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Wai-Fah Chen

Wai-Fah Chen

Emeritus Professor of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering
Office:  Post 203
Phone: (808) 956-9618

Areas of Specialty and Research Interest

Structural analysis, steel and concrete design, soil mechanics, geotechnical engineering, numerical simulation and modeling of civil engineering systems, material science.


  • Ph.D., Solid Mechanics, Brown University, 1966.
  • M.S., Civil Engineering (structures), Lehigh University, 1963.
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, National Cheng-Kung University, Taiwan, 1959.

Professional Registration

  • Registered Professional Engineer in Taiwan, since 1960


  • Dean, College of Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1999 – 2006.
  • Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1999 – 2010.
  • George E. Goodwin Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, 1992-1999.
  • Head of Structural Engineering, Purdue University, 1980-1999.
  • Professor of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, 1976-1992.
  • Visiting Professor, University at Kassel, Germany, summers of 1984 and 1985.
  • Visiting Professor, Stanford University, 08/83 – 12/83.
  • Assistant, Associate and Full Professor, Lehigh University, 1966 – 1976.
  • Consultant, T. Y. Lin International, California; LeTourneau Marine Company, Texas; Exxon Production Research Company, Texas; Karagozian and Case Structural Engineers, California; G. A. Technologies, California; Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Illinois; World Bank on the Chinese University Development Projects.

Professional Activities

  • Honorary Professor, Chaoyang University of Technology, Taiwan, since 2000.
  • Honorary Professor, Xian Jiao Tong University, Xi’an, China, since 1998.
  • Honorary President, Fritz Engineering Research Society, Lehigh University, 1994.
  • Honorary Professorship, Chongqing Institute of Architecture and Engineering, Chongqing, Sichuan, China, since 1986.
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Constructional Steelwork Research, 1983 – present.
  • Main Editor, New Directions in Civil Engineering, CRC Press, Florida, 1991-present.
  • Member, Board of Consulting Editors, Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and Annual Yearbook of Science and Technology, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1997-present.
  • Member, Advisory Board, International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 1984-present
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, 1998-present.
  • Member, International Editorial Board, An International Journal on Advances in Structural Engineering, 1996-present.
  • Member, International Editorial Board, Engineering Structures, 1991 – present.
  • Member, Editorial Board, International Journal of Steel and Composite Structures, 2000 – present.
  • Member, Editorial Board, International Journal of Stability and Dynamics, 2000 – present.
  • Member, Editorial Board, China Civil Engineering Journal, 1997 – present
  • Member, International Editorial Board, The KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering (English Version), 2000-present.
  • Member, International Editorial Board, Journal of Temporal Design in Architecture and Environment, Japan, 2001-present
  • Member, Board of Editors, International Journal of Applied Science and Engineering, Chaoyang University, Taiwan, 2002-present.
  • Editor, International Journal of Advanced Steel Construction, Hong Kong, 2004-present.
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Architecture and Civil Engineering, sponsored by Chang” an University, China, 2005-present.
  • Member, Fourth Editorial Board of Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Chinese Society of Mechanics, Beijing, China, 2003-present

Awards and Honors

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, American Institute of Steel Construction, 2003
  • Member, US National Academy of Engineering, since 1995.
  • Honorary Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), since 1997.
  • Academician of Academia Sinica (Taiwan National Academy of Science), since 1998.
  • Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Medal, Brown University, 1999.
  • Honorable Mention Engineering Handbook Award for the Civil Engineering
    Handbook, Editor W. F. Chen, Association of American Publishers,
    Inc., Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division, 1995.
  • Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award, The Scientific Research Society, Purdue University Chapter, 1996.
  • The JSPS Fellowship for Research in Japan, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1990, 1996.
  • The Structural Engineering Fellowship, The University of Hong Kong, June 9 to 15, 1996.
  • The James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation Awards (with students) 1971, 1974, 1981, 1984, 1991.
  • Honorary Fellow, Singapore Structural Steel Society, 1991.
  • Shortridge Hardesty Award, Structural Division of American Society of Civil Engineers, 1990.
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award of National Cheng-Kung University, Taiwan, 1988.
  • T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award, American Institute of Steel Construction, 1985.
  • Raymond C. Reese Research Prize, Structural Division of American Society of Civil Engineers, 1985.
  • U.S. Senior Scientist Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 1984.

Citation in the book Giants of Engineering Science by Anwar Beg, Matador, UK, 2003, for contributions in structural and geotechnical mechanics. [ISBN: 1-899293-52-3]

“Giants of Engineering Science is a biographical monograph examining the life and works of ten of the world”s leading engineering scientists. The book features A. C. Eringen of Princeton University, H. S. Takhar of Manchester Metropolitan University, Theodore Wu of the California Institute of Technology, the late Richard Skalak of Columbia University and the University of California at San Diego, Y. C. Fung of the University of California at San Diego, Howard Brenner of MIT, K. J. Bathe of MIT, the late C. L. Tien of the University of California at Berkeley, W. F. Chen of the University of Hawaii and the late Howard W. Emmons of Harvard University. A thorough study of the contributions of these leading intellectuals in diverse branches of engineering is presented spanning industrial flows, continuum mechanics, biofluids, biomechanics, chemo-fluid dynamics, structural and geotechnical mechanics, fire dynamics, heat transfer, wave hydrodynamics and computational mechanics.”

