Faculty Profile

Dan Abrams

Civil and Environmental Engineering
 Dan Abrams
Dan Abrams
Professor
2118 Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg
205 N. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 333-0565

Administrative Titles

  • Donald Biggar Willett Professor in Engineering

Primary Research Area

  • Structural Engineering

Education

  • Ph.D. Civil Engineering UIUC 1979
  • M.S. Civil Engineering UIUC 1974
  • B.S. Civil Engineering Illinois Institute of Technology 1970

Biography

Daniel P. Abrams holds a B.S. (Illinois Institute of Technology 1970), M.S. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1974), and Ph.D. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1979), all in civil engineering. He has been on the faculty of the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois since 1985.

After completing his Ph.D. in 1979, he joined the civil and architectural engineering faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 1985, he returned to Illinois as a faculty member. He is a licensed professional engineer, has worked as a practicing structural engineer in Chicago and San Francisco, and continues to take part in consulting assignments with industry.

Dr. Abrams has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in structural engineering. He has written over 130 papers or reports on seismic response of concrete or masonry buildings. He was responsible for writing the masonry chapter of the new NEHRP Guidelines for Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings (FEMA 273/356). He chaired the Building Seismic Safety Council's Technical Subcommittee 5 on Masonry Structures for the 1997 Update of the NEHRP Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings. He is also a past chair of the EERI Experimental Research Committee and the TMS Research Committee, and served on the Masonry Standards Joint Committee. He has testified at congressional hearings in support of the reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act. He has served as a member of the Research Committee of the former National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, the chair of the ASCE Committee on Concrete and Masonry Structures, the chair of ACI-ASCE 442 Committee on Lateral Forces, and the President of The Masonry Society (TMS). He is an Associate Editor of ASCE’s Natural Hazards Review, and a member of editorial boards for the Journal of The Masonry Society, the Journal of Earthquake Engineering, the Journal on Progress in Structural Engineering and Materials, and EERI’s Earthquake Spectra. He is a member of several engineering societies including a fellow of the American Concrete Institute and a member of an FIB (European concrete institute) task group on seismic analysis and retrofit of concrete buildings and bridges.

Dr. Abrams holds the Donald Biggar Willet Professor in Engineering. He was the recipient of the 1996 TMS Scalzi Research Award, the 1996 TMS President's Award, and the 1992 Senior Xerox Research Award within the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois.

Academic Positions

  • Bob Y-K Wong Distinguished Visiting Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003-2004
  • Director, Mid-America Earthquake Center, 1997-2004
  • Visiting Professor of Structural Engineering, University of Pavia, Italy, 1994
  • Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, 1992-present
  • Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, 1985-1992
  • Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1979-1984

Major Consulting Activities

  • Consultant to Bechtel Power Corporation, Frederick, Maryland, expert panelist on repair of prestressed concrete containment vessel for nuclear power plant, 2011
  • Consultant to Kingery, Durree, Wakeman and O-Donnell, Associates, Peoria, IL, expert witness on forensic case related to inadequate foundation construction, 2009-2011 ￿
  • Consultant to Parsons Transportation Group (formerly Steinman Engineers), New York City, on seismic evaluation of Brooklyn Bridge, 2002-2006
  • Member, Steering Committee, FEMA study on Performance Based Earthquake Engineering, Applied Technology Council Project 58, 2002-2007

Professional Registrations

  • Registered Professional Engineer in State of Colorado, 1981-present

Research Statement

As a past director of the Mid-America Earthquake (MAE) Center, Dr. Abrams' led and participated in research directed at a new paradigm for earthquake risk reduction known as ￿Consequence-Based Engineering,￿ which includes development of enabling technologies to synthesize damage across regions, mitigation methods to minimize earthquake consequences and better definitions of seismic hazards.

Research Interests

  • large-scale structural testing
  • structural dynamics
  • seismic evaluation and retrofit of unreinforced masonry buildings
  • seismic performance assessment of civil engineering structures
  • structural engineering
  • interdisciplinary earthquake engineering
  • attraction of NSF Mid-America Earthquake Center to UIUC with ten-year budget in excess of $40 million and demonstrated leadership to seven other core institutions.

Research Areas

Books Authored or Co-Authored (Original Editions)

  • Disaster Investigation Handbook, D.P. Abrams, The Masonry Society, ISBN 0-9626074-5-2, 1993, 58 pp.

Books Authored or Co-Authored (Revisions)

  • Abrams, D.P., A Set of Classnotes for a Course in Structural Masonry, Third Edition, The Masonry Society, ISBN 0-9626074-4-4, 2000, 163 pp.

Books Edited or Co-Edited (Original Editions)

  • The Bhuj Earthquake of 2001, D.P. Abrams, Editor, MAE Center CD Release 01-04, December 2001, 154 pp.
  • Proceedings of KEERC-MAE Joint Seminar on Risk Mitigation for Regions of Moderate Seismicity, D.P. Abrams, Editor, MAE Center CD Release 01-07, August 2001, 437 pp.
  • Proceedings of US-Italian Workshop on Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit, D.P. Abrams and G.M. Calvi, Editors, Columbia University, December 1996, NCEER Report 97-0003.
  • Special Theme Issue of Earthquake Spectra on Experimental Methods, D.P. Abrams, Editor, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, February 1996.
  • Proceedings of US-Italian Workshop on Guidelines for Seismic Evaluation and Rehabilitation of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings, D.P. Abrams and G.M. Calvi, Editors, University of Pavia, June 1994, NCEER Report 94-0021, 289 pp.
  • Proceedings of NCEER Workshop on Seismic Response of Masonry Infills, D.P. Abrams, Editor, San Francisco, February 1994, NCEER Report 94-0004, 119 pp.
  • Masonry in the Americas, D.P. Abrams, Editor, Special Publication of the American Concrete Institute, ACI-ASCE Committee 442 on Response of Concrete Buildings to Lateral Forces, ACI SP 147, October 1994, Library of Congress No. 94-78782, 360 pp.
  • Proceedings of Fifth North American Masonry Conference, D.P. Abrams, Editor, Univ. of Illinois, June 1990, The Masonry Society, ISBN 0-962607441, 130 papers, 1574 pp.
  • Proceedings of US-PRC Workshop on Seismic Design of Masonry Structures, D.P. Abrams and Yuxian Hu, Editors, Institute of Engineering Mechanics, Harbin, China, May 1986, 33 papers.

Chapters in Books

  • Abrams, D.P., ￿Chapter 7 ￿ Building Damage,￿ The Bhuj Earthquuake of 2001, MAE Center CD Release 01-04, December 2001, pp. 89-98.
  • Abrams, D.P., ￿Masonry￿ Chapter 7, Guidelines and Commentary for Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings, Federal Emergency Management Agency Publications 272/273, 1996 and FEMA 356, 2001.
  • Abrams, D.P., Sections 11.2 and 12.3 on Pilasters, Masonry Designers￿ Guide, The Masonry Society and American Concrete Institute, 1993, 872 pp.
  • Abrams, D.P., ￿Laboratory Definitions of Behavior for Structural Components and Building Systems￿, Inelastic Design Procedures for Reinforced Concrete Structures Subjected to Earthquakes Special Publication of American Concrete Institute, ACI-ASCE Committee 442 on Response of Concrete Buildings to Lateral Forces, ACI SP 127, Library of Congress No. 91-73196, September 1991, 63pp.
  • Abrams, D.P., ￿Methods of Analysis,￿ Response of Concrete Buildings to Lateral Forces, American Concrete Institute Report ACI 442R-88, November, 1988.

