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Richard Bennett

Richard Bennett


Contact Information

  • 260G Zeanah Engineering Complex
  • Phone: 865-974-9810
  • E-mail:

  • Biography

    Richard Bennett is the director of the college’s engage Engineering Fundamentals program. He came to UT in 1983 because he felt it had a good balance between teaching and research and because of the great people he would come to call his coworkers. He enjoys being able to help a new group of young engineering students get off to a good start every year. He believes that Engineering Fundamentals is important because it is “the beginning of your educational career, and the concepts we teach are used in so many areas.”

    Bennett’s favorite student is his daughter, but he believes all other students are equal and a privilege to teach. We asked him a few specifics to help freshmen students settle in at UT:

    Q: Where did you get your undergraduate degree?
    A: I received my Civil Engineering degree from Cleveland State University.

    Q: How can students succeed in class and make their professors happy?
    A: The best advice I can give is to keep up with the homework, and to get in a study group with a few of your peers.

    Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve of students?
    A: Students who do not check their work. Take a few seconds to look over your answer and whether or not it makes sense.

    Q: How do you spend your free time?
    A: With my family and friends. I have two grandchildren who love wearing Vols attire. My wife and I also have friends from China, and enjoy spending time with them.

    Engineering education

    Masonry testing, analysis, and design

    Structural safety and reliability

    PhD, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL,  1983

    MS, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL,  1981

    BS, Civil Engineering, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH,  1979

    TMS 402/602 Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures Committee, 2000-present

    • 2nd Vice-Chair, Main Committee, 2016-present
    • Chair, Main Committee, 2013-2016
    • Vice-Chair, Main Committee, 2011-2013
    • Chair, Flexural and Axial Loads Subcommittee, 2004-2011

    Associate Editor, The Masonry Society Journal, 2006-2017

    Member, ASTM C15 Manufactured Masonry Units; C15.02 Brick and Structural Clay Tile, 2006-present

    President’s Award, The Masonry Society, 2016

    John Scalzi Research Award, The Masonry Society, 2014

    College of Engineering Moses E. and Mayme Brooks Distinguished Professor Award, 2014

    Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP) Faculty Member of the Year Award, 2011

    Tickle College of Engineering Teaching Fellow Award, 2010

    University of Tennessee Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award, 2008

    Flanagan, R.D., and Bennett, R.M. (2001). "In-Plane Analysis of Masonry Infill Materials." Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction, ASCE, 6(4), 176-182. Winner of Alvin H. Yorkdale Award, ASTM Committee C15, Best peer-reviewed masonry paper, 2002.

    Bennett, R.M., Wood, S.M., Drumm, E.C., and Rainwater, N.R. (2005). “Vertical Loads on Box Culverts under High Embankments.” Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, 10(6), 643-649.

    Zureick, A-H., Bennett, R.M., and Ellingwood, B.R. (2006). “Statistical Characterization of Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composite Material Properties for Structural Design.” Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, 132(8), 1320-1327.

    Hedrick, S.E. II, Bennett, R.M., Rials, T.G., and Kelley, S.S. (2007). “Correlation of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Measurements with the Properties of Treated Wood.” Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, ASCE, 19(4), 279-285.

    Bennett, R.M. (2008). “The First United States Prestressed Masonry Structures.” The Masonry Society Journal, 26(2), 67-72.

    Zisi, N. and Bennett, R.M. (2011). “Shear Behavior of Corrugated Tie Connections in Anchored Brick Veneer-Wood Frame Wall Systems.” Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, ASCE, 23(2), 120-130.

    Bennett, R.M., Huston, E.T., McLean, D.I., and Throop, D.B. (2011). “Allowable Stress Recalibration in the 2011 TMS 402 Code.” 11th North American Masonry Conference, Paper 33. Winner of Outstanding Paper Award.

    Bennett, R.M., Schleter, W.R., Olsen, T. and Guffey, S. (2012). “Effects of an Early Homework Completion Bonus.” ASEE Annual Conference, Paper AC 2012-3724.

    Morrison, S. and Bennett, R.M. (2013). “Concepts of Shear Friction Applied to Masonry Shear Walls.” The Masonry Society Journal, 31(1), 1-13.

    Jeldes, I.A., Drumm, E.C., and Bennett, R.M. (2015). “Piling Framed Concrete Retaining Wall: Design Pressures and Stability Evaluation.” Practice Periodical of Structural Design and Construction, ASCE, 20(3).

    Taylor, A., Bennett, R.M., Harper, D.P., and Lloyd, J. (2017). “Estimating the Impacts of Preservative Ports on Bridge Tie Strength.” Forest Products Journal, 67(1/2):24–28.


Richard Bennett

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