Faculty Profile

James M. LaFave

Civil and Environmental Engineering
 James M. LaFave
James M. LaFave
Professor
3129B Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg
205 N. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 333-8064

Administrative Titles

  • Associate Head and Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • CEE Excellence Faculty Scholar

Affiliation

  • Undergraduate Advising

Primary Research Area

  • Structural Engineering

Education

  • Ph.D., Civil (Structural) Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (1997)
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL (1987)
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL (1986)

Biography

James M. LaFave holds a B.S. (1986) and M.S. (1987) in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. (1997) in Civil (Structural) Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has been on the faculty of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Illinois since 1999, and was Chair of the Illinois CEE Structures Group from 2010-14. He currently serves as Associate Head & Director of Undergraduate Studies in CEE at Illinois. Dr. LaFave was a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst for two years before coming to Illinois, was a visiting professor at the University of Washington in Seattle during the 2007-08 academic year, and was a NIST Associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2015. He is a licensed Professional Engineer with over four years of consulting engineering experience at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. in Princeton, NJ, and Sargent & Lundy Engineers in Chicago.

Professor LaFave teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the area of structural design, including courses on behavior, design, and assessment of reinforced concrete, structural steel, and prestressed concrete building, bridge, and ballpark structures. He also works with students in his capacity as Faculty Adviser to the Illinois CEE American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Steel Bridge Team.

Dr. LaFave is a member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. He was Chair of Joint ACI-ASCE Committee 352 (￿Joints and Connections in Monolithic Concrete Structures￿) from 2002-09, is past-Chair of two other ACI subcommittees, and currently serves as a voting member on three ACI committees (including ACI 318 (￿Structural Concrete Building Code￿) Subcommittee J (￿Joints and Connections￿)). He also currently serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Engineering Structures, and he is Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Building Engineering.

In 2002 and 2005, Professor LaFave received the Illinois ASCE Student Chapter Outstanding Instructor Award, and he was named a 2005 Illinois College of Engineering Xerox Award recipient for Faculty Research. In 2006, he was presented with the ASTM Alan H. Yorkdale Memorial Award by the American Society for Testing & Materials, and in 2007 he received an Outstanding TMS Journal Paper Award from The Masonry Society. He was elected as a Fellow of ACI in 2008, received the ACI Wason Medal for Most Meritorious Paper in 2009, and was presented with the Outstanding 2016 Paper Award in the ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities by the ASCE Forensic Engineering Division.

Academic Positions

  • Professor of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL (2013-present)
  • NIST Associate, National Inst. of Standards & Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (2015)
  • Visiting Assoc. Prof. of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (2007-08)
  • Assoc. Professor of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL (2005-13)
  • Asst. Professor of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL (1999-2005)
  • Asst. Professor of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (1997-99)

Other Professional Employment

  • Consulting Engineer, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Princeton Junction, NJ (1987-91)
  • Intern Engineer, Sargent & Lundy Engineers, Chicago, IL (1985)

Major Consulting Activities

  • Applied Technology Council, Redwood City, CA (2013-14)

Professional Registrations

  • Licensed Professional Engineer, State of Michigan, 1996-present

Short Courses

  • "Steel Structures" Short Course at UIUC (w/ L. Fahnestock) for visiting students from South China University of Technology ￿ Summer 2016

Student Organizations

  • Illinois Structural Engineers Association Student Chapter Faculty Advisor, 2016-17
  • Structural Engineering Graduate Student Organization (SEGSO) Faculty Advisor, 2013-14
  • Chi Epsilon Faculty Advisor, UIUC , 2001-2007, 2009-2010

Research Statement

Professor LaFave has a primary research interest in the experimental behavior and analytical modeling of structural connections and joints. This includes applications such as: performance and assessment of reinforced concrete building and bridge structures subjected to earthquakes; seismic and wind performance of light-frame construction with brick veneer; evaluation of aluminum sign-truss structures; innovative structural framing systems and components, including integral abutment bridges / approach slabs and elastomeric bridge bearings; and structural uses of high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete.

