ASCE has honored Robert G. Driver, Ph.D., P.E., P.Eng., F.SEI, M.ASCE, with the 2023 Shortridge Hardesty Award for cumulative efforts and outstanding achievements in the areas of seismic behavior of steel plate shear walls, characterization of moment gradient and load height effects on steel I-girder design, and applications of high-performance steels.
Driver is a world leader for the following structural stability issues: (a) members like welded beams potentially undergoing lateral-torsional buckling; (b) steel connections with an emphasis on the stability of connecting elements such as extended shear tabs; (c) blast and disproportionate collapse; and (d) seismic engineering of steel plate shear walls. His research has directly impacted the structural building codes in North America and will for decades to come.
His research interests lie primarily in the field of steel structures engineering, including member, connection, and system behavior, as well as steel-concrete composite structures and rehabilitation of reinforced concrete structures using innovative steel solutions. He has recently begun investigations into multihazard approaches to structural survivability and robustness, as well as resistance to progressive collapse. His past research activity includes the development of torsional design provisions for wide-flange beams, which have been included in the Canadian steel design standard and cited in standard textbooks. He has also conducted research into optimizing the use of high-performance steel in bridge plate girders that has resulted in the development of a corrugated web configuration and an internally stiffened double-plate web. The corrugated web results have been used in a highway bridge in Pennsylvania.
Driver conducted the first ever large-scale test of a multistory steel plate shear wall (and several subsequent tests) to confirm its outstanding performance under extreme cyclic loading. This research is also referenced extensively in the Canadian and American national steel design standards and is used worldwide. His work on bolted and welded connections is widely cited and has influenced North American design codes and standards in several areas.
The Shortridge Hardesty Award is given to a member or members of the Society who have contributed substantially in applying fundamental results of research to the solution of practical engineering problems in the field of structural stability.