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DFI Announces Winners of 2018 Young Professor Paper Competition

The DFI and DFI Educational Trust 2018 Young Professor Paper Competition winner is Alessandro F. Rotta Loria, Ph.D., P.E., post-doctoral researcher, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, and appointed assistant professor, Northwestern University, Illinois. In the winning paper, “Performance-based Design of Energy Pile Foundations,” Dr. Rotta Loria describes a theoretical and experimental analysis of the multi-physical behavior of energy piles, as well as a performance-based design framework for such foundations. 

Research has been performed to understand the behavior and to address the geotechnical and structural design of energy piles (i.e., deep foundations that serve as structural supports and geothermal heat exchangers). Knowledge about the response of energy piles subjected to thermal and mechanical loading is accessible. However, this knowledge is fragmented, and no comprehensive performance-based design framework is currently available. The research highlights that thermal loads involve effects that can be neglected in the design of energy piles at ultimate limit states and can be considered relevant only at serviceability limit states. Therefore, the performance-based design of energy piles at ultimate limit states reduces to a conventional pile design process while the design at serviceability limit states must account for a number of proposed verifications. 

The first runner-up of the Young Professor Paper Competition is Andrew Z. Boeckmann, P.E., research engineer, University of Missouri. Boeckmann’s paper titled, “Estimating Capacity and Reliability of Existing Foundations for Evaluation of Reuse” describes that foundation reuse is a design alternative that has found favor among many owners and engineers as a means for satisfying financial, schedule and various other constraints on superstructure replacement projects. 

The awards were presented at the DFI 43rd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, October 24-27, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif., where Dr. Rotta Loria presented the winning paper to conference attendees. Each of the winners and runners-up will have their papers published in a future issue of the DFI Journal. They also received a library of up to 20 DFI publications along with a gratis two-year DFI Individual Membership.

Contact: Emilio S. Fandino, Trust Administrator, (973) 423-4030, efandino@dfi.org