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Dr. Matthew Yarnold
Dr. Matthew Yarnold | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Dr. Matthew Yarnold, assistant professor in the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University, received the 2020 Milek Faculty Fellowship Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC).

He received the fellowship for his proposal to numerically and experimentally evaluate the behavior of steel hot rolled asymmetric I-beams for future production in the United States. Each year, AISC selects a promising university faculty member for the four-year, $50,000-per-year award.

“The national recognition that comes from the AISC Milek fellowship will have a lasting impact on my future career,” Yarnold said. “Receiving the fellowship is truly an honor. This has been a goal of mine for many years.”

Yarnold’s research has the potential to benefit the steel industry through further expansion of steel floor systems. Many buildings in the United States are built with reinforced concrete and steel beams. The idea is to manufacture hot rolling asymmetric I-shapes, which structurally can be more efficient and allow for shallower depths using conventional composite floor systems. 

If successful in this research, Yarnold said this method could become a standard in building design and construction.

“We are exploring everything from their manufacturing and how they would behave during construction, to their performance in a fully constructed building,” he said.

Yarnold’s research includes structural steel behavior, bridge engineering, the experimental assessment of structural systems, novel techniques for structural health monitoring and engineering education. He has extensive experience with the experimental testing of structural systems and has led research projects for the National Science Foundation, state departments of transportation and private engineering firms. He is an active member of several national committees through the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Transportation Research Board.

Yarnold has more than 15 years of structural engineering research and design experience. He began his career at Lehigh University, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Following graduation, he accepted a position with the engineering firm Ammann & Whitney, where he contributed to more than 15 bridge design and rehabilitation projects while also obtaining his professional engineering license. After a successful career as a consultant, he returned to academia and completed his doctoral degree at Drexel University. He joined the department in 2017.