Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) - Austin Chapter

November Meeting Details:

We are pleased to announce the details for our next lunchtime professional development meeting.  See below for meeting details and the form to register for the meeting. Lunch will be provided, and as always the event promises to be educational and interactive. Seating is limited, so please RSVP below as soon as possible.

Topic:        In-Situ Load Testing:  Two Case Studies for Two Test Protocols

Presenter:    Aaron Larosche, PhD, PE; Structural Engineering Consultant at Pivot Engineers

Location:    Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin’s J. J. Pickle Research Center (Bldg. FS1 on Pickle Research Campus).  A map of the Pickle Research Campus can be found at

Date:        Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

Time:        11:30am to 1:00pm    

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Summary:  Strength evaluation of an existing structure is typically performed by calculation and analysis; however, instances arise where load testing is more appropriate. Load tests have been used in evaluation of structures since the late 1800’s, and from 1920 until recently the reinforced concrete industry has left this evaluation method largely unchanged in code documents. Recently within ACI an update was proposed to load testing procedure, test magnitudes, and acceptance criteria. ACI committee 437 codified the proposed update and today we have two ACI, code level, load test protocols. The monotonic load test protocol is provided in chapter 27 of ACI 318-14 (Chapter 20 in previous code editions) and the cyclic load test protocol is provided by ACI 437.2-13.

This presentation will highlight, through case studies, two instances in which a full-scale load test was selected as the evaluation method. While data and conclusions will be presented from each structure, the presentation will emphasize the decisions leading to selection of a load test as the evaluation method and the decision to apply either the cyclic or monotonic testing procedure. With historical context, and application to the individual structures, differences between monotonic and cyclic tests will be discussed along with challenges associated with the application of each. Finally, observations from each test will be presented to underline the potential pitfalls that engineers should be aware of prior to testing.


Aaron Larosche

is a structural engineering consultant for Pivot Engineers in Austin, TX. His experience includes investigation of structural failures, evaluation of existing structures, structural concrete repair, and nondestructive testing of existing structures. During his time as a consulting engineer, Dr. Larosche has worked on projects throughout the United States and Central America, each with their unique challenges.

Aaron received his BS in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University, and both his MS and PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of South Carolina. He is an active member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and serves as the secretary of Committee 437 – Strength Evaluation of Existing Structures.


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