Research Interests

  • Experimental behavior & analytical modeling of connections & joints for reinforced concrete, brick veneer, timber, GFRP, aluminum, and elastomeric components of structural systems subjected to wind & earthquakes; seismic assessment of buildings & bridges; integral abutment bridge behavior; fiber-reinforced concrete; cross-cultural engineering communication.

Research Topics

Books Edited or Co-Edited (Original Editions)

  • Gardoni, P., and LaFave, J. M. (Eds.), "Multi-hazard Approaches to Civil Infrastructure Engineering," 2016, 573 p. (Springer).

Chapters in Books

  • Gardoni, P., and LaFave, J. M., "Multi-hazard Approaches to Civil Infrastructure Engineering: Mitigating Risks and Promoting Resilience," in P. Gardoni & J. M. LaFave (Eds.), "Multi-hazard Approaches to Civil Infrastructure Engineering," 2016, pp. 3-12 (Springer).

Monographs

  • ACI-ASCE Committee 352 (Ed. Subcommittee: J. M. LaFave (Chair), M. B. Hueste, T. H.-K. Kang, and I. N. Robertson), "Guide for Design of Slab-Column Connections in Monolithic Concrete (ACI 352.1R-11)", American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, Michigan, 2012, 28 pp.
  • ACI-ASCE Committee 352 (Ed. Subcommittee: S. M. Alcocer, J. F. Bonacci, T. R. Gentry, M. E. Kreger, and J. M. LaFave), "Recommendations for Design of Beam-Column Connections in Monolithic Reinforced Concrete Structures (ACI 352R-02)", American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, Michigan, 2002, 37 pp.

