Biographical Information

James K. Wight received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University in 1969 and 1970, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1973.  He has been a professor in the structural engineering area of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Michigan since September 1973.  He teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on structural analysis and design of RC structures.  He is well known both nationally and internationally for his work in earthquake resistant design of concrete structures.  His more recent research has concentrated on the strength and inelastic behavior of connections in composite structures (RC and Steel) and the use of high-performance fiber reinforced concrete composites for critical members or regions of concrete structures.  He spent a one-year sabbatical leave (1980-81) in Japan and was involved in the construction and simulated earthquake testing of a full-scale reinforced concrete building.  He has been involved with post-earthquake damage studies following earthquakes in Mexico City, Chile, Armenia, Egypt, California, Japan and India.


At Michigan, Professor Wight has received numerous awards for his teaching and service, including: the ASCE Student Chapter Teacher of the Year Award (eight times), the College of Engineering's Distinguished Service and Teaching Excellence Awards, the State of Michigan Award for Outstanding Teaching and the Chi Epsilon-Great Lakes District Excellence in Teaching Award. 


Professor Wight has been an active member of the American Concrete Institute since 1973, and was named a Fellow of the Institute in 1984.  He is currently Chairman for the ACI Building Code Committee 318 and a past Chair of Committee 318-E.  He is also a past Chair of the ACI Technical Activities Committee and Committee 352 on Joints and Connections in Concrete Structures.  He is the past-President of the ACI Michigan Chapter and a former member of the ACI Board of Directors.  He has received the following awards from the American Concrete Institute: Delmar Bloem Distinguished Service Award (1991), the Joe Kelly Award for “outstanding efforts for the education of students in design of reinforced concrete structures” (1999), the Boise Award for “outstanding accomplishments in research, teaching and service in the field of structural concrete” (2002) and the Structural Research Award (2003) for a paper he co-authored with his former student, Professor Carlos G. Quintero-Febres.