Faculty Directory
Zdenek P. Bazant

McCormick Institute Professor, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Material Science and Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech A135
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-4025Email Zdenek Bazant


Personal Profile


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering

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C.E. ("Civil Engineer"), 1960, Civil Engineering Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

Ph.D., 1963, Engineering Mechanics Czechoslovak Academy of Science, Prague, Czech Republic

Postgraduate Diploma, 1966, Theoretical Physics, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Docent (habilitatis), 1967, Concrete Structures, Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

Registration: Illinois Registered Structural Engineer (S.E.), since 1971

Research Interests

Our research interest lies in the mechanics of solids and structures, with applications in structural and mechanical engineering, and geophysics. My group works mainly on fracture mechanics, size effects, and scaling of failure, stability of structures, micromechanics of damage in materials, inelastic constitutive laws, viscoelasticity, and creep and hygrothermal effects in nanoporous materials (chiefly hydrated cements) and hydraulic fracture.
We also conduct research on probabilistic mechanics, plasticity, finite strain theory, numerical methods, and materials testing.
Our research, which emphasizes mathematical modeling, has mainly dealt with concrete, rock, sea ice, fiber composites and soils, and, recently, with braided and woven composites for cars, hybrid joints for ships, rigid foams, shape memory alloys, dry snow slabs, and fracking of gas shale.
Currently we focus on size effect, stability of hydraulic cracks, structural safety, probabilistic analysis of quasibrittle failure, including the tail distribution strength, and predictions of creep and shrinkage effects in concrete structures, with applications to tight gas shale, fiber-polymer composites for aircraft and ships, metallic thin films, reinforced concrete structures and granular materials.

Significant Recognition

  • Member NAS, NAE, AAAS and 5 European academies
  • 7 honorary doctorates (TU Prague, TU Karlsruhe, UC Boulder, Milan Poly, INSA, TU Vienne, Ohio State)
  • ASME Timoshenko, Nadai & Warner Medals
  • ASCE von Karman, Newmark, Biot and Croes Medals and TY Lin, Huber and Lifetime Achievement Awards
  • SES Prager Medal and others
  • Honorary Member of ASCE, ASME and ACI

