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DFI Presents Young Professor and Student Paper Competition Awards

DFI 2012 Young Professor Paper Competition Award

Hawthorne, NJ (December 1, 2012): Co-authors Dr. John McCartney and Kyle Murphy, professors at the University of Colorado Boulder, shared honors as winners of the DFI Young Professor Paper Competition award presented at the DFI 37th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations in October in Houston. The paper, “Seasonal Strain Distributions in Full-Scale Energy Foundations,” focuses on the seasonal thermo-mechanical response of two energy foundations installed at the new Denver Housing Authority Senior Living Facility.

McCartney received a B.S. CE and M.S. CE degrees from the University of Colorado Boulder, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a recipient of the NSF Faculty Early Development Award in 2011.  He also received several research awards including the Croes Medal from ASCE in 2012, the Richard S. Ladd D18 Standards Development Award from ASTM in 2011, and the Young IGS Award from the International Geosynthetics Society in 2008.

Murphy is pursuing a M.S. CE at the University, where his research involves thermally active deep foundations under the supervision of Dr. John McCartney. Murphy is a project engineer with Hayward Baker Inc. His B.S. CE is from the University of Missouri. Murphy is a 2011-2012 recipient of the Association of Drilled Shaft Contractors Industry Advancement Fund Scholarship.

The Student Paper Competition winner was Haijian Fan, who has a B.E. degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China, and is now a Ph.D. candidate in the civil engineering department at the University of Akron, Ohio. His paper is “Performance-based Reliability Design for Deep Foundations Using Monte Carlo Statistical Methods.”

The runner up of the Student Paper Competition was Lin Li, a Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering at the University of Akron. Li has an M.S. in structural engineering, Tianjin University, China, and a B.S. in civil engineering, Shandong Jianzhu University, China. Li’s paper, “Reliability Analysis of a Drilled Shaft Stabilized Slope System,” presents a reliability based analysis method for a drilled shaft stabilized slope system.

The awards are funded by the DFI Educational Trust. The Young Professor Paper Competition began in 2005, and the Student Paper Competition in 2003. The papers will be published in the DFI Journal.

About the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI)

DFI ( is an international association of contractors, engineers, suppliers, academics and owners in the deep foundations industry. Our multi-disciplinary membership creates a consensus voice and a common vision for continual improvement in the planning, design and construction of deep foundations and excavations. We bring together members for networking, education, communication and collaboration. With our members, we promote the advancement of the deep foundations industry through technical committees, educational programs and conferences, publications, research, government relations and outreach. DFI has more than 3,300 members worldwide.