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Dissertation Defence: Limit State Design of Timber I-Joists with Web Openings and Flange Notches

April 28, 2023 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Moein Ahmadipour, supervised by Dr. Shahria Alam, will defend their dissertation titled “Limit State Design of Timber I-Joists with Web Openings and Flange Notches” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering.

An abstract for Moein’ dissertation is included below.

Examinations are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. Registration is not required for in-person defences.


Wood, as a key construction material, has been gaining growing attention in North America due to its renewable nature, cost-effectiveness and lightweight compared to other major construction materials. I-joists are engineered timber beams widely used in building industry as main structural components. These beams are often drilled in their web or notched through their flange to pass service, electrical or mechanical facilities through. Even though this makes them more favourable for construction, cutting the beam through can reduce its load-carrying capacity to a significant extent, which arises serious concerns for the safety of the structure and the public.

The current wood design code in Canada does not have direct instructions for designing I-joists with openings. Having a guideline for openings in I-joists will lead to safer and more efficient building designs. Such guidelines will provide structural engineers with directions to determine the sufficiency of I-joists considering their opening’s shape, location and size.

In this PhD dissertation, the load-carrying capacity of timber I-joists with a web hole and those with a flange notch is examined through experimental and numerical study. Three-dimensional large-scale finite element models of the beams are developed to study the effects of the shape, size and location of the opening. Additional study is performed to assess the effectiveness of two retrofit types in reinforcing joists with an opening. Finally, guidelines are proposed for designing I-joists with a web hole or a flange notch, assimilating the routines of the Canadian wood design standard, CSA O86-14. Guidelines are also proposed to suggest retrofits to bring the joists back to their expected serviceability criteria.


April 28, 2023
9:00 am - 1:00 pm


EME Amphitheatre
1137 Alumni Ave
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7 Canada
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Additional Info

Room Number
Registration/RSVP Required
Event Type
Thesis Defence
Research and Innovation, Science, Technology and Engineering
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Families, Partners and Industry, Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates