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Roberto T. Leon

David H. Burrows Professor and Associate Department Head
  • Interim Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Studies
Roberto T. Leon
102-D Patton Hall
Blacksburg, VA, USA 24061
Mail Code: (0105)

Program Area : Structural Engineering and Materials
Professional Registration : MN

Area of Interest

Behavior and design of steel and composite connections
Seismic design of frames with partially restrained connections
Seismic behavior of bridges
Serviceability of composite floors
High performance materials

  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1983
  • M.S.C.E., Structural Engineering, Stanford University, 1979
  • B.S.C.E., Civil Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1978
  • Distinguished Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (2016)
  • UMASS- Amherst: CEE Academy of Distinguished Alumni (2016)
  • American Concrete Institute Design Award (2016)
  • AISC Lifetime Achievement Award (2015)
  • UMASS-Amherst: School of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni (2013)
  • Academy of Distinguished Alumni, CAEE, University of Texas at Austin (2013)
  • Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE) President's Award, 2012
  • AISC Special Achievement Educator Award, 2011
  • ASCE Norman Medal, 2000
  • ASCE State-of-the-Art Award 1996 and 2000
  • Fellow, American Concrete Institute, 1999
  • AISC T.R. Higgins Award, 1993
  • ASCE E.E. Friedman Young Engineer Award, 1988
  • CEE 3684 : CEE Materials
  • CEE 3404 : Introduction to Structural Engineering
  • CEE 3424 : Reinforced Concrete Structures I
  • CEE 3434 : Design of Steel Structures I
  • CEE 5430 : Intermediate Design of Steel Buildings
  • CEE 5450 : Forensic Structural Engineering
  • CEE 3954 : Bridges, Builders & Society
  • NEESR-CR: Innovative Seismic Retrofits for Resilient Reinforced Concrete Buildings (NSF, w. R. DesRoches, Georgia Tech et alia)
  • Data Collection on Performance of Wood Diaphragms NSF Rapid New Zealand
  • Large Gusset Plate Testing and Analysis (FHWA, with D. White, Georgia Tech et al.)
  • Low-Cost Self-Powered Wireless Nanosensors for Real-Time Structural Integrity Monitoring (FHWA-IDEAS, W. Y. Wang, Georgia Tech et al.)
  • Guidelines for Analytical Methods and Erection Engineering of Curved and Skew Steel Bridges (FHWA, w. D. White, Georgia Tech)
  • Collins, W., Sherman, R., Leon, R. and Connor, R. (2019). Fracture Toughness Characterization of High-Performance Steel for Bridge Girder Applications, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering 31 (4), 04019027
  • Fang, C. -H., & Leon, R. T. (2018). Seismic Behavior of Symmetric and Asymmetric Steel Structures with Rigid and Semirigid Diaphragms. JOURNAL OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING, 144(10), 12 pages. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0002123
  • Qi, L., Xue, J., Zhai, L., Zhao, X., & Leon, R. T. (2018). Experimental and numerical studies on seismic performance of traditional style steel-concrete composite frame. COMPOSITE STRUCTURES, 201, 514-527. doi:10.1016/j.compstruct.2018.06.049
  • Denavit, M. D., Hajjar, J. F., Perea, T., & Leon, R. T. (2018). Elastic flexural rigidity of steel-concrete composite columns. ENGINEERING STRUCTURES, 160, 293-303. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2018.01.044
  • Leon, R.T., 2017. "Partially Restrained Connections," Chapter 4 in Handbook of Structural Steel Connections Designs and Details (A. Tamboli, ed.), McGraw-Hill, New York: 193-240.
  • Speicher, M. S., DesRoches, R. and Leon, R.T., 2017. Investigation of an articulated quadrilateral bracing system utilizing shape memory alloys, Journal of Constructional Steel Research, (130): 65-78.
  • Gholamhoseini, A., Khanlou, A., MacRae, G., Scott, A., Hicks, S, and Leon, R. T., 2016. An experimental study on strength and serviceability of reinforced and steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) continuous composite slabs, Engineering Structures (144): 171-180.
