Sam Helwany, Ph.D.

Sam Helwany
, helwany@uwm.edu(414) 229-4131
Eng & Math Sciences W236A
Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Dr. Helwany has 20 years of teaching and research experience in the geotechnical engineering area. He taught courses in various areas of civil engineering including statics, dynamics, structural analysis, soil mechanics, foundation engineering, advanced foundation engineering, advanced soil mechanics, soil-structure interaction, soil modeling, finite element method in geotechnical engineering, designing with geosynthetics, and even fluid mechanics!  He enjoys teaching as well as research.

Dr. Helwany has performed many funded research projects in the soil-structure interaction area. He has performed several interdisciplinary research projects within the College of Engineering at UWM. He is currently working on near-surface geothermal energy where he is the Principal Investigator of a fundamental research project on the effects of heat cycles, caused by energy piles, on soil strength and on soil-pile interface strength (funded by the National Science Foundation). He is also investigating the use of a new type of energy piles as a storage medium for wind and solar energy associated with microgrids (funded by Research Growth Initiatives-UWM). Both projects are being done in collaboration with other faculty from the electrical engineering department and the mechanical engineering department at UWM. The projects also include collaboration with faculty from EPFL-Switzerland, University of Alaska, and Virginia Tech. He has also conducted research on a new pile foundation system for "Mega" tubular wind towers (funded by We Energies).

Dr. Helwany is the author of Applied Soil Mechanics with Abaqus Applications. The book shows how to apply the finite element method to solve soil mechanics problems. He has used these principles in pragmatic solutions in conjunction with projects run by the Air Force Office for Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

For a full C.V. please see Dr. Helwany's website. 

Education:

  • Ph.D., in Geotechnical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1993
  • M.S.,  in Geotechnical Engineering, University of Colorado, Denver, 1987
  • B.S.,  in Civil Engineering, University of Colorado, Denver, 1985

Research Focus:

  • Geotechnical engineering (experimental and analytical)
  • Geosynthetic reinforced soil structures
  • Soil-structure interaction (static and dynamic)
  • Finite element analysis
  • Flexible pavement design
  • Energy (geothermal) piles and geothermal energy storage

Publications:

  • “Design and Application of Controlled Low Strength Materials as a Structural Fill.” Vahid Alizadeh, Sam Helwany, Al. Ghorbanpoor, and Konstantin Sobolev. ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 2014 (in print).
  • "Seismic Behavior of Geosynthetic-Reinforced Soil Bridge Abutments-Experimental Study." Sam Helwany, Jonathan Wu, and Roonak Ghaderi. Transportation Infrastructure Geotechnology Journal, 2014 (in print).
  • "Seismic Behavior of Geosynthetic-Reinforced Soil Bridge Abutments-Analytical Study." Sam Helwany, Jonathan Wu, and Roonak Ghaderi. Transportation Infrastructure Geotechnology Journal, 2014 (in print).
  • "A Rapid Construction Technique for Bridge Abutments Using Controlled Low Strength Materials (CLSM)", Alizadeh, V., Helwany, S., Ghorbanpoor, A, and Oliva, M., accepted for publication in ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 2012.
  • "Strain Localization and failure load predictions of geosynthetic reinforced soil structures”, Alsaleh, M., Kitsabunnarat, A., and Helwany, S., Interaction and Multiscale Mechanics, An International Journal”, Vol.2 No. 3, 2009.
  • "Capturing Strain Localization in Reinforced Soils”, Kitsabunnarat, A., Alsaleh, M., and Helwany, S., Acta Geotechnica, Vol. 3 N.3, pp175-190, 2008.
  • Applied Soil Mechanics (with Abaqus Applications), Author: Helwany, S., 400 pages, John Wiley and Sons, March 2007.
  • "Simulating the Behavior of GRS Bridge Abutments.” (Helwany, S., Wu, J.T.H, and Kitsabunarat, A.) Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 133, No. 10, pp. 1229-1240, 2007.
  • "Laboratory Impulse Tests for Soil-Underground Structure Interaction.” (Helwany, S., and Chowdhury, A.) ASTM Journal of Testing and Evaluation, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 262-273, 2004.
  • "GRS bridge abutments––an effective means to alleviate bridge approach settlement.” (Helwany, S., Wu, J.T.H and Froessl, B.) Geotextiles and Geomembranes, Journal of the International Geotextile Society, Vol. 21, pp. 177-196, 2003.
  • "Full-Scale Model Tests for Examining the Effects of Reinforcement in USFS Deep Patch Landslide Repair Technique.” (Wu, J.T.H. and Helwany, S.) Transportation Research Record, 2001.  Recent Development of Design, Construction and Analysis of Reinforced Walls and Slopes.
  • "Seismic Analysis of Segmental Retaining Walls–I: Model Verification,” (Helwany, S., Budhu, M., and McCallen, D.) Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, American Society of Civil  Engineers, Vol. 127, No. 9, pp. 741-749, 2001.
  • "Seismic Analysis of Segmental Retaining Walls–II: Effects of Facing Details,” (Helwany, S. and McCallen, D.) Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 127, No. 9, pp. 750-756, 2001.
  • "Effects of Backfill Type on the Performance of GRS Structures." (Helwany, S., Reardon, G. and Wu, J.T.H) Geotextiles and Geomembranes, Journal of the International Geotextile Society, Vol. 17, No. 1, 1999.
  • "Finite Element Analyses of Flexible Pavements." (Helwany, S., Dyer, J. and Liedy, J.) Journal of Transportation Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 124, No 5, pp. 491-499, 1998.