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Eidini, M., D.P. Abrams and L.A. Fahnestock, ￿Seismic Design and Viability of Hybrid Masonry Building Systems,￿ ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, ISSN 0733-9445, Vol. 139, No. 3, February 2013, pp. 411-421.
  • Abrams, D.P., T. Smith, J. Lynch, and S. Franklin, ￿Effectiveness of Rehabilitation on Seismic Behavior of Masonry Piers,￿ ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 133, No. 1, January 2007, pp.32-43.
  • Inel, M., M.A. Aschheim and D.P. Abrams, ￿An Algorithm for Computing Isoductile Response Spectra,￿ Journal of Earthquake Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2002.
  • Yun, H-D, C-S Choi, L-H Lee, and D.P. Abrams, ￿Effects of Axial Compressive Force on Hysteretic Behavior of High-Strength Concrete Flexural Walls,￿ submitted to Structural Journal of American Concrete Institute, November 2001.
  • Abrams, D.P., ￿Performance Based Engineering Concepts for Unreinforced Masonry Building Structures,￿ Journal of Progress in Structural Engineering and Materials, Vol. 3, No. 1, Wiley Interscience, January-March 2001, pp. 48-56.
  • Abrams, D.P., ￿Seismic Response Evaluation for URM Buildings,￿ Journal of The Masonry Society , Vol. 18, No. 1, July 2000.
  • Abrams, D.P., ￿Meeting the Challenges of Reducing Earthquake Losses: Engineering Accomplishments and Frontiers,￿ Earthquake Spectra, Journal of Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Vol. 15, No. 4, November 1999, pp. 813-823.
  • Schneider, S.P., B.R. Zagers, and D.P. Abrams, ￿Lateral Strength of Steel Frames with Masonry Infills Having Large Openings,￿ ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 124, No. 8, August 1998, pp. 896-904.
  • Shinozuka, M., S. Chang, R. Eguchi, D. Abrams, H. Hwang and A. Rose, ￿Advances in Earthquake Loss Estimation and Application to Memphis, Tennessee,￿ Earthquake Spectra Journal of Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Vol. 13, No. 4, November 1997, pp. 739-758.
  • Abrams, D.P., ￿Response of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings,￿ Journal of Earthquake Engineering, Imperial College Press, Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1997, pp. 257-273.
  • Abrams, D.P., R. Angel and J. Uzarski, ￿Out-of-Plane Strength of Unreinforced Masonry Infill Panels,￿ Earthquake Spectra, Journal of Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Vol. 12, No. 4, December, 1996.
  • Tena-Colunga, A., and D.P. Abrams, ￿Dynamic Response of Building Systems with Flexible Diaphragms,￿ Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 122, No. 4, American Society of Civil Engineers, April 1996, pp. 439-445.
  • Abrams, D.P., ￿Effects of Scale and Loading Rate with Tests of Concrete and Masonry Structures,￿ Earthquake Spectra, Journal of Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Vol. 12, No. 1, February 1996, pp. 13-28.

