The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s Transportation Activities Council has selected Kallan M. Hart as the recipient of the 2020-21 Dennis R. Mertz Bridge Research Fellowship. 


Hart, who attends South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D., submitted “Repairable Precast Bridge Bents for Extreme Events.” He will be advised by Dr. Mostafa Tazarv, assistant professor at SDSU. Hart’s project is supported by Gage Brothers Concrete Products in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he previously worked as an intern, and the National Center for Transportation Infrastructure Durability and Life-Extension (TriDurLE), a national University Transportation Center consortium of 11 universities led by Washington State University.


In his application, Hart wrote, “I hope to not only broaden my knowledge and experience in the area of accelerated bridge construction (ABC), but also to challenge the industry to make progressive changes to bridge design codes in seismic regions.”


This fellowship was established in 2017 in memory of Dennis R. Mertz, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Delaware and one of the principal investigators who developed the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. Jared Brewe, PCI Vice President of Technical Service, adds, “PCI is pleased to continue honoring the legacy of Professor Mertz by awarding this fellowship to Mr. Hart and Dr. Tazarv for their research into accelerated bridge construction and repairable column connections.  This project also carries extra significance as Tom Kelley, president of Gage Brothers who passed away in October 2020, was engaging with the research team on this project.”