Portrait of James Wight

James K. Wight

Emeritus Professor


2350 Hayward, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2125


(734) 763-8750

Primary Website

James K. Wight


  • Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1973
  • M.S., Michigan State University, East Lansing, 1970
  • B.S., Michigan State University, East Lansing, 1969

Research Interests

My primary research activities have centered on studies of inelastic behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) members and connections under large load reversals (i.e. earthquake-type loading). My more recent research activities have included the use of high-performance fiber reinforced cementitious composites for increased energy dissipation and stiffness retention in critical locations of earthquake resistant RC structures I have also studied the earthquake resistant design of structures of mixed construction, i.e., a combination of steel beams and RC columns. I have significant research and professional experience with seismic repair of damaged RC structures and the seismic retrofit of existing structures to modern seismic design levels. Most of my funding comes from the National Science Foundation and the ACI Concrete Research Council.

To watch a video of me discussing storm shelters in tornado-prone regions, please visit YouTube.

Professional Service

  • Past-President, American Concrete Institute
  • Member of several technical committees within the American Concrete Institute, including former Chairman of the Building Code Committee (ACI-318)
  • Member of American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE)
  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
  • Earthquake Engineering Institute (EERI) and Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES)


  • ASCE Teacher of the Year, 1974, 75, 76, 85, 89, 92, 98, 01 and 2003
  • Distinguished Service Award, College of Engineering, April 1977
  • Fellow, American Concrete Institute, March 1984
  • Chi Epsilon Excellence in Teaching Award, Great Lakes District, April 1989
  • Teaching Excellence Award, College of Engineering, Dec. 1989
  • State of Michigan Teaching Award, April 1990
  • Delmar L. Bloem Award for Distinguished Service, Amer. Concrete Inst., 1991
  • Excellence in Faculty Service Award, College of Engineering, March 1995
  • Distinguished Faculty Award, Michigan Assoc. of Governing Boards, 1996
  • Joe W. Kelly Award, American Concrete Institute, March 1999
  • Arthur Y. Moy Award, ACI Michigan Chapter, December 2000 – RCRC Boise Award, American Concrete Institute, April 2002
  • Structural Research Award, American Concrete Institute, March 2003
  • Kavanah Lectureship, Penn State University, April 2005
  • F.E. Richart, Jr. Collegiate Professorship, UM College of Eng., July 2005
  • Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers, October 2006
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Illinois CEE Department, Feb. 2008
  • Alfred E. Lindau Award, American Concrete Institute, March 2008
  • Corresponding Member of Mexican Academy of Engineers, October 2008
  • Chester P. Seiss Award for Excellence in Structural Research, ACI, March 2009
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Michigan State University, CEE Department, April 2009


  • Wight, J.K., and Parra-Montesinos, G. (2003). “Use of strut and tie model for deep beam design as per ACI 318 code,” ACI Concrete International, Vol. 25, No. 5, pp. 63-70.
  • Quintero-Febres, C.G. and Wight, J.K. (2001), “Experimental Study of Reinforced Concrete Interior Wide Beam-Column Connections Subjected to Lateral Loading,” ACI Structural Journal, Vol. 98, No. 4, pp. 572-582.
  • Wight, James K., Parra-Montesinos, G., and Canbolat, B.A. (2003). “Seismic behavior of high-performance fiber reinforced cement composite coupling beams,” Otani Symposium 2003, Tokyo, Japan, pp. 357-372.
  • Parra-Montesinos, Gustavo and Wight, James K. (2000), “Seismic Response of Exterior RC Column-to-Steel Beam Connections,” Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 126, No. 10, pp. 1113-1121.
  • Hueste, M.B.D. and Wight, J.K. (1997), “Evaluation of a Four-Story Reinforced Concrete Building Damaged During the Northridge Earthquake”, Earthquake Spectra, EERI, Vol. 13, No. 3, August 1997, pp. 387-414.