Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

421 Davis Hall

University of California, Berkeley


E-mail: [email protected]

Professor Athanasopoulos-Zekkos featured in MDOT Research Spotlight

Assistant Professor Adda Athanasopoulos-Zekkos is the principal investigator of a project that was featured in a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Research Spotlight.

The story, titled, "Minimizing the effects of pile driving vibrations", describes piles, which are steel or concrete shafts that are driven into the ground during construction using large mechanical hammers. These piles can support bridges and other structures.

The process of pile driving creates vibrations that can sometimes damage nearby structures with shallow foundations, or cause cracking or deformation in underground utilities, such as water and sewer pipes, power lines, and communications cables. Knowing the rate at which vibrations dissipate (called "attenuation") helps determine when it is necessary to use mitigation techniques such as pre-boring pile holes, using less impact energy during driving, or using a different kind of pile and foundation design,” the spotlight states.

According to the article, the researchers led by Athanasopoulos-Zekkos developed a simpler and more accurate method for estimating vibration dissipation as the distance from pile driving increases and predicting where ground settlement will occur. They developed a software tool MDOT can use to identify potentially troublesome sites and avoid costly damage to nearby structures. MDOT is currently using the tool on a pilot basis on projects with appropriate soil conditions, with good results. Expanded implementation is planned in the coming months.

To read the full story, please click on the PDF.

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