Dr. Fatih Oncul is an Associate Professor in Civil and Construction Engineering Department. He received his doctoral degree from University of Colorado Denver. His thesis was on three dimensional soil-concrete interface stability of composite dams under seismic loads. He performed numerous sophisticated three dimensional parametric non-linear finite element analyses to study the soil-concrete interface behavior. Part of his work was to study Folsom Dam's behavior under strong shaking.
He was involved in consulting and research projects funded by Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Pacific Gas and Electricity (PG&E). He studied the stress transfer mechanism of road side barriers sitting on mechanically stabilized earth walls when hit by vehicles. His findings were immediately implemented into CDOT's design and construction guidelines of roadside concrete barriers. In another project for CDOT, Dr. Oncul conducted experimental and numerical analyses to understand the airborne mechanism of sand particles on roadways used in winter deicing and sanding practices. In Colorado, airborne sand particles, due to their potential damage to windshields, are major concern to car owners and insurance companies. Windshield replacement and repair cost to insurance companies is estimated to be near $90M per year. His analysis results revealed that pavement elasticity was the major factor causing a sand particle to be airborne after being rolled over by a vehicle tire.
He conducted advanced computer simulations to assess the liquefaction potential of Butt Valley Dam, a tailings dam, in California owned by PG&E. Dr. Oncul used software packages such as, FLUSH, NIKE3D, and FLAC to verify the liquefaction risk during major earthquake events.
As an active member of the NIKE Club (a research group of NIKE3D users at the Center for Geotechnical Engineering Science, University of Colorado Denver) he did several computer models of mechanically stabilized earth walls and trained new graduate student members to conduct non-linear analyses using NIKE3D.
He started his teaching career at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ in 2003 as a lecturer. Besides his teaching duty, he also served as the program coordinator of the Civil Engineering Technology program. He was heavily involved in ABET accreditation preparation efforts and several K-12 outreach projects.
Dr, Oncul came to SPSU in 2008. He is currently teaching geotechnical and foundation engineering related courses. His main research interest areas are finite element analysis, subsurface exploration with nondestructive testing methods, geotechnical earthquake engineering and instructional technologies using tablet PCs.
In August 2011, Dr. Oncul initiated "Rubble House" research project at SPSU in collaboration with Conscience International, Inc. Rubble houses are replacement homes for poor Haitian families who lost their homes during the devastating earthquake in 2010. The walls of rubble houses are made with wire baskets filled with loose rubble generated by the buildings collapsed during the earthquake. The full-scale rubble-house construction and testing project in the middle of the SPSU campus in Fall 2011 was a truly unique experience.The analysis and development efforts are still in progress. For more information on this amazing project please visit http:\\www.spsu.edu/rubble-house.