  • Collins, W., Sherman, R., Leon, R.T. and Connor, R., 2016. State-of-the-Art Fracture Characterization. II: Correlations between Charpy V-Notch and the Master Curve Reference Temperature, Journal of Bridge Engineering, 21(12).
  • Collins, W., Sherman, R., Leon, R.T. and Connor, R., 2016. State-of-the-Art Fracture Characterization. I: Master Curve Analysis of Legacy Bridge Steels, Journal of Bridge Engineering, 21(12).
  • Leon. R. T. and Gao, Y., 2016. Resiliency of steel and composite structures. Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, 10(3): 239-253.
  • Denavit, M. D, Hajjar, J. F.; Perea, T. and Leon, R.T., 2016. Seismic performance factors for moment frames with steel-concrete composite columns and steel beams, Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, 45 (10): 1685-1703.
  • Denavit, M. D, Hajjar, J. F.; Perea, T. and Leon, R.T., 2016. Stability Analysis and Design of Composite Structures, Journal of Structural Engineering (142,3).
  • Leon, R.T. 2015. U.S. Composite Design Codes: A Personal View of the Influence of Composite Construction Conferences, in Composite Construction in Steel and Concrete VII (B. Uy and M. Bradford., eds.), ASCE, Reston, 1-12.
  • Kang, L., Leon, R. T., and Lu, X., 2015. Design of innovative SMA PR connections between steel beams and composite columns, in Composite Construction in Steel and Concrete VII (B. Uy and M. Bradford., eds.), ASCE, Reston, 62-76.
  • MacRae, G., Hobbs, M., Bull, D., Chaudhari,T., Leon, R.T., Clifton, C. and Chase, G., 2015. Slab Effects on Beam-Column Subassemblies-Beam Strength and Elongation Issues, in Composite Construction in Steel and Concrete VII (B. Uy and M. Bradford., eds.), ASCE, Reston, 77-92
  • Perea, T., Leon, R.T. Denavit, M.D., and Hajjar, J.F., 2015. Problems in Determining Buckling Loads from Full-Scale Concrete- Filled Tube Specimens, in Composite Construction in Steel and Concrete VII (B. Uy and M. Bradford., eds.), ASCE, Reston, 93-107.
  • Denavit, M. D., Hajjar, J. F., Perea, T., & Leon, R. T. (2018). Elastic flexural rigidity of steel-concrete composite columns. ENGINEERING STRUCTURES, 160, 293-303. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2018.01.044
  • Khanlou, A., MacRae, G., Scott, A., Hicks, S., Clifton, C., Leon, R.T., and Gholamhoseini, A., 2015. Composite Slab Crack Widths Considering Shrinkage and Gravity Loading, in Composite Construction in Steel and Concrete VII (B. Uy and M. Bradford., eds.), ASCE, Reston, 754-762.
  • Denavit, M. D., Hajjar, J. F., Perea, T., & Leon, R. T. (2018). Elastic flexural rigidity of steel-concrete composite columns. ENGINEERING STRUCTURES, 160, 293-303. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2018.01.044
  • Lu, X., Kang, L., and Leon, R.T., 2015. The Influence of Joint Details and Axial Force Ratios on Failure Mechanisms of SCFT Column-beam Connections. Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering, Vol. 14 (1); 197-204.
  • Perea, T., Leon, R. T., Hajjar, J. F., and Denavit, M. D., 2014. "Full-Scale Tests of Slender Concrete-Filled Steel Tubes: Interaction Behavior," Journal of Structural Engineering, 140(9).
  • Leon, R.T., Kam, W.Y., and Pampanin, S., 2014. Performance of Reinforced Concrete Beam-Column Joints in the 2010-2012 Christchurch Earthquake, in ACI SP-296: Contributions in Structural Concrete, ACI, Farmington Hills, MI
  • Kang, L., Leon, R.T. and Lu, X., 2014. A General Analytical Model for Steel Beam-to-CFT Column Connections in OpenSEES, Journal of Constructional Steel Research, 100: 82-96.
  • Perea, T., Leon, R. T., Hajjar, J. F., and Denavit, M. D. (2013). "Full-Scale Tests of Slender Concrete-Filled Steel Tubes: Axial Behavior," Journal of Structural Engineering, 139(7).