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Welt, T. S., Lehman, D. E., and LaFave, J. M., ￿Boundary Element Detailing in Special Concrete Structural Walls,￿ ACI Structural Journal, accepted, 2018.
  • Kozak, D. L., Luo, J., Olson, S. M., LaFave, J. M., and Fahnestock, L. A., ￿Modification of Ground Motions for Use in Central North America,￿ Journal of Earthquake Engineering, in press, 2018.
  • Steelman, J. S., Fahnestock, L. A., Hajjar, J. F., and LaFave, J. M., ￿Cyclic Experimental Behavior of Non-seismic Elastomeric Bearings with Stiffened Angle Side Retainer Fuses for Quasi-isolated Seismic Bridge Response,￿ ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering, v. 23, no. 1, January 2018, Article # 04017120 (14 pp.).
  • Kim, T., and LaFave, J. M., ￿Proposed New Equivalent Lateral Force Design Method for Low-Rise Reinforced Concrete Wall-Frame Mixed Building Systems,￿ Engineering Structures, v. 152, December 2017, pp. 87-101.
  • Rice, J. A., LaFave, J. M., Foutch, D. A., and Abdullah, A. B. M., ￿Passive Vibration Mitigation for Highway Sign Trusses Susceptible to Wind-Induced Vibrations,￿ ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, v. 31, no. 6, December 2017, Article # 04017091 (10 pp.).
  • Luo, J., Fahnestock, L. A., and LaFave, J. M., ￿Nonlinear Static Pushover and Eigenvalue Modal Analyses of Quasi-Isolated Highway Bridges with Seat-Type Abutments,￿ Structures, v. 12, November 2017, pp. 145-167.
  • Lee, D. H., Han, S.-J., Kim, K. S., and LaFave, J. M., ￿Shear Strength of Reinforced Concrete Beams Strengthened in Shear Using Externally-Bonded FRP Composites,￿ Composite Structures, v. 173, August 2017, pp. 177-187.
  • Foltz, R. R., Lee, D.-H., and LaFave, J. M., ￿Biaxial Behavior of High-Performance Fiber-Reinforced Cementitious Composite Plates,￿ Construction and Building Materials, v. 143, July 2017, pp. 501-514.
  • Fick, D. R., Hueste, M. B. D., Kang, T., Kreger, M. E., LaFave, J. M., French, C., and Bakir, B. B., ￿Discussion of ￿Design of Concrete Slabs for Punching Shear: Controversial Concepts￿ by Amin Ghali, Ramez B. Gayed, and Walter Dilger,￿ ACI Structural Journal, v. 114, no. 3, May-June 2017, p. 787.
  • Luo, J., Fahnestock, L., Kozak, D., and LaFave, J., "Seismic Analysis Incorporating Detailed Structure-Abutment-Foundation Interaction for Quasi-Isolated Highway Bridges," Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, v. 13, no. 5, May 2017, pp. 581-603.
  • Welt, T. S., Massone, L. M., LaFave, J. M., Lehman, D. E., McCabe, S. L., and Polanco, P., ￿Confinement Behavior of Rectangular Reinforced Concrete Prisms Simulating Wall Boundary Elements,￿ ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, v. 143, no. 4, April 2017, Article # 04016204 (12 pp.).
  • Lee, D. H., Han, S.-J., Kim, K. S., and LaFave, J. M., ￿Shear Capacity of Steel Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Beams,￿ Structural Concrete, v. 18, no. 2, April 2017, pp. 278-291.
  • Stark, T. D., Benekohal, R., Fahnestock, L. A., LaFave, J. M., He, J., and Wittenkeller, C., "I-5 Skagit River Bridge Collapse Review,"￿ ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, v. 30, no. 6, December 2016, Article # 04016061 (12 pp.).
  • LaFave, J. M., and Kim, J., ￿Innovative Approaches for Predicting RC Beam-Column Connection Joint Shear Resistance,￿ Symposium Volume ￿ James K. Wight: A Tribute from his Students and Colleagues (ACI SP-311), American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, Michigan, 2016, pp. 2.1-2.16.
  • LaFave, J. M., Riddle, J. K., Jarrett, M. W., Wright, B. A., Svatora, J. S., An, H., and Fahnestock, L. A., "Numerical Simulations of Steel Integral Abutment Bridges Under Thermal Loading," ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering, v. 21, no. 10, October 2016, Article # 04016061 (17 pp.).
  • LaFave, J. M., Gao, Z., Holder, D. E., Kuo, M. J., and Fahnestock, L. A., "Commercial and Residential Building Performance during the May 20, 2013, Tornado in Moore, Oklahoma," ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, v. 30, no. 2, April 2016, Article # 04014210, 13 pp.
  • Moreu, F., Li, J., Jo, H., Kim, R. E., Scola, S., Spencer Jr., B. F., and LaFave, J. M., "Reference-Free Displacements for Condition Assessment of Timber Railroad Bridges," ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering, v. 21, no. 2, February 2016, Article # 04015052, 12 pp.
  • Steelman, J. S., Fahnestock, L. A., Hajjar, J. F., and LaFave, J. M., "Performance of Non-Seismic PTFE Sliding Bearings when Subjected to Seismic Demands," ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering, v. 21, no. 1, January 2016, Article # 04015028, 12 pp.
  • Moreu, F., Jo, H., Li, J., Kim, R. E., Cho, S., Kimmle, A., Scola, S., Le, H., Spencer Jr., B. F., and LaFave, J. M., "Dynamic Assessment of Timber Railroad Bridges Using Displacements," ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering, v. 20, no. 10, October 2015, Article # 04014114, 12 pp.
  • LaFave, J. M., Kang, H.-S., and Kaiser, J. D., "Cultivating Intercultural Competencies for Civil Engineering Students in the Era of Globalization: Case Study," ASCE Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, v. 141, no. 3, July 2015, Article # 05014008, 9 pp.

