Yi-Lung Mo, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, an inventor and professor at the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Mo’s technical interests are multiresolution distributed analytical simulations, large-scale concrete structure testing, and field investigations of the true behavior and damage detection of complex concrete structures, on which he has to his credit more than 400 research publications, including 193 refereed journal papers, numerous conference, keynote, and prestige lectures, and earthquake field mission reports.
He developed periodic material-based seismic base isolators for seismic design of engineering structures, and this invention created the research field of periodic material-based vibration isolation of engineering structures. The proposed isolators, along with novel optimization algorithms, have been critically shown by both shake table and field tests to demonstrate great potential for enhancing the seismic safety of engineering structures. Among other qualities, the periodic-material foundation can effectively reduce the structural vibration in the vertical direction, whereas, typically, the traditional base isolation systems are not able to provide such benefits.
Mo also developed the element-based approach for investigating the true behavior of infrastructure. The process is to study the major element parts, establish analytical models for them, and then integrate the parts’ data together to form a holistic perspective via the finite element method. This element-based methodology has been implemented in a finite element analysis program called Simulation of Concrete Structures (SCS) by using OpenSees as a framework, and has proven to be very successful for studying the behavior of reinforced/prestressed concrete structures subjected to static and dynamic loading. It resulted in the book Unified Theory of Concrete Structures, published in 2010 by Wiley. Mo’s SCS program has been posted on the OpenSees website for practicing engineers and institution researchers to use.
Another of his creations is the piezoceramic-based smart aggregate for health monitoring of concrete structures, which has launched another new research field. The proposed sensors and novel algorithms have demonstrated great potential to enhance the safety of large-scale civil structures through laboratory tests and field implementation. They would provide an efficient way to detect damage of concrete structures directly, and may alter our way of defining the degree of damage of a concrete structure after an earthquake.
Further, Mo developed a carbon nanofiber aggregate (CNFA) system that provides self-sensing capabilities that can be used to detect strain, moisture, and temperature changes of infrastructures. The CNFA may include cement, aggregate, silica fume, a high-range water reducer, and carbon nanofibers. The device is one-of-a-kind and has great potential in improving infrastructure durability and resiliency. A U.S. patent was awarded in 2014, and prototypes of the technology were demonstrated in Mo’s laboratory.