April 4, 2024 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Identifying, Evaluating, and Correcting Punching Shear Deficiencies in Flat Plate Construction

The 2021 collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, FL has emphasized the importance of identifying, evaluating, and correcting punching shear deficiencies in flat plate construction. In practice, punching shear related cracking can be challenging to identify as cracking is usually concealed. Current and previous code equations are of limited use for evaluating the punching shear capacity of slabs with excessive top cover and low reinforcement ratios. This presentation describes approaches to screening for punching shear deficiencies, field evaluation of existing conditions, and punching shear strength evaluation. Also presented are cost-effective retrofits for strengthening slab/column regions where deficiencies have been identified.

Learning Objectives

  • List prior punching shear related building failures
  • Predict the strength for punching of flat plates considering flexural reinforcement and slab thickness
  • Assess flat plate construction for punching shear related distress
  • Identify appropriate retrofits for punching shear related distress or deficiencies.


This is a virtual presentation on Zoom. Attendees will be required to have a free Zoom account in order to access the presentation.


Members: $45 

Nonmembers: $70 

About the Speakers

Matthew Fadden, PhD, PE

Associate Principal – Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (South Florida)

Matthew Fadden joined WJE in 2018 and is an Associate Principal in their South Florida Office. He earned his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2007), and MS and PhD from the University of Michigan (2008, 2013). Before joining WJE, Dr. Fadden was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Kansas. His primary areas of expertise include evaluating, analyzing, and designing steel and reinforced concrete structures. In addition, his project experience includes failure investigations, structural repair and retrofit, high-fidelity finite element modeling, and full-scale experimental testing. Dr. Fadden is a member of the American Institute of Steel Construction Committee on Specifications Task Committee 4 - Member Design.

Andrea Shear, PE 

Associate Principal – Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (New York)

Andrea Shear, PE, is an Associate Principal at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.  (WJE) in New York City. Since starting at WJE in 2003, she has performed field investigations and evaluations involving a broad range of construction materials, with a primary focus on renovation and repair of existing steel and concrete structures. She has designed structural and building envelope repairs, restorations, and modifications for adaptive reuse, as well as completed construction period services and special inspections associated with a variety of structures, including high rise and historic commercial and office buildings, parking structures, residential buildings, and civil infrastructure. She has a bachelor's and master's degree in Civil Engineer from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. She is Secretary of the Structural Engineer’s Association of New York (SEAoNY) as well as the co-chair of the SEAoNY Codes and Standards Committee.



Joshua Dortzbach ( Forefront Structural Engineers, Inc )
Kevin Kuntz ( Magnusson Klemencic Associates )
Keli Dudek ( KeliAnn Engineering, LLC )
Rachel Jackson ( Thornton Tomasetti, Inc. )
Brian Frickenstein
John Ashton ( Collins Engineers, Inc. )
Charles Anderson ( C.E. Anderson & Associates, P.C. )
Michael McDonald ( Constellation Energy )
Joseph Petrich ( Sargent & Lundy LLC (Retired) )
Christian Parker ( Thornton Tomasetti )
Michelle Ryland ( Klein & Hoffman )
Michael Grant