20 Mar 2020

4:30 pm

Bethlehem, United States

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About the Khan Series

Structural engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan (1929-1982) ushered in a renaissance of skyscraper construction during the second half of the 20th century. A pragmatic visionary, his efficient designs include Chicago's 100-story 875 N. Michigan (formerly John Hancock Center) and the 108-story Willis Tower (formerly Sears). Lehigh University endowed a chair in structural engineering and architecture and has established this lecture series in Khan’s honor. It is organized by Professor Dan M. Frangopol, the university’s first holder of the Fazlur Rahman Khan Endowed Chair, and sponsored by the Departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Art, Architecture & Design. The 2020 Spring Series features three installments throughout the months of February, March, and April.

From Slide Rule to FEA: Some Stops Along the Way
Philip Gould, Senior Professor, Washington University

Once a junior engineer working closely with Fazlur Khan, Dr. Gould offers some observations on Khan’s early career. His subsequent academic and professional activities initially focused on thin-shell analysis, especially the emerging field of hyperbolic cooling towers and the advanced capabilities of the SHORE family of computer programs. He became very involved in earthquake engineering with strong focus on education and mid-America issues. In the course of teaching graduate subjects, he authored several textbooks and was editor of the journal Engineering Structures.

Potentially destructive loading conditions that have impacted chimneys and cooling towers are briefly described. While chimneys and cooling towers of increasing height have been successfully constructed for decades, in the present context of resiliency, they both possess an undesirable structural characteristic in that they are globally statically determinate. Dr. Gould’s studies of extreme events that caused a severely damaged cooling tower and a collapsed chimney are used to illustrate selected aspects of their structural performance. The response of each structure is examined with the objective of validating and augmenting design characteristics that may improve their behavior under any imaginable loading condition. The application of nonlinear analysis techniques that may be useful in predicting the response of such structures to multi-hazard design conditions beyond current code requirements is suggested.

FAZLUR RAHMAN KHAN (1929 - 1982) One of the foremost structural engineers of the 20th century, Fazlur Khan epitomized both structural engineering achievement and creative collaborative effort between architect and engineer. His ideas for these sky-scraping towers offered more than economic construction and iconic architectural images; they gave people the opportunity to work and live “in the sky.” Khan was always clear about the purpose of architecture. His characteristic statement to an editor in 1971, having just been selected Construction's Man of the Year by Engineering News-Record, is commemorated in a plaque at the Onterie Center in Chicago: “The technical man must not be lost in his own technology. He must be able to appreciate life; and life is art, drama, music, and most importantly, people.”

Whitaker Lab 303, Lehigh University, 5 E. Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA

1 PDH will be awarded to eligible attendees for each lecture


Lehigh University

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