Selected Publications

    Selected papers in refereed journals (among 500+) and books

    1. Bažant, Z.P., and Caner, F.C. (2013). “Comminution of solids caused by kinetic energy of high shear strain rate, with implications for impact, shock and shale fracturing.” Proc., National Academy of Sciences 110 (48), 19291–19294.
    2. Bažant, Z.P., and Caner, F.C. (2014). “Impact comminution of solids due to local kinetic energy of high shear strain rate: I. Continuum theory and turbulence analogy.” J. of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 64, 223–235 (with Corrigendum, Vol. 67 (2014), p. 14).
    3. Bažant, Z.P., Salviato, M., Chau, Viet t., Viswanathan, H. and Zubelewicz, A. (2014). “Why fracking works.” ASME J. of Applied Mechanics 81 (Oct.), 101010-1—101010-10.
    1. Bažant, Z.P., and Cedolin, L. (1991). Stability of Structures: Elastic, Inelastic, Fracture and Damage Theories, Oxford University Press, New York (3rd ed., 2010, 1011 pp.).
    2. Bažant, Z.P., and Kaplan, M.F. (1996). Concrete at High Temperatures: Material Properties and Mathematical Models, Longman (Addison-Wesley), London.
    3. Bažant, Z.P., and Planas, J. (1998). Fracture and Size Effect in Concrete and Other Quasibrittle Materials. CRC Press, BocRaton and London (616 pp.).
    4. Jirásek, M., and Bažant, Z.P. (2002). Inelastic Analysis of Structures. J. Wiley & Sons, London and New York (735 pp.).
    5. Bažant, Z.P. (2005). Scaling of Structural Strength. 2nd ed., Elsevier, London.
    6. Bažant, Z.P., and Jirásek, M. (2002). “Nonlocal integral formulations of plasticity and damage: Survey of progress”. ASCE J. of Engrg. Mechanics 128 (11), 1119-1149 (invited ASCE 150th anniversary article).
    7. Bažant, Z.P. (2010). “Can multiscale-multiphysics methods predict softening damage and structural failure?” Int. J. for Multiscale Computational Engrg. 8 (1) 61-67.
    8. Bažant, Z.P. (1971). “correlation study of incremental deformations and stability of continuous bodies.” Journal of Applied Mechanics, Trans. ASME, 38, 919-928.
    9. Bažant, Z.P. (1972). “Thermodynamics of interacting continuwith surfaces and creep analysis of concrete structures.” Nuclear Engineering and Design, 20, 477-505.
    10. Bažant, Z.P., and Wu, S. T. (1974). “Thermoviscoelasticity of aging concrete.” J. Engrg. Mech. Div., Am. Soc. Civil Engrs., 100, EM3, 575-597.
    11. Bažant, Z.P. (1976), “Instability, ductility, and size effect in strain-softening concrete.” J. Engrg. Mech. Div., Am. Soc. Civil Engrs., 102, EM2, 331-344.
    12. Bažant, Z.P., and Oh, B.-H. (1983). “Crack band theory for fracture of concrete.” Materials and Structures (RILEM, Paris), 16, 155-177.
    13. Bažant, Z.P. (1984). “Size effect in blunt fracture: Concrete, rock, metal.” J. of Engrg. Mechanics, ASCE, 110 (4), 518-535.
    14. Bažant, Z.P., and Pijaudier-Cabot, G. (1988). “Nonlocal continuum damage, localization instability and convergence.” ASME J. of Applied Mechanics, 55, 287-293.
    15. Bažant, Z.P., and Kazemi, M.T. (1990). “Determination of fracture energy, process zone length and brittleness number from size effect, with application to rock and concrete.” Int. J. of Fracture, 44, 111-131.
    16. Bažant, Z.P., and Baweja, S. (1995), in collaboration with RILEM Committee TC 107-GCS, “Creep and shrinkage prediction model for analysis and design of concrete structures--model B3” (RILEM Recommendation 107-GSC). Materials and Structures (RILEM, Paris) 28, 357-365.
    17. Bažant, Z.P., and Li, Yuan-Neng (1995). “Stability of cohesive crack model: Part I--Energy principles.” Trans. ASME, J. of Applied Mechanics 62 (Dec.), 959-964.
    18. Bažant, Z.P., Daniel, I.M., and Li, Zhengzhi (1996). “Size effect and fracture characteristics of composite laminates.” J. of Engrg. Materials and Technology ASME 118 (3), 317-324.
    19. Bažant, Z.P., Hauggaard, A.B., Baweja, S., and Ulm, F.-J. (1997). “Microprestress-solidification theory for concrete creep. I. Aging and drying effects”, J. of Engrg. Mech. ASCE 123 (11), 1188-1194.
    20. Bažant, Z.P., and Li, Yuan-Neng (1997). “Cohesive crack with rate-dependent opening and viscoelasticity: I. mathematical model and scaling.” Int. J. of Fracture 86 (3), 247-265.
    21. Bažant, Z.P., Caner, F.C., Carol, I., Adley, M.D., and Akers, S.A. (2000). “Microplane model M4 for concrete: I. Formulation with work-conjugate deviatoric stress.” J. of Engrg. Mechanics ASCE 126 (9), 944-953.
    22. Bažant, Z.P. (2002). “Scaling of sea ice fracture--Part I: Vertical penetration.” J. of Applied Mechanics ASME 69 (Jan.), 11-18.
    23. Bažant, Z.P. (2004). “Scaling theory for quasibrittle structural failure.” Proc., National Academy of Sciences 101 (37), 13400-13407 (inaugural article).
    24. Bažant, Z.P., and Pang, S.-D. (2006). “Mechanics based statistics of failure risk of quasibrittle structures and size effect on safety factors.” Proc. of the National Academy of
    25. Sciences 103(25), 9434-9439.
    26. Bažant, Z.P., and Pang, S.-D. (2007). “Activation energy based extreme value statistics and size effect in brittle and quasibrittle fracture”. J. of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 55, 91-134.
    27. Bažant, Z.P., Le, J.-L., Greening, F.R., and Benson, D.B. (2008). “What did and did not cause collapse of World Trade Center twin towers in New York?” J. of Engrg. Mechanics ASCE 134 (10) 892-906.
    28. Bažant, Z.P., Le, J.-L., and Bazant, M.Z. (2009), “Scaling of strength and lifetime probability distributions of quasibrittle structures based on atomistic fracture mechanics”, Proc. of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (28), 11484-11489.
    29. Le, Jia-Liang, Bažant, Z.P., and Bazant, M.L. (2009). “Subcritical crack growth law and its consequences for lifetime statistics and size effect of quasibrittle structures”, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 42, 214008 (8pp).
    30. Le, J.-L., and Bažant, Z.P. (2010). “Scaling of Strength of Metal-Composite Joints: II. Interface Fracture Analysis.” ASME J. of Applied Mechanics 77 (Jan.), pp. 011012-1-011012-7.
    31. Bažant, Z.P., Yu, Q., Li, G.-H., Klein, G.J., and Kristek, V. (2010), “Excessive deflections of record-span prestressed box girder: Lessons learned from the collapse of the Koror-Babeldaob Bridge in Palau.” ACI Concrete International 32 (6), June, 44-52.