Mena Morcos, an MASc student in Civil Engineering working under Prof. Dan Palermon's supervision, received “Honourable Mention” at the 2018 Best Paper Competition at the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) Annual Conference in Fredericton for his paper, “Numerical Modelling of Slender Superelastic-Shape Memory Alloy Reinforced Concrete Shear Walls.”
Mena's study is currently in progress to understand how shear walls can regain their vertical stance after being displaced by the forces of natural disasters like earthquakes.
Numerical computer simulation models of the walls were developed to provide predictive assessments of the seismic behaviour and the ability to recover from imposed lateral displacements.
The performance is assessed realistically in the computer simulations by application of a comprehensive plastic-offset numerical model previously developed by Dr. Palermo. In the Bergeron Centr'es Structures High Bay Lab, two ductile shear walls were constructed for experimental testing to corroborate the nonlinear finite element analyses.
To test each wall, each specimen will be anchored to the strong floor of the lab and connected to a horizontally positioned hydraulic actuator at the top through the cap beam. The hydraulic actuator will then apply a series of displacements, each in the positive and negative directions to simulate the motions experienced during an earthquake.
Mena Morcos's research to improve earthquake safety around the world with new materials is still ongoing.