James M. LaFave

 James M. LaFave
James M. LaFave

Administrative Titles

  • CEE Excellence Faculty Scholar
Professor
(217) 333-8064
3129B Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg

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 Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), 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. Professor LaFave also served as Associate Head & Director of Undergraduate Studies in CEE at Illinois from 2016-20, as Director of CEE Education Programs for the Zhejiang University - UIUC Joint Institute (ZJUI) from 2018-20, and as Associate Dean for Facilities & Capital Planning in the UIUC Grainger College of Engineering from 2020-21.

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 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 has served as a voting member on three other ACI committees (including ACI 318 "Structural Concrete Building Code" Subcommittee J ("Joints and Connections")). He is a Founding Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Building Engineering and has previously served on the Editorial Board of the journal Engineering Structures.

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

  • Grainger Engineering Associate Dean for Facilities & Capital Planning, UIUC (2020-21)
  • UIUC Director of CEE Education Programs for ZJUI (2018-20)
  • CEE Associate Head & Director of Undergraduate Studies, UIUC (2016-20)
  • Professor of Civil Engineering, UIUC (2013-present)
  • NIST Associate, National Institute of Standards & Technology (2015)
  • Visiting Assoc. Professor of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Washington (2007-08)
  • Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, UIUC (2005-13)
  • Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, UIUC (1999-2005)
  • Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst (1997-99)

Other Professional Employment

  • Consulting Engineer, WJE 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

Design Teams

  • AISC / ASCE Steel Bridge Team Faculty Advisor, UIUC, 1999-present

Other Undergraduate Advising Activities

  • AISC / ASCE National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC) – 2018 Faculty Advisor for UIUC CEE as Competition Host

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.

Books Edited or Co-Edited (Original Editions)

  • Gardoni, P., and LaFave, J. M. (Eds.), Multi-Hazard Approaches to Civil Infrastructure Engineering, 2016, 573 pp. (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

  • Fahnestock, L. A., Chee, M., Liu, G., Kode, U., and LaFave, J. M., "Synthesis of Bridge Approach Slab Behavior, Design, and Construction Practice," ASCE Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction, v. 27, no. 3, August 2022, Article # 04022032 (12 pp.).
  • Kozak, D. L., Fahnestock, L. A., and LaFave, J. M., "Seismic Behavior Assessment for Design of Integral Abutment Bridges in Illinois," Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration, v. 21, no. 2, April 2022, pp. 573-589.
  • Foltz, R. R., LaFave, J. M., and Lee, D., "Seismic Performance of a Structural Concrete Pile-Wharf Connection Before and After Retrofit," Structures, v. 38, April 2022, pp. 874-894.
  • Nguyen, H. D., LaFave, J. M., Lee, Y.-J., and Shin, M., "Rapid Seismic Damage-State Assessment of Steel Moment Frames Using Machine Learning," Engineering Structures, v. 252, February 2022, Article # 113737 (15 pp.).
  • Viswanath, S., LaFave, J. M., and Kuchma, D. A., "Concrete Compressive Strain Behavior and Magnitudes under Uniaxial Fatigue Loading," Construction and Building Materials, v. 296, August 2021, Article # 123718 (16 pp.).
  • Su, L., Huang, X., Zhang, J.-Q., and LaFave, J. M., "Engineering Performance of Two Analytical Methodologies for Estimating Modal Parameter Uncertainty for Structures," Structural Control and Health Monitoring, v. 28, no. 7, July 2021, Article # e2752 (19 pp.).
  • LaFave, J. M., Brambila, G., Kode, U., Liu, G., and Fahnestock, L. A., "Field Behavior of Integral Abutment Bridges under Thermal Loading," ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering, v. 26, no. 4, April 2021, Article # 04021013 (16 pp.).
  • Viswanath, S., Kuchma, D. A., and LaFave, J. M., "Experimental Investigation of Concrete Fatigue in Axial Compression," ACI Structural Journal, v. 118, no. 1, January 2021, pp. 263-276.
  • Kim, S., Kang, T. H.-K., Jung, D., and LaFave, J. M., "Seismic Behavior of Precast and Post-Tensioned Exterior Connections with Ductile Headed Rods," ACI Structural Journal, v. 118, no. 1, January 2021, pp. 87-100.
  • Su, L., Zhang, J.-Q., Huang, X., and LaFave, J. M., "Automatic Operational Modal Analysis of Structures Based on Image Recognition of Stabilization Diagrams with Uncertainty Quantification," Multidimensional Systems and Signal Processing, v. 32, no. 1, January 2021, pp. 335-357.
  • Luo, J., Fahnestock, L. A., and LaFave, J. M., "Seismic Performance Assessment of Quasi-Isolated Highway Bridges with Seat-Type Abutments," Journal of Earthquake Engineering, v. 25, no. 11, 2021, pp. 2285-2324.
  • Su, L., Huang, X., Song, M.-L., and LaFave, J. M., "Automatic Identification of Modal Parameters for Structures Based on an Uncertainty Diagram and a Convolutional Neural Network," Structures, v. 28, December 2020, pp. 369-379.
  • Samara, K., Sun, M., Cha, E. J., and LaFave, J., "Probabilistic Modeling and Fragility Assessment of Limestone Wall Tie Connections Subjected to Wind Loads," Journal of Building Engineering, v. 26, November 2019, Article # 100884 (10 pp.).
  • 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, v. 23, no. 8, September 2019, pp. 1385-1406.
  • Kang, T. H.-K., Kim, S., Shin, J. H., and LaFave, J. M., “Seismic Behavior of Exterior Beam-Column Connections with High-Strength Materials and Steel Fibers,” ACI Structural Journal, v. 116, no. 4, July 2019, pp. 31-43.
  • Welt, T., Lehman, D., Lowes, L., and LaFave, J., "A Constitutive Model for Confined Concrete in Slender Rectangular RC Sections Incorporating Compressive Energy," Construction and Building Materials, v. 193, December 2018, pp. 344-362.
  • Kozak, D. L., LaFave, J. M., and Fahnestock, L. A., "Seismic Modeling of Integral Abutment Bridges in Illinois," Engineering Structures, v. 165, June 2018, pp. 170-183.
  • Welt, T. S., Lehman, D. E., and LaFave, J. M., "Boundary Element Detailing in Special Concrete Structural Walls," ACI Structural Journal, v. 115, no. 3, May-June 2018, pp. 635-647.
  • 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.).

