu authored numerous research papers on shear and torsion of reinforced concrete and published two books: “Unified Theory of Reinforced Concrete” (1993) and “Torsion of Reinforced Concrete” (1984). In this (his third) book “Unified Theory of Concrete Structures” (2010), he integrated the action of four major forces (axial load, bending, shear, torsion), in 1,2,3 – dimensions, which culminated into a set of unified theories to analyze and design
concrete buildings and infrastructure. Significant parts of Dr. Hsu’s work are codified into the ACI Building Code which guides the building industry in the USA and is freely shared worldwide.
Intrinsic to Dr. Hsu’s work are two research innovations: (1) the concept that the behavior of whole structures can be derived from studying and integrating their elemental parts, or panels; and (2) the design, construction and use of the “Universal Panel Tester” at UH, a unique, million-dollar test rig (NSF grants). Hsu’s Universal Element Tester is one of just two machines like it in the world. The other machine is housed at the University of Toronto in Canada. The main difference between the two, Hsu said, is that his is equipped with a server control system that allows researchers to better manage the cyclic loading of elements of steel-reinforced concrete. This has allowed him and his team to develop a mathematical model that can assist engineers in determining the best way to design concrete structures to more safely handle not only earthquakes, but also hurricanes and man-made disasters.
see http://rsmsl-1.me.uh.edu/reu_civil/REU07/REU_Alan_Lindelof_Final_Report_07.pdf for the details of the Universal Panel Tester
In his research on construction materials, Dr. Hsu was the first to visually identify microcracks in concrete materials and to correlate this micro-phenomenon to their overt physical properties. His research on fatigue of concrete and fiber-reinforced concrete materials made it possible to interpret the behavior of these structural materials by micro-mechanics.
Among his consulting projects, Dr. Hsu is noted for designing the innovative and costsaving “double-T aerial guideways” for the Dade County Rapid Transit System in Florida; the curved cantilever beams for the Mount Sinai Medical Center Parking Structure in Miami Beach,
Florida, and the large transfer girders in the American Hospital Association Buildings, Chicago, Illinois. He is currently a consultant to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
Dr. Hsu is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and of the American Concrete Institute. He is a member of ACI Committee 215 (Fatigue), ACI-ASCE joint Committees 343 (Concrete Bridge Design) and 445 (Shear and Torsion). He had also served on ACI
Committee 358 (Concrete Guideways), ACI Committee on Publication and ACI Committee on Nomination.
What others say about his work
“Dr. Hsu fundamentally advanced the theoretical basis and practical application of reinforced concrete, the world’s predominant construction material,” said Y.L. Mo, a UH professor of civil and environmental engineering who now serves as director of the laboratory Hsu founded on campus. “He solved the century-old problems of shear and torsion in reinforced concrete based on the principles of equilibrium, strain compatibility and constitutive laws of materials.”
“I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with somebody as distinguished as professor Hsu,” said Ashraf Ayoub associate professor of civil engineering, who presented three papers with other researchers on his own studies related to the field. “I learned from him the art of solving challenging engineering problems by looking at the root causes and examining all the details.”
Houston Mayor Bill White recognized these accomplishments, which earned him the honor of an international symposium, by naming Nov. 8 Dr. Thomas T.C. Hsu Day in the city.