  • Yi, X., Cho, C., Cooper, J., Wang, Y., Tentzeris, M. and Leon, R. T., 2013. Passive wireless antenna sensor for strain and crack sensing - Electromagnetic modeling, simulation, and testing, Smart Materials and Structures, v. 22(8).
  • Zareian, F.; Sampere, C.; Sandoval, V.; McCormick, D.L.; Moehle, J., and Leon, R.T., (2012) Reconnaissance of the Chilean wine industry affected by the 2010 Chile offshore Maule earthquake, Earthquake Spectra, 28(1): 503-512.
  • Kim, D.H. and Leon, R. T. (2013) Fragility analyses of mid-rise T-stub PR frames in the Mid-America earthquake region, International Journal of Steel Structures, 13(1): 81-91.
  • Hu, J.W., Leon, R.T., and Park, T., (2012). Mechanical models for the analysis of bolted T-stub connections under cyclic loads, Journal of Constructional Steel Research, 78: 45-57.
  • Hu, J.W., Leon, R. T., and Park, T., 2012. Investigation on Inelastic Behavior of Heavy Clip-angle Connections, International Journal of Steel Structures,11(1): 1-11.
  • Leon, R.T, 2012. Design of Composite Column: The American Approach. Arabian Journal of Science and Engineering, 37: 381-398.
  • Leon, R. T. and Rossberg, J., 2012. Evolution and Future of Building Codes in the USA. Structural Engineering International, 22(2): 265-269.
  • Kurata, K., Leon, R.T. and DesRoches, R. (2011). Steel plate shear wall with tension-bracing for seismic rehabilitation of steel frames, Journal of Constructional Steel Research, 71(1): 92-103.
  • Park, T., Hwang, W.S., Leon, R.T. and Hu, J.W., 2011. Damage evaluation of composite-special moment frames with concrete-filled tube columns under strong seismic loads, KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering, 15(8): 1381-1394.
  • Hu, J.W. and Leon, R.T., 2011. Analyses and evaluations for composite-moment frames with SMA PR-CFT connections, Nonlinear Dynamics, 65(4): 433-455
  • Clifton, C., Bruneau, M., MacRae, G., Leon, R.T. and Fussell, A., 2011. Steel structures damage from the Christchurch earthquake series of 2010 and 2011, Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 44(4): 297-318.
  • Hu, J.W., Park, T., Hwang, W.S., and Leon, R.T., 2011. Damage evaluation of composite-special moment frames with concrete-filled tube columns under strong seismic loads, KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering, 15(8): 1381-1394
  • Hu, J. W., Leon, R. T., and Park, T., 2011. Mechanical modeling of bolted T-stub connections under cyclic loads - Part I: Stiffness modeling, Journal of Constructional Steel Research, 67 (11): 1710-1718.
  • Speicher, M.S., DesRoches, R. and Leon, R.T., 2011. Experimental results of a NiTi shape memory alloy (SMA)-based recentering beam-column connection, Engineering Structures, 33(9): 2448-2457.
  • Hu, J. W., Choi, E. and Leon, R.T., 2011, Design, analysis and application of innovative composite PR connections between steel beams and CFT columns, Smart Materials and Structures, 20(2).
  • Jacobs, L. D., Kosbab, B. D., Leon, R. T.; and DesRoches, R., 2011. Seismic behavior of a jumbo container crane including uplift, Earthquake Spectra, 27 (3): 745-773.
  • Wang, W., Chen, Y., Li, W. and Leon, R. T., 2011. Bidirectional seismic performance of steel beam to circular tubular column connections with outer diaphragm, Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, 40(10): 1063-1081.
  • Wang, W., Chen, Y., Dong, B. and Leon, R.T., 2011. Experimental behavior of transfer story connections for high-rise SRC structures under seismic loading, Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, 40(9): 961-975.
  • Yi, X., Wu, T., Wang, Y, Leon, R.T., Tentzeris, M.M., and Lantz, G., 2011. Passive wireless smart-skin sensor using RFID-based folded patch antennas, International Journal of Smart and Nano Materials, 2(1): 22-38.
