ICT Student Spotlight: Matthew Jarrett

Matt Jarrett is a native of Urbana, Illinois, who stayed local for his education. He came to the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an undergraduate student, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and will complete his master’s degree, also in civil engineering, in May.

Matthew Jarrett

Matt Jarrett

He has already lined up a full-time job as an entry-level structural engineer, which he’ll begin in June, at the firm of Wiss, Janney, and Elstner Associates in Northbrook, Illinois. He’ll be working on inspection, analysis, and repairs for existing and/or damaged structures of all types. His plan is to work toward licensure as a structural engineer.

As part of his graduate education, Jarrett assists on the research team for an ICT/IDOT project, “Analysis of Superstructure of Integral Abutment Bridges” (R27-115), led by James LaFave, professor of civil engineering at UIUC.  The project is in progress and is expected to be completed at the end of 2016. The primary objective of the research, which is also funded by the Illinois Tollway, is to better understand the structural performance of integral abutment bridges (IABs) from the perspective of superstructure behavior. This information could lead to expanded use of IAB structures that are more optimized with respect to their superstructures, while still providing all the benefits of a joint-free bridge.

Jarrett has contributed to the project in many ways, including installing strain gauges, data collection systems, and solar panels for two IABs along Interstate 90 in northern Illinois. He has also conducted finite element analyses of IABs with varied parameters such as bridge length, skew, and soil properties.

According to LaFave, “This project has made good use of Matt’s excellent practical and analytical skills to perform the field instrumentation and some advanced analytical modeling of IABs. The work has also helped him to grow as a structural engineer as he now makes the transition from grad school into civil structural engineering practice.”