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Kozak, D. L., LaFave, J. M., and Fahnestock, L. A., ￿Seismic Behavior of Single-Span Integral Abutment Bridges,￿ Proceedings, 3rd Huixian International Forum on Earthquake Engineering for Young Researchers, University of Illinois, August 2017, 8 pp.
  • Behrouzi, A., Welt, T., Lehman, D., Lowes, L., LaFave, J., and Kuchma, D., ￿Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Flexural Concrete Wall Design Details,￿ Proceedings, ASCE/SEI Structures Congress, Denver, Colorado, April 2017, 16 pp.
  • Kozak, D. L., Luo, J., LaFave, J. M., and Fahnestock, L. A., ￿Seismic Response of Integral Abutment Bridges,￿ Proceedings, ASCE/SEI Structures Congress, Denver, Colorado, April 2017, 10 pp.
  • Moreu, F., Attwood, T. J., Jo, H., Kim, R., Cho, S., LaFave, J.M., and Spencer Jr., B.F., ￿Displacements of Steel Railroad Bridges under Revenue Service Traffic for Performance-Based Assessment,￿ Proceedings, AREMA Annual Conference and Exposition, Orlando, Florida, August 2016, 20 pp.
  • Lehman, D., Welt, T., and LaFave, J., ￿Recommendations for Confinement in Boundary Elements of Special Concrete Walls,￿ Proceedings, SEAOC Convention, Bellevue, Washington, September 2015, 14 pp.
  • Wright, B., LaFave, J., Fahnestock, L., Jarrett, M., Riddle, J., and Svatora, J. S., ￿Field Monitoring of Skewed Integral Abutment Bridges,￿ Proceedings, Joint AESE / ANCRiSST Conference, University of Illinois, August 2015, 8 pp.
  • LaFave, J., Fahnestock, L., Jarrett, M., Wright, B., Riddle, J., and Svatora, J., "Numerical Simulations and Field Monitoring of Integral Abutment Bridges," Proceedings, ASCE Structures Congress, Portland, Oregon, April 2015, 12 pp.

Invited Lectures

  • "Bridge Resilience through Economical Seismic 'Quasi-Isolation' Design using Common Bearing Components"
  • "Out-of-Plane Seismic & Wind Performance of Brick Veneer Walls on Wood Frame Construction"

Reports

  • Kozak, D. L., Luo, J., Olson, S. M., LaFave, J. M., and Fahnestock, L. A., "Modification of Ground Motions for Use in Central North America: Southern Illinois Surface Ground Motions for Structural Analysis," Report No. NSEL-048, Newmark Structural Laboratory Report Series, 2017, 10 pp.
  • LaFave, J. M., Fahnestock, L. A., Brambila, G., Riddle, J. K., Jarrett, M. W., Svatora, J. S., Wright, B. A., and An, H., "Integral Abutment Bridges Under Thermal Loading: Field Monitoring and Analysis," IDOT/ICT Project R27-115 Final Report (Research Report FHWA-ICT-17-017), University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 2017, 75 pp.
  • LaFave, J. M., Fahnestock, L. A., Wright, B. A., Riddle, J. K., Jarrett, M. W., Svatora, J. S., An, H., and Brambila, G., "Integral Abutment Bridges Under Thermal Loading: Numerical Simulations and Parametric Study," IDOT/ICT Project R27-115 Final Report (Research Report FHWA-ICT-16-014), University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 2016, 67 pp.

Journal Editorships

  • Founding Co-Editor-In-Chief ￿ Journal of Building Engineering (Elsevier), 2014-present
  • Journal Editorial Board ￿ Engineering Structures (Elsevier), 2009-present

Conferences Organized or Chaired

  • Chair & Organizer ￿ "18th Annual Structural Engineering Conference," University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 2017.
  • Session Co-Organizer / Moderator ￿ Education Panel Session: "Enhancing Recruitment of Graduate Students Through Active Organizational Participation," ASCE/SEI Structures Congress, Denver, Colorado, 2017.
  • Chair & Organizer ￿ "17th Annual Structural Engineering Conference," University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 2016.

Presentations

  • Lehman, D., LaFave, J., Massone, L., McCabe, S., Polanco, P., and Welt, T., "Behavior of Wall Boundary Elements with Different Confinement Details," ASCE Geotechnical & Structural Engineering Congress, Phoenix, Arizona, 2016.
  • LaFave, J. M., and Kim, J., "Innovative Analytical Approaches for RC Beam-Column Connection Joint Shear Behavior Prediction, Including by Using Basic Joint Shear Resistance Mechanisms," ACI Fall Convention, Washington, D.C., 2014.