  • Li, G., Sun, W. and Leon, R.T., 2011. "Seismic behavior of connections to gangue-filled CFT columns with ring stiffeners," in Composite Construction VI (R.T. Leon et al., eds.), ASCE: 173-181.
  • Perea, T. and Leon, R.T., 2011. "Behavior of Composite CFT Beam-Columns Based on Non-Linear Finite Element Analysis," in Composite Construction VI (R. Leon et al., eds.), ASCE: 237-251.
  • Yang, C.S., Leon, R.T. and DesRoches, R., 2010. "Cyclic Behavior of Zipper-Braced Frames," Earthquake Spectra, 26(2): 561-582.
  • Yang, C.S., DesRoches, R., and Leon, R.T., 2010. Design and analysis of braced frames with shape memory alloy and energy-absorbing hybrid devices. Engineering Structures, 32, 498-507.
  • Speicher, M., Hodgson, D., DesRoches, R., Leon, R. T., 2009. Shape Memory Alloy Tension/Compression Device for Seismic Retrofit of Buildings, Journal of Engineering Materials and Performance, DOI: 10.1007/s11665-009-9433
  • Hu, J.W., and Leon, R.T, 2010. Analyses and evaluations for composite-moment frames with SMA PR-CFT connections, Nonlinear Dynamics, DOI 10.1007/s11071-010-9903-3
  • Hu, J.W., Park, J. and Leon, R.T., 2010. Advanced analysis and performance based evaluation of concrete filled tube (CFT) columns, Advanced Steel Construction, 6(4), pp. 1018-1032
  • Hu, J.W., Leon, R.T, Hwang, W.S and Park, J., 2010. Analytical investigation on ultimate behavior of steel heavy clip-angle connections using FE analysis, ISIJ International, 50(6), pp. 883-892
  • Yang, C.S., Leon, R.T., and DesRoches, R., 2011. Cyclic Behavior of zipper-braced frames, Earthquake Spectra, v 26, n 2, p 561-582, May 2010
  • Jacobs, L. D., Kosbab, B.D., Leon, R.T., DesRoches, R., 2011. Seismic behavior of a jumbo container crane including uplift, Earthquake Spectra, 27(3), p 745-773
  • Speicher, M., DesRoches, R., and Leon, R. T., 2011. Experimental results of a NiTi shape memory alloy (SMA)-based recentering beam-column connection, Engineering Structures, 33(9), p. 2448-2457
  • Kim, U., Leon, R.T., and Galambos, T.V., 2009. 3-D nonlinear dynamic behavior of steel joist girder structures, Engineering Structures,Vol. 31, No. 1, p 268-274
  • Yang, C.-S., Leon, R.T., and DesRoches, R., 2008. Pushover Test and Analysis of a Braced Frame with Suspended Zipper Struts, ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering
  • Yang, C.-S., Leon, R.T., and DesRoches, R., 2008. Design and behavior of zipper-braced frames, Engineering Structures,Vol. 30, No. 4,April, 2008, p 1092-1100
  • Leon, R.T., Kim, D.K., and Hajjar, J.F, 2008. Limit state response of composite columns and beam-columns - Part 2: Application of design provisions for the 2005 AISC Specification,AISC Engineering Journal, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 21-46
  • Leon, R.T., 2008, Desarrollos Recientes en construcci
  • Hite, M.C., DesRoches, R., and Leon, R.T., 2008, ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 13, No. 5, p 483-491
  • Yang, C.-S., Leon, R.T., and DesRoches, R., 2008. Pushover Response of a Braced Frame with Suspended Zipper Struts, ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, v 134, n 10, p 1619-1626
  • Ahn, Q. V. and Leon, R.T., 2008. Vibration Analysis of Steel Frames with Semi-Rigid Connections on an Elastic Foundation,International Journal of Steel and Composite Structures, Vol. 8, No. 4, August, 2008, pp. 265-281
  • Yang, C.S., Leon, R.T. and DesRoches,R., Cyclic behavior of Zipper-Braced Frames, submitted to EERI Earthquake Spectra
  • Kim, U., and Leon, R.T., 3-D Nonlinear Dynamic Behavior of Steel Joist Girder Structures, submitted to Engineering Structures