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Fahnestock, L.A., D.P. Abrams, R.E. Asselin, I.N. Robertson, R. Ozaki-Train and S. Mitsuyuki, “Behavior and Design of Fuse-Based Hybrid Masonry Seismic Structural Systems,” Proceedings of 15th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Lisbon, Portugal, September 2012.
  • Abrams, D.P., L. Fahnestock, D. Biggs, I. Robertson and I. Stanciulescu, ￿Hybrid Masonry Seismic Systems,￿ NSF-NEES Quake Summit Conference, Boston, July 2012.
  • Abrams, D.P., and D. Biggs, “Hybrid Masonry Seismic Systems,” Proceedings of 15th International Brick and Block Masonry Conference, Florianopolis, Brazil, June 2012.
  • Gregor, T., L.A. Fahnestock, and D.P. Abrams, "Experimental Evaluation of Seismic Performance of Hybrid Masonry," Proceedings of 11th North American Masonry Conference, University of Minnesota, June 2011.
  • Eidini, M. and D.P. Abrams, "Lateral-Force Distributions for Various Types of Hybrid Masonry Panels," Proceedings of 11th North American Masonry Conference, University of Minnesota, June 2011.
  • Abrams, D.P., "NSF-NEESR Research on Hybrid Masonry Seismic Structural Systems," Proceedings of 11th North American Masonry Conference, University of Minnesota, June 2011.
  • Abrams, D.P., L.A. Fahnestock, D. Biggs, I. Robertson and I. Stanciulescu, "Hybrid Masonry Seismic Structural Systems," Proceedings of NSF CMMI Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, January 2011.
  • Abrams, D.P., L.A. Fahnestock, and M. Eidini, "Basic Mechanisms for Hybrid Masonry Structures," Proceedings of ASCE-SEI Structures Congress, Orlando, Florida, May 2010.
  • Abrams, D.P., "Future Evolution of Masonry as a Structural Material," Seminar on Seismic Hazard Reduction, Sharif University, June 2008.
  • Abrams, D.P., "Options for Enhancing Seismic Performance of URM Buildings," Workshop on Seismic Performance of Adobe and Masonry Structures, Sharif University, Tehran, Iran, June 2008.
  • Steelman, J. and D.P. Abrams, ￿Effect of Axial Stress and Aspect Ratio on Lateral Strength of Unreinforced Masonry Shear Walls,￿ Proceedings of 10th North American Masonry Conference, St. Louis, June 2007 (winner of best conference paper award).
  • Erbay, O.O. and D.P. Abrams, ￿Modeling Seismic Risk for Populations of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings,￿ Proceedings of 10th North American Masonry Conference, St. Louis, June 2007.
  • Abrams, D.P., ￿The Challenge of Mitigating Seismic Loss for Vulnerable Building Construction,￿ Earthquake Engineering: Challenges and Trends, seminar honoring Luis Esteva, Instituto de Ingenieria, UNAM, Mexico City, September 2005, pp. 219-232.
  • Abrams, D.P., ￿Selective Rehabilitation to Enhance Seismic Performance of Masonry Buildings,￿ Proceedings of 1st Canadian Conference on Effective Design of Structures, McMaster University, July 2005.
  • Erbay, O.O., and D.P. Abrams, ￿A Methodology to Assess Seismic Risk across Populations of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings,￿ Proceedings of 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Vancouver, August 2004.
  • Simsir, C.C., M.A. Aschheim and D.P. Abrams, ￿Out-of-Plane Dynamic Response of Unreinforced Masonry Bearing Walls attached to Flexible Diaphragms,￿ Proceedings of 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Vancouver, August 2004.
  • Smith, T., and D.P. Abrams, ￿Improving Seismic Performance of Unreinforced Masonry Piers,￿ Proceedings of 13th International Brick-Block Masonry Conference, Amsterdam, July 2004.
  • Erbay, O.O, and D.P. Abrams, ￿A Methodology to Assess Seismic Risk for Populations of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings,￿ Proceedings of 13th International Brick-Block Masonry Conference, Amsterdam, July 2004.
  • Abrams, D.P., ￿Seismic Assessment and Rehabilitation of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings in the USA,￿ Proceedings of Workshop on Seismic Behavior of Masonry Structures, University of Minho, Guimaraes, Portugal, April 2004.

Invited Lectures

  • ￿What is Needed for Masonry to be Seismically Benign"
  • "Latest Developments in Seismic Performance of Masonry Buildings"
  • ￿Reducing Risk for URM Schools"
  • ￿Eight Steps to Mitigate Earthquake Risk"
  • ￿URM Performance in Recent Earthquakes"
  • ￿USA Seismic Rehabilitation Methodologies for Unreinforced Masonry Buildings"
  • ￿Earthquake Resistant Masonry Construction"
  • "Innovative Seismic Risk Mitigation for Masonry Buildings"
  • "Future Evolution of Masonry as a Structural Material"
  • "Options for Enhancing Seismic Performance of URM Buildings"

Magazine Articles

  • Abrams, D.P., "US-PRC Workshop on Seismic Design of Masonry Structures,￿ Journal of The Masonry Society, Fall 1986, pp. G9.
  • Abrams, D.P., "Masonry Carries the Load,￿ ASCE Civil Engineering Magazine, Vol 63, No.2, February 1993, 3pp.

Journal Editorships

  • Member of International Advisory Board of Advances in Structural Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnical University, 2002-present.
  • Member of Editorial Board of Journal on Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration, Institute of Engineering of Mechanics (IEM), China Seismological Bureau, 2002-2007.
  • Member of Editorial Board, Masonry International, Journal of the British Masonry Society, 2002-2008.
  • Member of Editorial Board of Earthquake Spectra, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, 2000-2008.
  • Associate Editor, Natural Hazards Review, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1999 to 2003.
  • Member of International Editorial Advisory Board for Journal on Progress in Structural Engineering and Materials, University of Nottingham, England, 1997-2004.
  • Editor of Theme Issue of Earthquake Spectra on Experimental Methods, February 1996, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.
  • Member of Editorial Board for Journal of Earthquake Engineering, Imperial College Press, London, December 1995 to present.
  • Member of Editorial Board for Journal of The Masonry Society, June 1990 to present.
  • Publication Secretary for ASCE Committee on Concrete and Masonry Structures. Responsible for review of all papers on this topic (over a 120 per year) for Structures Journal of American Society of Civil Engineers, October 1987-1990.

