Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Jon M. Rouse


An innovative structural system for pier columns was investigated through a series of laboratory experiments. The columns and connections examined were comprised of precast concrete segments to accelerate construction. In addition some of the columns employed elastic elements to self-center the columns when subjected to lateral loads and structural fuses to control large lateral deflections, dissipate energy, and expedite repair in the event of a catastrophic loading event.

Six cantilever columns with varying component materials and connection details were subjected to a regimen of vertical dead loads and cyclic, quasi-static lateral loads. One column was designed as a control column to represent the behavior of a conventional reinforced concrete column and provide a basis for comparison with the remaining five jointed columns designed with the proposed structural system. After sustaining significant damage, the self-centering, jointed columns were repaired by replacing the structural fuses and retested to failure to investigate the effectiveness of the repair.

The experiments identified both effective and unsatisfactory details for the jointed system. Two of the jointed columns demonstrated equivalent lateral strength, greater lateral stiffness, and greater lateral deformation capacity than the control column. The self-centering capability of the jointed columns was clearly demonstrated as well, and the repair technique proved effective as demonstrated by nearly identical pre and post repair behavior. The authors believe the proposed system to be a feasible alternative to conventional pier systems and recommend additional research.


Copyright Owner

Mark Christopher Currie



Date Available


File Format


File Size

187 pages