  • Leon, R.T., Kim, D.k., and Hajjar, J.F, 2007. Limit state response of composite columns and beam-columns - Part 1: Formulation of design provisions for the 2005 AISC Specification,AISC Engineering Journal, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 341-358
  • Leon, R. T., 2007. The New AISC 2005 Specification, Revista Escola de Minas - Ouro Preto, Vol. 60, No. 2, April-June 2007, pp. 241-250
  • Kim. D. W. and Leon, R.T. 2007. Seismic performance of PR frames in the Mid-America earthquake region, ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering,Vol. 133, No. 12, 2007, p 1808-1820
  • Hu, J.W. and Leon, R.T., 2006. Analytical Characterization of the Performance of Thick Clip Angle Connections, submitted to International Journal of Steel Structures
  • Ahn, Q. V. and Leon, R.T., 2006. Vibration Analysis of Steel Frames with Semi-Rigid Connections on an Elastic Foundation, submitted to International Journal of Steel and Composite Structures
  • Kim, U., Leon, R.T., and Galambos, T.V., 2006. Behavior of Steel Joist Girder Structures with PR Column Bases, AISC Engineering Journal, Vol. 44, No. 3, pp. 243-354
  • Kim, U., Leon, R.T., and Galambos, T.V., 2006. Seismic Designof Steel Joist Girder Structures, AISC Engineering Journal, Vol. 44, No. 3, pp. 234-242
  • Rassati, G.A. and Leon, R.T., 2004. Component Modeling of PR Composite Frames under Cyclic and Dynamic Loading: Numerical Modeling, International Journal of Steel Structures, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 131-140.
  • Ocel, J., DesRoches, R., Leon, R.T., Hess, W.G., Krumme, R., Hayes, J.R. and Sweeney, S., 2004. Steel Beam-Column Connections Using Shape Memory Alloys, to appear in Journal of Structural Engineering, v. 130, n. 5, pp.732-740.
  • Rassati, G.A., Leon, R.T., and Noe, S.,2004 Component Modeling of Partially Restrained Composite Joints under Cyclic and Dynamic Loading, Journal of Structural Engineering, v. 130, n. 2, pp. 343-351.
  • Green, T. P.,Leon, R.T. and Rassati, G.A., 2004 Bidirectional Tests on Partially Restrained, Composite Beam-Column Connections, Journal of Structural Engineering, v. 130, n. 2, pp 320-327.
  • Linzell, D., Leon, R.T., and Zureick, A., 2003. Instrumentation and Validation for Full-Scale Bridge Testing, Experimental Techniques, v. 27, n. 3, p.29-33.
  • Linzell, D., Zureick, A., and Leon, R.T., 2003. Comparison of Measured and Predicted Response of Manufactured Circular Steel Tube Members under Concentric and Eccentric Compressive and Tensile Loads, Engineering Structures, v. 25, n. 8, pp. 1019-1031
  • Barluenga, G., Hernandez-Olivares, F. and Leon, R.T., 2003. Seismic Response of a New Design for Vertical Joints in Architectural Panels,Engineering Structures, v. 25, n. 13, pp. 1555-1564.
  • Forcier, G.P., and Leon, R.T., 2002.Performance of Riveted Steel Connections, Journal of Constructional Steel Research, Vol. 58, No. 5-8, p. 779-799.
  • Swanson, J.A, Leon, R.T., and Kokan, D. S. 2002.Advanced Finite Element Modeling of Bolted T-Stub Connection Components, Journal of Constructional Steel Research, Vol. 58, No. 5-8, p. 1015-1032.
  • Swanson, J. and Leon, R.T., 2001.Stiffness Modeling of T-stub Connection Components, ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 127, No.5, pp. 498-505.
  • Leon, R.T. and Aho, M., 2001. Towards New Design Provisions for Composite Columns, accepted for publication in Composite Construction in Steel and Concrete IV, M. Hosain and J.F. Hajjar (eds.), ASCE, New York.
  • Alemdar, B., White, D., and Leon, R.T., 2001. Three-Dimensional Slab Effetcs in Partially-Restrained Composite Connections, accepted for publication in Composite Construction in Steel and Concrete IV, M. Hosain and J.F. Hajjar (eds.), ASCE, New York.