Prof Krishna's Research and Consultancy Page

My Life-time Achievement in Research

If, as a professional with a Ph.D. and five decades of teaching, research and consulting activiy in my chosen (or specialised and trained) field of structural engineering in three countries India, USA, and Singapore, I am asked to name what I consider my life-time achievement (in that field), I would unhesitatingly say:


Initiated in 1972 (?) by the American Institure of Steel Construction (AISC) and later co-sponsored by the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) of U.S.A., the research took more than six years at Auburn University in Alabama, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and resulted in a presentation at the National AISC conference, 11 journal papers and discussions, 9 master's degree theses, and 1 Ph.D. Dissertation.

It raised a lot of controversy, because as a David who dared to use the then (1960s) new finite element method for the first time as a research tool to develop a design method for steel connections, against the Goliath of famous researchers in big universities who had done decades of basic analytical and detailed experimental work on the subject, I had to explain, argue and defend every finding from my finite element analysis, and prove its validity by extensive tests.

One final test in particular was conducted in the presence of national committees to disprove the charge from a European researcher that my design of that connection would fail!

People were particularly irked by my finding that one of the favourite theories held at the time that every pre-tensioned bolt resulted in a 'prying force' at the end of the plate, was proven not to be true for thin and many medium thickness plates by my finite element analysis, and also confirmed by many of my tests.

I understood that it saved more than a third of the steel that was being used in that type of connection by steel fabricators. It was included in the AISC Steel Construction Manual of 1978, and is still remains as one of the connection design methods in the USA.

I could have continued with it for multiple bolt-row connections, except that I chose to return to my roots.

One paper summarises the essentials of my experience: "The Road to a Code", published in the Proceedings of a steel structures conference in Singapore.

CLICK HERE for the full text of the paper.


My Life-time Achievement as an Engineer

But then, if you ask me what my life-time achievement as an engineer is, I would point proudly to my modest but heart-felt contributions to workplace safety in Singapore.

This website was created mainly to promote safety, through my direct contributions and my linkages to world-wide activities in workplace safety.

Please check my safety page for more on this aspect!