David Sanders

David Sanders


Greenwood Department Chair & Professor
Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering


394 Town Engr
813 Bissell Rd
Ames, IA 50011-1066


David Sanders is ISU CCEE’s Greenwood Department Chair. He has published more than 300 research publications and given more than 200 technical presentations. Sanders has earned over $15 million in research as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator. His research centers on the behavior and design of structural concrete with an emphasis in the seismic design of bridges. He is an active teacher and has mentored 57 successful doctoral and master’s students as an advisor or co-advisor. Sanders is a fellow in the American Concrete Institute, the Structural Engineering Institute and the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is very active in professional organizations, including being a member of the Structural Concrete Building Code Committee and a chair of one of its subcommittees. Sanders is a 1984 civil engineering alumnus of Iowa State University. He comes to Iowa State from the University of Nevada Reno’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where he served as a university foundation professor as well as the chair of the University Faculty Senate.

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow, Structural Engineering Institute (2016)
  • Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers (Spring 2010)
  • Fellow, American Concrete Institute (ACI) (Spring 2000)

Professional Societies

  • American Concrete Institute (1986 to present)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (National and State) (Structural Engineering Institute) (1983 to present)
  • Truckee Meadows Branch of ASCE (1990 to present)
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (1994 to present)
  • Consortium of University for Research in Earthquake Engineering (2004 to 2016)
  • Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (2004 to 2014)


  • Doctor of Philosophy – Structural Engineering; University of Texas at Austin, August 1990
    • Dissertation: Design and Behavior of Anchorage Zones in Post-Tensioned Concrete Members
  • Master of Science in Engineering – Structural Engineering; University of Texas at Austin, May 1986
    • Thesis: Strength and Behavior of Double-Tee Tubular Joints in Tension
  • Bachelors of Science with Distinction and Honor in Civil Engineering; Iowa State University, May 1984

Interest Areas

  • Bridge engineering
  • Seismic design
  • Behavior of structures (concrete)
  • Life safety
  • Serviceability


  • Mantawy, I. D.H. Sanders, M.O. Eberhard, J.F. Stanton (2019), “Modelling of debonded reinforcement in ABC connections designed for seismic zones,” Engineering Structures, Vol. 198, November 2019, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2019.109351.
  • Alian, S.M, M.S. Mohammed, M. Moustafa and D.H. Sanders (2019), “Fragility Analysis of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Columns under Short and Long Duration Ground Motions,” 5th International Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (5ICEES ), October 9-11, 2019, Ankara Turkey.
  • Nada, H.M. and D.H. Sanders (2019), “Prestressed Columns in the Balance,” 5th International Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (5ICEES ), October 9-11, 2019, Ankara Turkey.
  • Kuchma, D.A, S. Wei, D.H. Sanders, A. Belarbi L. Nowak, “Development of One-Way Shear Design Provisions of ACI 318-19 for Reinforced Concrete,” ACI Structural Journal, V. 115, No. 5, September 2018 doi: 10.14359/51716739.
  • Belarbi, A., Kuchma, D.A., Sanders, D.H. (2017). “Proposal for New One-Way Shear Equations for the 318 Building Code,” Concrete International, American Concrete Institution, Vol. 39, No. 9, September 2017, pp 29-32.
  • Biasi, G., Mohammed, M.S., and Sanders, D.H. (2017). “Earthquake Damage Estimations: ShakeCast Case Study on Nevada Bridges,” Earthquake Spectra, EERI, Vol. 33, No. 1, February 2017, pp. 45-62, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1193/121815EQS185M.
  • Mantawy, I.M., Thonstad, T., Sanders, D.H., Stanton, J.F, Eberhard, M.O. (2016). “Seismic Performance of Precast, Pre-Tensioned and Cast-in-Place Bridges: Shake Table Test Comparison,” Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, Vol 21, Issue 10, October 2016, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)BE.1943-5592.0000934, pp 040160711-1 to 14.
  • Thonstad T., Mantawy, I.M., Stanton, J.F., Eberhard, M.O., Sanders, D.H. (2016). “Shaking Table Performance of a New Bridge System with Pre-Tensioned, Rocking Columns,” Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, Vol 21, Issue 4, April 2016, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)BE.1943-5592.0000867, pp 04015079-1 to 14.
  • Haber, Z, Saiidi, M.S. and Sanders, D.H. (2015). “Behavior and Simplified Modeling of Mechanical Reinforcing Bars Splices,” ACI Structural Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol 112, No 2, pp 179-188.
  • Larosche, A, Cukrov, M., Sanders, D.H., and Ziehl, P. (2014). “Prestressed Pile to Bent Cap Connections: Seismic Performance of Full Scale 3-Pile Specimen,” Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE Vol 19, No. 3, 10 pages.
  • Wibowo, H., Sanford, D.M., Buckle, I.G., and Sanders, D.H. (2012). Effects of Live Load on Seismic Response of Bridges: A Preliminary Study. Civil Engineering Dimension, 14 (3), pp. 166-172.
  • Moustafa, K.F, Sanders, D.H., Saiidi, M.S, and El-Azazy, S. (2011). “Seismic Performance of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Bents,” American Concrete Institute, ACI Structural Journal, Vol. 108, No. 1, January-February 2011, pp 23-33.
  • Yamashita, R. and Sanders, D.H. (2009). “Seismic Performance of Precast Unbonded Prestressed Concrete Columns,” American Concrete Institute, ACI Structural Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol. 106, No. 6, November-December 2009, pp. 821-830.
  • Bahen, N. and Sanders, D.H. (2009). “Investigation of Strut Strength Using a Deep Beam Database,” Shear and Torsion in Concrete Structures, American Concrete Institute Special Publication SP-265-18, 2009, pp. 385-404.
  • Dangol, S., Ibarra, L., S. Bartlett, Pantelides, C. and Sanders, D.H. (2017). “Soil Effects on the Response of Free-Standing Dry Storage Casks,” 16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Thessaloniki, Greece, June 18-21, 2018.
  • Maree, A.F., and Sanders, D.H. (2017), “End Diaphragm Cracking of Box Girder Bridges due to Post-tensioning: Case Study,” 39th IABSE Symposium-Engineering the Future, Vancouver, BC Canada, September 19-23, 2017.
  • Mohammed, M.S., Sanders, D.H., Buckle, I.G. (2017). “Reinforced Concrete Bridge Columns Tested Under Long and Short Duration Ground Motions,” 16th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Santiago, Chile, January 9-13, 2017.
  • Weitzel, N., Hajj, E. and Sanders, D.H. (2016). “Evaluation of Modified Engineered Cementitious Composite Using Local Materials,” Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No 2577, Washington, DC, pp 78-87.