Richard Christenson, an assistant professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE), was named the United Technologies Corporation Professor in Engineering Innovation within the CEE department for his exceptional achievements in research, instruction and service. It is one of just five presented to faculty at the rank of assistant or associate professor across the School of Engineering. Dr. Christenson was chosen by his department and will receive discretionary funds of $5,000 per year that he may apply toward professional development.
Dr. Christenson earned his Ph.D. degree in civil engineering and geological science at the University of Notre Dame in 2002 and began his academic career at the Colorado School of Mines, Golden before joining UConn in 2006. His areas of expertise span smart structures, earthquake engineering and hazard mitigation, smart damping technologies, structural health monitoring and bridge monitoring.
Dr. Christenson’s research on structural control and innovative laboratory testing techniques is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, Department of Homeland Security, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, and Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) and has focused on reducing vibration in buildings, bridges and sign structures due to traffic, wind and seismic excitations using controllable magneto-rheological (MR) fluid dampers and real-time hybrid simulation.
His research on bridge monitoring, funded by the Federal Highway Administration, involves the examination of both short- and long-term applications for bridge structural health monitoring and weigh-in-motion. With NSF support, Dr. Christenson has consistently involved undergraduate and graduate students in international research studies focusing on “smart structures” and their resilience to natural hazards in earthquake-prone areas such as Thailand and Japan, with a current project in Korea. Read more about Dr. Christenson’s international research: