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Post-Tensioned Concrete Structures: Advantages of Using Post Tensioning with Michael Hopper

LERA Consulting Structural Engineers very own Michael Hopper, P.E., Associate Partner talks about post-tensioned concrete (PT) structures, what they are, some of the advantages of using post-tensioning, and what he thinks the future holds for PT.

"Post-tensioned concrete is remarkable. It has many applications and gives designers and structural engineers a lot of flexibility." - Michael Hopper

Michael Hopper, P.E. is an Associate Partner at LERA Consulting Structural Engineers. With the firm since 2010, he has contributed to numerous innovative structural designs for a wide range of structures, from cultural facilities to academic buildings and supertall towers.

Mike is currently managing the School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS) + Environmental Sciences (ES) academic complex at Princeton University, a series of hybrid timber-steel and concrete structures that are organized to meet the performance requirements of these unique laboratory buildings while reducing embodied carbon. His other current work includes a high-end residential project in Washington D.C.; the adaptive reuse of 51 Bridge Street in Pittsburgh, PA; and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, CA.

Some of his award-winning projects include the Roy & Diana Vagelos Education Center at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY; The Broad in Los Angeles, CA; the Novartis Radiation Oncology Research Office Building in East Hanover, NJ; and the recently completed Rubenstein Forum at the University of Chicago in Chicago, IL. Hopper is a founding member of LERA’s internal leadership team for the SE2050 Carbon Reduction Commitment, a program issued by the Carbon Leadership Forum. Hopper is a Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where he teaches a course on the design of concrete structures and serves as a Senior Thesis Advisor, and lectures at Penn State University’s Architectural Engineering Department. He holds both a Master of Science and Bachelor of Architectural Engineering from Penn State, earning Honors and Distinction.

Questions Michael was Asked:

  • What is post-tensioning, and why is it important?

  • What are some of the advantages of using post-tensioning in structures?

  • How has PT structure design evolved over the last 10+ years?

  • How does a post-tensioned concrete perform in seismic events?

  • What are void-formers and when should they be used?

  • How has concrete technologies made the construction industry more efficient?

  • What trends are driving innovation in construction?

  • Is PT concrete environmentally sustainable, and what does the future holds for the PT concrete industry?

  • Do you have any advice for engineers considering a career like yours?


Some of Michael's Post-Tension Projects



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