Research Grants

  1. W.F. Chen (P.I.) “Moment frame connections revisited: a fundamental fracture mechanics approach”, funded by National Science Foundation (NSF), 1998-2001.
  2. W.F. Chen (P.I.) “Monitoring of long-term performance of highway bridge columns,” funded by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 1996-2000.
  3. W.F. Chen (P.I.) and D.W. White (Co-P.I.) “U.S.-Japan seminar on advanced stability concepts and methods for seismic design in structural
    steel,” funded by National Science Foundation (NSF), 1996.
  4. W.F. Chen (P.I.) and M.D. Bowman (Co-P.I.) “Load capacity and failure models of seated beam connections,” funded by the US Department of Labor, 1995-1997.
  5. W.F. Chen (P.I.) “Analysis of collapse mechanisms of structures under disaster loading,” funded by National Science Foundation (NSF), 1995-1997.
  6. W.F. Chen (P.I.) and E. Sotelino (Co-P.I.) “Characterization of the inelastic constitutive behavior of concrete materials”, funded
    by National Science Foundation (NSF), 1993-1997.
  7. W.F. Chen (P.I.) “Load monitoring for safe construction”, funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 1993-1996.
  8. W.F. Chen (P.I.), E. Sotelino (Co-P.I.) and D. W. White (Co-P.I.) “Domain-specific object-oriented environment for parallel computing”, funded by
    Department of Energy (DOE), 1993-1996.
  9. W.F. Chen (P.I.) and M. Cohen (Co-P.I.) “Strength and durability of concrete: effects of cement paste-aggregate interfaces”, funded
    by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 1992-1994.
  10. W.F. Chen (P.I.) and M. Cohen (Co-P.I.) “Significance of paste-sand interfaces in micro mechanical behavior of concrete”, funded by
    National Science Foundation (NSF), 1992-1995.
  11. W.F. Chen (P.I.), H.E. Dunsmore (Co-P.I.) and D.W. White (Co-P.I.) “An automated environment for engineering software development,” funded
    by National Science Foundation (NSF), 1991-1993.
  12. W.F. Chen (P.I.) “Theoretical analysis and experimental investigation of semi-rigid steel frames,” funded by National Science Foundation (NSF), 1990-1993.

Selected Publications after 2000

Professor Chen is the author or co-author of 18 books, 41 contributed book chapters, 344 refereed technical journal papers, 244 papers in conference proceedings and symposium volumes, and editor of 22 books. The following list represents only a small portion of Professor Chen’s scholarly publications.

  1. Chen, W. F. with S. E. Kim, M. K. Kim 2000 Improved Refined Plastic Hinge Analysis Accounting for Strain Reversal, Engineering Structures,
    Vol.22, No.1, January  15-25.
  2. Chen, W. F. 2000 Structural Stability: From Theory to Practice, Engineering Structures, Vol.22, No.2, February 116-122.
  3. Chen, W. F. 2000 Plasticity, Limit Analysis and Structural Design, International Journal of Solids and Structures, Vol. 37, 81-92.
  4. Chen, W. F. with J. Y. R. Liew, H. Chen 2000 Advanced Inelastic Analysis of Frame Structures, Journal of Constructional Steel Research, Vol.52,
    Nos. 1-3, July-September 245-265.
  5. Chen, W. F. with S. P.Zhou, L. Duan, Y. C. Cheng 2001 Global Stability Analysis for Bird-Shaped Girders, Journal of Structural Engineering,
    ASCE, Vol.127, No.3, March 306-313.
  6. Chen, W. F. with J. L. Peng, A. D. E. Pan 2001 Approximate Analysis Method for Modular Tubular Falsework, Journal of Structural Engineering,
    ASCE, Vol. 127, No.3, March 256-263.
  7. Chen, W. F. with C. Joh 2001 Seismic Behavior of Steel Moment Connections with Composite Slab, Steel Structures, Vol. 1, 175-183.
  8. Chen, W. F. with K. Wongkaew 2002 Consideration of Out-of-Plane Buckling in Advanced Analysis for Planar Steel Frame Design, Journal of Constructional Steel Research, Vol. 58, No. 5-8, 943-965.
  9. Chen, W. F. with Y. M. Lan, E. D. Sotelino 2003 The Strain-Space Consistent Tangent Operator and Return Mapping Algorithm for Constitutive Modeling
    of Confined Concrete, International Journal of Applied Science and Engineering, Vol.1, No.1,17-29.
  10. Chen, W. F. with M. H. Teng, E. D. Sotelino 2003 Performance Evaluation of RC Bridge Columns Wrapped with FRP, ASCE Journal of Composite for
    Construction, Vol.7, No. 2, 83-92.
  11. Chen, W. F. with L. Duan 2003 Basic Design Criteria for Bridge Crossing, Open Sea and Bay Area, Marine Georesources and Geotechnology, Vol. 21, 289-305.
  12. Chen, W. F. with K. M. Abdalla 2004 Effect of Control Fluid and Surface Treatments of High Strength Bolts, International Journal of Applied Science
    and Engineering, Vol. 2, No. 1, March 1-15.
  13. Chen, W. F. with I. H. Chen 2005 Major Revisions of the 2005 AISC Seismic Code, International Journal on Advanced Steel Construction.
  14. W. F. Chen, 2005 Foreword for the Inaugurate Issue of the International Journal on Advanced Steel Construction, Hong Kong.
  15. Chen, W. F. with W. S. King, C. J. Chen, L. Duan, 2006 Plastic Analysis of Frames with Tapered Member, Journal of Architecture and Civil  Engineering, No.1/06.
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