Puckett named new director of The Durham School

Puckett named new director of The Durham School

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Jay Puckett, a professor of civil and architectural engineering at the University of Wyoming, has been chosen as the new director of The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction.
Jay Puckett, a professor of civil and architectural engineering at the University of Wyoming, has been chosen as the new director of The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction.
Jay A. Puckett, V.O. Smith Professor of Civil and Architectural Engineering at the University of Wyoming, has been named director of The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Puckett has been a long-term educator, researcher, and administrator in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering at the University of Wyoming. He has conducted research primarily in the area of bridge, transportation structures, and steel frames. He has served five ASCE committees and was one of the founding associate editors for the ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering and served in that role for several years. For four years, Puckett chaired the Academic Council for architectural engineering; during this time, he led the group to rewrite the drafts for the current ABET Architectural Engineering Criteria and associated ASCE Commentary. He also serves as an ABET program evaluator for civil and architectural engineering programs.

Puckett is a leader in the development and support of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Load and Resistance Bridges Design Specifications (LRFD) Since helping develop the initial edition in 1994, he has been a major contributor to the science and research, software, and teaching literature. He is coauthor of the book, "Design of Highway Bridges – Based on AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specification," now in its third edition.

During his career, he has led in the development of bridge engineering software to support the LRFD efforts. These include BRASS programs for superstructure design and rating of steel, concrete, prestressed, and timber bridges. He was one of the primary architects and designers for the AASHTO Virtis and Opis. Virtis was the first system to store bridge engineering data in a unified format for engineering analysis. This data structure is novel and is the basis for storing thousands of U.S. bridges today.

Puckett has published three reports for the National Academy. He most recently led a national team of experts for the rewrite of the AASHTO Specifications for Structural Supports for Signs, Luminaires, and Traffic Signals. This Specification converted AASHTO’s present allowable stress method to a probabilistic approach. This contribution is a significant advancement in the area of structural design for ancillary transportation structures.

He received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University, and his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri.

“We are pleased that Dr. Puckett will be leading the Durham School’s programs,” said Tim Wei, dean of the College of Engineering. “His leadership experience and expertise in the areas of bridge analysis and maintenance will continue the school’s commitment to providing qualified professionals for the building design and construction industries.

As part of the UNL College of Engineering, The Durham School offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Architectural Engineering, Construction Engineering, and Construction Management on the college’s campuses in Lincoln and Omaha. It is the only program in the nation combining architectural engineering, construction engineering, and construction management under one school, giving students a comprehensive building system education.

The Durham School is named for the late Charles "Chuck" Durham, former chairman and CEO of HDR Inc. Durham and his late wife, Margre, established the Durham Foundation, which made the initial major gift to the school in 2005.