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • LaFave, J. M., Foltz, R. R., and Lee, D. H., “Seismic Performance of a Structural Concrete Pile-Wharf Connection Before and After Retrofit,” Proceedings of the 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Salt Lake City, UT, 2022, 5 pp.
  • Zhou, S., Fahnestock, L. A., and LaFave, J. M., "Inital Field Response and Modeling of Two Skewed Steel I-Girder Bridges," Proceedings of the International Bridge Conference (IBC), Pittsburgh, PA, 2021, 11 pp.
  • Kozak, D. L., LaFave, J. M., and Fahnestock, L. A., “Influence of Intermediate Pier Bearing Type on Integral Abutment Bridge Seismic Response,” Proceedings of the 11th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Los Angeles, California, June 2018, 4 pp.
  • Welt, T., Lehman, D., and LaFave, J., “Boundary Element Detailing in Special Concrete Structural Walls,” Proceedings of the 11th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Los Angeles, California, June 2018, 10 pp.
  • Kozak, D. L., Fahnestock, L. A., and LaFave, J. M., “Effect of Soil Conditions on the Seismic Response of Three-Span Integral Abutment Bridges,” Proceedings of the ASCE/SEI Structures Congress, Fort Worth, Texas, April 2018, 11 pp.

Reports

  • LaFave, J. M., Fahnestock, L. A., Luo, J., and Kozak, D. L., “Seismic Performance of Seat-Type Abutment Highway Bridges in Illinois,” IDOT/ICT Project R27-133 Final Report (Research Report FHWA-ICT-18-013), Illinois Center for Transportation, Springfield, Illinois, 2018, 66 pp.
  • LaFave, J. M., Fahnestock, L. A., and Kozak, D. L., “Seismic Performance of Integral Abutment Highway Bridges in Illinois,” IDOT/ICT Project R27-133 Final Report (Research Report FHWA-ICT-18-012), Illinois Center for Transportation, Springfield, Illinois, 2018, 85 pp.
  • 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

  • Viswanath, S., Kuchma, D. A., and LaFave, J. M., “The Use of Topology Optimization for the Development of Strut and Tie Models for Complex Structural Concrete Design Domains,” ASCE EMI Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, 2018.
  • 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)
  • 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 & MaterialsASTM Alan H. Yorkdale Memorial Award (2006 )
  • University of Illinois College of Engineering – Xerox Award for Faculty Research (2005)

Recent Courses Taught

  • CEE 195 - About Civil Engineering
  • CEE 461 - Reinforced Concrete I
  • CEE 465 - Design of Structural Systems
  • CEE 560 - Steel Structures III