Professional Societies

  • Member (2014-present) of ACI 318 ("Structural Concrete Building Code") Subcommittee J ("Joints & Connections").
  • Judge, SEAOI Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards Competition, 2014.
  • Member (2007-present) of ACI Committee 408 (￿Development & Splicing of Deformed Bars￿).
  • Member (1999-present) of ACI Committee 374 (￿Performance-Based Seismic Design of Concrete Buildings￿).
  • Member (1997-present) and Chair (2002-09) of Joint ACI-ASCE Committee 352 ("Joints and Connections in Monolithic Concrete Structures"￿).
  • Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC) ￿ Voting Subcommittee Member of MSJC ￿ ￿Veneer, Glass Block & Empirical (VG&E)￿ and ￿Reinforcement & Connectors (R&C)￿ (2007-13); Member of MSJC Executive Committee (2010-11).
  • Member (2010-11) & Chair (2011) of ACI Committee CAP Subcommittee SC3 (￿Chester Paul Siess Award for Excellence in Structural Research￿); Member (2007-08) and Chair (2008) of ACI Committee SA02 (￿Wason Medal for Materials Research￿); Member (2008 & 2011) of ACI Committee 07 (￿Committee on Awards for Papers (CAP)￿).

Service on Department Committees

  • CEE Advisory Committee, Member, 2014-16
  • CEE Promotion & Tenure Committee, Member, 2014
  • Chair of the Illinois CEE Structures Group, 2010-14
  • MAE Center Deputy Director, 2013-present
  • Illinois CEE Alumni Association ￿ Board of Directors Member & Secretary (2008-12)
  • Structural Engineering Qualifying Exam Committee, Chair, 2000-06 (Member, 1999-present).

Service on College Committees

  • Engineering Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Search Committee, Member, 2017-18
  • Engineering for Society Program Development Committee, Chair, 2016-17
  • College of Engineering Executive Committee, Member, 2013-16
  • CEE Department Head Search Committee, Member, 2014

Service on Campus Committees

  • UIUC Faculty Senate (representing CEE) ￿ 2006-08, 2010-13 & 2014-16

Service to Federal and State Government

  • NIST Task Order 22 / ATC-95 Project ￿ "Development of a Collapse Indicator Methodology for Existing Reinforced Concrete Buildings" ￿ Invited Member of the 2013 "Collapse Simulation Workshop" (San Francisco, CA)
  • Illinois Center for Transportation ￿ Structures, Geotechnical & Hydraulics Technical Advisory Group (TAG) UIUC Faculty Representative, 2005-10.

Honors

  • UIUC CEE Excellence Faculty Scholar (2012)

Teaching Honors

  • University of Illinois "List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students" ￿ Spring and Fall 2001 (CEE 263 ￿ now CEE 460); Fall 2002 (CEE 465 ￿ now CEE 560); Spring 2010 (CEE 461); Fall 2010 (CEE 465); Fall 2011 (CEE 199); Summer 2012 (CEE 560) (2001 & 2002 & 2010 & 2011 & 2012)
  • University of Illinois ASCE Student Chapter ￿ Outstanding Instructor Award (2002 & 2005)
  • University of Michigan ASEE Student Chapter ￿ Outstanding Graduate Student Instructional Assistant Award (1996)

Research Honors

  • ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities ￿ Outstanding 2016 Paper Award ￿ American Society of Civil Engineers Forensic Engineering Division (2017)
  • The Masonry Society ￿ Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award ￿ Faculty Advisor to Dziugas Reneckis (2011)
  • American Concrete Institute ￿ Wason Medal for Most Meritorious Paper (2009)
  • American Concrete Institute ￿ Fellow (2008)
  • The Masonry Society ￿ Outstanding Journal Paper Award (2007)
  • American Society for Testing & Materials ￿ ASTM Alan H. Yorkdale Memorial Award (2006)
  • University of Illinois College of Engineering ￿ Xerox Award for Faculty Research (2005)