Conferences Organized or Chaired

  • Chair or Co-Chair, Annual UIUC Structural Engineering Conference 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015
  • Instructor at MAE Center professional engineering seminars 1998-2002
  • Instructor at FEMA-ATC Seminars on Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland, St. Louis, Chicago, Sacramento, San Francisco and Memphis 1998-2001
  • Chair, NCEER US-Italian Workshop on Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit, Columbia University, New York City 1996
  • Instructor at seminars on Earthquake Engineering of Concrete and Masonry Buildings, Hartford, Atlanta, Orlando and Philadelphia 1996-1997

Professional Societies

  • The British Masonry Society, Member 1987-present
  • Building Seismic Safety Council, former member, Provisions Update Committee, former Chair Technical Subcommittee 5 on Masonry Structures
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, member since 1980, former Chair of Experimental Research Committee
  • American Concrete Institute, Fellow since 1992, former Chair of ACI-ASCE 442 Committee on Lateral Forces
  • TMS 402/602 national building code committee for masonry buildings, 1995-2001, 2005-present
  • The Masonry Society, Fellow since 2004, member of Research Committee, past President, past Vice President, past Secretary-Treasurer, past Member of Board of Directors
  • American Society of Civil Engineers, member 1981-2013, life member 2013-present

Service on Department Committees

  • CEE Department Advisory Committee 2004-2013
  • Chair, Structural Engineering Faculty 2004-2006, 2009-2010

Service on College Committees

  • Member, College Committee on Shaping the Engineer of 2025, summer 2012
  • Member, College Committee on Faculty Teaching Development, spring 2012
  • College of Engineering Promotions and Tenure Committee, Member 2005-2007, Chair 2006-2007
  • College of Engineering Administrative Committee 2005-2007
  • College of Engineering Executive Committee, Vice Chair 2006-2007, Secretary 2005-2006, elected CEE representative 2004-2007, 2010-2013

Service on Campus Committees

  • Member, Conflict Review Committee, Office of Vice Chancellor for Research, 2012-2013
  • Provost Committee on Promotion and Tenure, Member, 2009-2011
  • Elected CEE representative for UIUC Faculty Senate, 2008-2012

Honors

  • Bob Y-K Wong distinguished Visiting Professor of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Hawaii (2003-04)
  • Willett Professor of Engineering, UIUC (2003-present)
  • Hanson Professional Services Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UIUC (1997-02)

Teaching Honors

  • Supervision of Best Doctoral Dissertation on Masonry awarded to Omer Erbay, The Masonry Society (2006)
  • Supervision of Best Doctoral Dissertation on Masonry awarded to Andrew Costley, The Masonry Society. (1998)
  • Outstanding Civil Engineering Faculty Member, Sigma Chi Student Chapter, University of Colorado (1982)

Research Honors

  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Masonry Research, Canadian Masonry Symposium (2009)
  • Scalzi Research Award, The Masonry Society (1997)
  • Senior Xerox Award for Research, College of Engineering, UIUC (1992)
  • William and Flora Hewlett International Research Grant (1989)
  • ASEE-ONT Research Fellowship, Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory, Port Hueneme, CA (1985)
  • ASEE-NASA Summer Faculty Fellowship, Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama (1980)

Public Service Honors

  • Fellow, The Masonry Society (2005)
  • Recognition for significant contributions, Applied Technology Council (1998)
  • President￿s Award, The Masonry Society (1997)
  • Fellow, American Concrete Institute (1992)

Other Honors

  • Best Paper Award, Sixth North American Masonry Conference (1993)
  • Best Paper Award (with Steve Schneider), Seventh North American Masonry Conference (1996)
  • Honorable Mention Paper Award, Seventh North American Masonry Conference (1996)
  • Drysdale Award for Best Research Paper, Ninth Canadian Masonry Symposium (2001)
  • Best Paper Award, Ninth North American Masonry Conference (2003)
  • Best Paper Award, Tenth North American Masonry Conference (2007)