Chicago — Patricia M. Clayton, Ph.D., an assistant professor with the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering’s Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory, is the recipient of AISC’s 2017 Milek Fellowship Award. The four-year fellowship will provide Clayton with $50,000 per year (for a total of $200,000) to conduct her research. The funding is also intended to assist in leveraging additional outside funds for fellowship-related research as well as to develop graduate students, to be selected by Clayton, for academic and design careers in the structural steel industry.
Named for William A. Milek, Jr., a former AISC vice president of engineering and research, the award recognizes a promising young university faculty member who teaches and conducts U.S.-based research investigations related to structural steel.
Clayton was selected 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.
“Studying how these fuse-type connections impact the system isn’t well-established, and there’s always more to learn from this topic. The results will lend themselves to further innovation and potentially improve performance,” said Larry Kruth, P.E., AISC’s vice president of engineering and research.
“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 Thomas Sabol, Ph.D., S.E., chair of the AISC Committee on Research and chair of the AISC Task Committee on Seismic Systems TC9. “We are also pleased to note that her doctoral advisor, Jeffrey Berman, is a previous Milek Fellowship winner.”
Clayton will also receive complimentary registration to NASCC: The Steel Conference for four years.